Week 16: College Hockey Rankings, Betting Lines, & Weekend Preview

Gophers Hockey NCAA

Being treated to a matchup of the top two teams in the country according to the College Hockey Rankings is great. Getting three separate top-ten matchups is PHENOMENAL. What an absolute treat the schedule and universe has produced for us this weekend! We’ve got tight conference races that could ultimately be decided by this weekend and as much potential movement in the top ten as we’ve seen all season. Let’s get into it!

Updated Weekly Picks

Buying a round of beers was a lot easier after going 4-1-0 last week! As great as that was, this is hockey. We take our wins, celly quick, and then put our heads down and get back to work. This week’s lines are ROUGH. That’s probably to be expected with 1 vs 2, 4 vs 5, and 7/8 vs 9 being highlighted by the books as featured matchups. Nobody said winning was easy. You have to earn it more sometimes. No more than a unit on each with the exception of Cornell, where you can take the puck line AND under in a parlay if you’re feeling spicy.

If you think you’re smarter than me, prove it. You can go on BettorEdge and either set your own lines or pick up one that someone else (me) has already thrown out there. I’ll be putting affordable lines out there on each of these if you’re just looking to “dabble” a bit. Just make sure to use β€œ10K” at sign-up.

National College Hockey Rankings Roundup

Boston University is taking its turn on the top of the Ferris Wheel that is the College Hockey Rankings once again. Having to face off against the #2 team who is also your biggest rival once you get back up there is…not ideal. As a fan of the sport, you’re not going to hear ME complain! Skip a slot in the rankings and then

Jan 22nd College Hockey Rankings Roundup

Note: The National Rankings Roundup weighs each of the ranking sources instead of treating them all as equal. This takes into account the credibility of the source, potential committee influence, what data they utilize, evident bias, and amount of teams ranked. USCHO and USA Hockey still remain the drivers.

Minnesota College Hockey Games

#9 Minnesota vs #7/8 Michigan State – Fri & Sat, Jan. 26/27

Gophers vs Spartans

Stats:

27.3 β€“ PP% – 27.1
79.0 – PK% – 81.1
50.3 – FO% – 49.5
1.369 – GF/GA – 1.373
.911 – SV% – .910

Vibes: These two teams are almost identical in every statistical category. Honestly, the similarities are SHOCKING. They’ve both got massive wins against really good programs, and they’ve both got letdowns in games that matter. A few weeks ago, the Gophers were a borderline bubble team. Since the new year, they’ve rebounded by winning 5 of 6 with their only loss coming to a frisky CC group. Michigan State is second in the nation for both shots and goals, but the Gophers are a significantly better shot-blocking team than almost everyone Sparty’s faced to date. Expect fireworks in this one on both sides.

Prediction: Split a couple of 1-goal games. Maybe throw an empty netter in for good measure.

Nebraska, Omaha vs #14/15 St Cloud State – Fri & Sat, Jan. 26/27

Mavericks vs Huskies

Stats:

15.4 β€“ PP% – 19.0
78.5 – PK% – 81.0
54.6 – FO% – 51.6
0.899 – GF/GA – 1.232
.892 – SV% – .905

Vibes: Before I get into it, Omaha has been playing good hockey. With that said, they haven’t won a game in regulation since December 2nd. Sure there was a lengthy holiday break in there, but that doesn’t change the mental toll that takes on the players. They’re hungry to prove themselves. In the last series against St Cloud, the Mavs took 2 of 6 points with a single shootout win. That might sound daunting, but not when you factor in St Cloud also has zero regulation wins in their last two series too. Something’s gotta break here.

Prediction: Huskies come away with 5 of 6 points this weekend.

Miami (Ohio) @ Minnesota, Duluth – Fri & Sat, Jan. 26/27

RedHawks vs Bulldogs

Stats:

12.7 β€“ PP% – 28.8
80.8 – PK% – 82.8
45.3 – FO% – 44.0
0.746 – GF/GA – 0.957
.896 – SV% – .905

Vibes: Duluth may be 8-11-4, but they’re 2-2 in their last two series and a couple of bounces away from flipping those losses. Suffice it to say the Dogs have been playing much better hockey as of late. Those two series were also against (16/17) CC and (12) Western Michigan. Many are saying those teams play a different sport than Miami does, but the Redhawks actually beat Western to split their series two weeks ago. In the end, it’s the NCHC, so every game is tough, but if UMD has any chance of gaining home-ice advantage for the NCHC playoffs, they need to sweep at home.

Prediction: Bulldogs win both.

