Week 17: College Hockey Rankings, Betting Lines, & Weekend Preview

Gophers Hockey NCAA

We’re hitting the home-stretch of the season and the College Hockey Rankings are about to be shaken up! We’re only going to be treated to one top-10 matchup instead of three this week. With that said, the inter-conference play of the Big10 and NCHC is set to determine important ground among the bubble-teams. A winning weekend takes you into the final stretch with momentum and losses put your back to the wall. Somebody with a lot more time and resources NEEDS to update me on penalties called this weekend, because I’m calling for a spike among “western” schools.

Updated Weekly Picks

Going 2-2-1 was not great last week, but you know what…it’s not terrible either! If that’s the worst we do in the back half of this season, I’ll HAPPILY take it. This week, the lines are (marginally) better. The BC-1.5 line against UMass Lowell is the Lock of the week, despite the fact that both of BC’s wins against the Riverhawks were 3-2 earlier this year. The young guns are just far too hot to be stopped right now. The rest of this list…I’d give a 7/10 on the confidence scale. Every game “out west” should be CLOSE. So close that I refuse to touch any puck line.

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

After a one-week stint at the top of the College Hockey Rankings, BU promptly lost two to BC and tumbled “all the way” to 3rd. The #1 (again) BC Eagles have a tune-up game against UMass Lowell on Friday before a rematch with BU in the Beanpot on Monday. Maine, Providence, and UMass round out the remaining Hockey East schools currently sitting in the playoffs if the season ended today.

More Conference Breakdowns

The Big10 and NCHC have four and three programs (respectively) also inside of the cut-line as I see it. Of those, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Denver, and Michigan State have been the most exciting to watch and consistent all year. If any one of those four were to fall out before the season is over, it would be SHOCKING.

Cornell has rallied back from a small slump to join Quinnipiac as the only ECAC programs with a shot at seeing postseason play. Given the strength of other teams in that conference, they’ll both need to win 80% of their remining games to hold that reservation. Outside of that, it’s anyone’s guess how the rest of the bracket is going to shake out.

I really thought we were going to have an independent hold their spot with how hot Arizona State came out of the gates. Unfortunately, it’s a tough road back into the top 12-13 from where they’re at with no remaining ranked teams on the schedule. The Sun Devils and Nanooks both have to win-out to have any shot at seeing the playoffs. Given that they play one another four times (in a row) throughout that stretch, those games could get VERY interesting.

Jan 29th 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 @ #4 Wisconsin – Fri & Sat, Feb. 2/3

Gophers vs Badgers


25.6 β€“ PP% – 18.9
78.8 – PK% – 88.0
50.0 – FO% – 54.6
1.391 – GF/GA – 1.898
.912 – SV% – .932

Vibes: The only reason you can touch Minnesota playing at the Kohl Center from a betting perspective is the +100 line and the memories of Phil Kessel owning that crowd. I don’t care that it was nearly 20 years ago. It was awesome and if Al Gore’s internet has taught me anything, it’s that people don’t forget and pictures live forever. Sure, Hastings has OWNED Minnesota over the last few years. I simply don’t care. Minnesota is a hockey school and a hockey school only. It’s time to show why that is for the Gophers.

Prediction: Gophers win on Friday, but get sent home with their tail between their legs after a Saturday blowout.

#15/16 St Cloud State @ #14/16 Colorado College – Fri & Sat, Feb. 2/3

Huskies vs Tigers


20.0 β€“ PP% – 10.3
80.5 – PK% – 81.3
51.0 – FO% – 55.1
1.188 – GF/GA – 1.143
.900 – SV% – .913

Vibes: The Huskies are REELING lately. If you haven’t been paying attention, St Cloud hasn’t won a game in the year 2024 yet. They’ve picked up valuable conference points in a few shootouts, but the team is feeling all sorts of pressure as they tumble down the College Hockey Rankings. The Tigers, on the other hand, have been playing their best hockey of the season since the calendar turned. Two of their stars were named NCHC players of the month and for good reasons. They’re 6-2-0 in that span with one of their losses coming in OT on the road.

Prediction: BOTH of these teams NEED wins. Neither of them will get both. Split.

Minnesota, Duluth @ #19 Nebraska, Omaha – Fri & Sat, Feb. 2/3

Bulldogs vs Mavericks


28.2 β€“ PP% – 16.2
83.3 – PK% – 77.6
44.2 – FO% – 54.7
1.027 – GF/GA – 0.921
.906 – SV% – .893

Vibes: The Bulldogs and Omaha have split on the season already, and if UMD can do that again, I promise I’ll be happy and not complain about how “we” could have gotten more points. Listen, UMD is playing with their backs to the wall trying to get good enough to make an NCHC playoff run. It’s VERY clear that the Poll Voters hate them based on who’s getting votes and them receiving ZERO. It’s like people forget that their worst lost of the season is to #22 Northeastern! Hungry Dogs run faster.

Prediction: Bulldogs come away with a mere two-points. Couldn’t tell you how it’s going to happen, but I know it’s going to hurt.

Minnesota State vs St. Thomas – Fri & Sat, Feb. 2/3 (H&H)

Mavericks vs Tommies


19.2 β€“ PP% – 15.6
80.2 – PK% – 77.1
50.7 – FO% – 49.5
1.302 – GF/GA – 1.079
.914 – SV% – .909

Vibes: THE battle for the CCHA happens this weekend. These two take up the top spots in the conference and have been the most consistent teams in the conference. If we’re being honest with one another, that’s an INCREDIBLY low bar, but it’s still true.

Unfortunately for St Thomas, they’ll be playing in this series while severely banged up. This post goes into all the details of the matchup and is MUCH more eloquent than I could ever be about either team. Reading it let me know that they’ve actually got some blue-liners playing forward. As fun as that may be for those guys, it’s not ideal for a matchup this big.

Prediction: Mavericks come away with two wins and take sole possession of 1st place in the CCHA.

Augustana vs Bemidji State – Fri & Sat, Feb. 2/3

Vikings vs Beavers


20.7 β€“ PP% – 15.3
81.8 – PK% – 74.7
43.7 – FO% – 45.8
0.762 – GF/GA – 0.765
.903 – SV% – .877

Vibes: Bemidji state HAS to be upset going into this weekend. They’re falling behind in the conference standings after a week off and take on an opponent where they can’t make up any ground this weekend too. The clock is TICKING for the Beavs and going 1-4-1 in their last 3 series has to have them in full on panic-mode. They’ve got less than no chance at making a run to become ranked, but they can get on the same page as a unit and tighten things up for a run at the MacNaughton cup, which seems to be WIDE open this year.

Prediction: Beavs win Friday and drop Saturday…because it’s the Beavs.

Other College Hockey Games to Watch

#3 Boston University vs #17/18 New Hampshire – Fri, Feb. 2nd

Terriers vs Wildcats


25.7 β€“ PP% – 21.4
82.6 – PK% – 80.3
51.3 – FO% – 51.4
1.492 – GF/GA – 1.296
.910 – SV% – .898

Vibes: What better way to prepare for the Beanpot than by playing in a game to decide the season series with New Hampshire. When the Wildcats took down the Terriers at the start of the season, it looked like one of the biggest upsets in College Hockey. Now that UNH holds a ranked position in February, not so much. BU is streaking right now. Not in the way that they’re collecting wins and conference points though. More like their mom yelling at them and going through a gallon of bleach to get their tighty-whities back to a respectable cream color. They can’t lose four in a row, right? RIGHT!?

Prediction: BU with a 3-1 win on the road.

#5/6 Maine vs (RV) Northeastern – Fri, Feb. 2nd

Black Bears vs Huskies


18.8 β€“ PP% – 22.5
84.0 – PK% – 80.6
52.7 – FO% – 55.4
1.615 – GF/GA – 1.090
.906 – SV% – .906

Vibes: This will be a true test to see if the Huskies can stay hot or not. They just beat #3 BU on Tuesday, but have struggled MIGHTILY against ranked teams outside of that with ZERO other ranked wins on the season. That’s not to say the Huskies are a bad team. They’ve tied or lost by one on six separate occasions vs ranked opponents this year. They just struggle to close the door on teams. They’ll have an opportunity to do that in their own barn on Friday.

Prediction: Huskies can’t escape the trend and Maine wins by one.

THE BEANPOT – Mon, Feb. 5th

Boston v Boston v Boston v Boston

Vibes: It would be CRIMINAL to not mention the Beanpot starting on Monday night in a College Hockey weekly preview blog. Harvard will be taking on Northeastern in what should be a one-sided affair given how much the Crimson have struggled this season. The real matchup that everyone is interested in, however will be the rematch between BU and BC.

After getting swept by the Eagles a week ago, you KNOW that BU is going to be looking for revenge. Pair that with the fact that BC’s Jacob Fowler might have had the series of his life in their last meeting and we’re all in for a treat. I think that BC’s certainly got the scoring edge, but if BU can capitalize on some of the same opportunities they let slip away last time, I really think they can keep up with the Eagles pace. Celebrini has taken a back seat to Perreault, Smith, and Gauthier as of late…as a hockey guy, you know he hates that.

Prediction: BU and Northeastern move on to the championship game.

Previous Rankings/Reviews

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

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

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