Northern Michigan @ Minnesota State – Fri & Sat, Jan. 26/27

Wildcats vs Mavericks

Stats:

20.7 β€“ PP% – 19.8
74.2 – PK% – 79.5
52.3 – FO% – 50.4
0.763 – GF/GA – 1.246
.886 – SV% – .912

Vibes: This will be the first and only matchup between Northern Michigan and Minnesota State this season. Northern is pretty much out of the race, but the Mavericks still have a shot at taking the MacNaughton Cup home. With how chaotic the CCHA has been this season, anything is possible. Before last weekend, I would have said that Minnesota State is taking this game, easily. After you lose to this year’s version of Bowling Green…no wins are guaranteed.

Prediction: Mavericks walk away with 5 points after a regulation and OT win.

Other College Hockey Games to Watch

#3 Wisconsin vs #14/15 Michigan – Fri & Sat, Jan. 26/27

Badgers vs Wolverines

Stats:

19.4 β€“ PP% – 35.1
91.8 – PK% – 75.3
54.9 – FO% – 54.1
2.205 – GF/GA – 1.561
.940 – SV% – .898

Vibes: What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? We’re about to find out. Michigan’s got the #1 powerplay in the nation absolutely HUMMING at 35.1% efficiency. That’d normally be enough to make anyone shake in their boots, but not Wisconsin. They boast the best Penalty Kill in the country stopping just shy of 92% of attempts IN ADDITION TO the best goalie in college hockey between the pipes too. As good as they are with the puck on their stick, their defensive scheme might be better. People call that the Hastings effect.

Prediction: Badgers win Friday and play to a tie Saturday.

#4 Denver @ #5 North Dakota – Fri & Sat, Jan. 26/27

Pioneers vs Fighting Hawks

Stats:

26.1 β€“ PP% – 24.1
78.7 – PK% – 81.5
50.6 – FO% – 51.9
1.775 – GF/GA – 1.542
.885 – SV% – .903

Vibes: When DU and NoDak face-off, we’re always winners. They’re two of the true blue-boods in all of College Hockey with the national championships to prove it. This week they’re not only trying to stay within the top 5, but they’re also fighting for potential control of the NCHC. Technically DU is 3 points behind NoDak and St Cloud, so they’d need to sweep North Dakota and get help from Omaha, but the math says it’s possible.

If you’ve been living under a rock, Denver is home to the top two, three of the top five, and four of the top eight points leaders in the nation. Simply put, they score. A lot. Unfortunately for the Pios, there are only 7 teams with a lower save percentage than their tendy tandem. North Dakota, on the other hand, has Ludvig Persson who might not hold the most impressive records, but plays a complete game and has stolen wins for his team.

Prediction: Split series. Couldn’t fathom giving a guess on who wins each night though.

#1 Boston University vs #2 Boston College – Fri & Sat, Jan. 26/27

Terriers vs Eagles

Stats:

26.0 β€“ PP% – 25.3
84.0 – PK% – 90.2
51.3 – FO% – 47.8
1.714 – GF/GA – 1.740
.918 – SV% – .919

Vibes: This series truly has it all. It’s the two best teams in the country and there’s not a lot of room to debate that this year. They’re evenly matched across the board with high-caliber names on both sides. Gabe Perreault, Macklin Celebrini, Will Smith, Cutter Gauthier, Lane Hutson, the list goes on and on. These two schools don’t need any additional attention because they’re among the few that get mentioned at the national level, but in situations like this, they deserve all the eyes on them. Plus…with that many more viewers, it’ll be hard to hide who they truly are.

Prediction: Split. BU on Friday, BC on Saturday.

#13 Cornell vs Harvard – Fri, Jan. 26

Big Red vs Crimson

Stats:

16.4 β€“ PP% – 28.8
81.4 – PK% – 71.4
53.9 – FO% – 44.7
1.500 – GF/GA – 0.625
.904 – SV% – .888

Vibes: It’s Pantone Pandemonium in the ECAC! Cornell’s Ian Shane has been THE star for them this season, but the guys out front have been giving him help along the way. If you tune in to any of the games, forward Ondrej Psenicka will stick out. Not only because he’s a 6’6″ mutant, but because he is hard to get around and wins battles in the corner. Harvard hasn’t done much of that lately, so look for Big Red to exploit that throughout the game and control the pace of play.

Prediction: Big Red wins by 2 in a low-scoring affair.

Previous Rankings/Reviews

Week 15: College Hockey Rankings, Betting Lines, & Weekend Preview

Week 14: College Hockey Rankings, Betting Lines, & Weekend Preview

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