Week 21: College Hockey Rankings, Betting Lines, & Weekend Preview

Gambling Gophers Hockey NCAA

Trying to predict how the College Hockey Rankings are going to shake out is an impossible task. In no other sport do you have this much intrigue for half of the possible playoff spots. In the last week of the regular season, you know who is good and who is bad. If you’re lucky, you might have a handful of teams that could make moves. Fans of College Hockey endure something different. They flock to the Pairwise Probability Matrix that College Hockey News puts together every week (image below) to nervously check if their team is still in the running and where they could theoretically end up. Some are saying hockey has the smartest fans…I tend to agree.

Updated Weekly Picks

With regular season titles being decided and conference tournaments right around the corner, there are no more easy bets. From here on out, we’re in the trenches fighting for every win. From the top, 19 of BC’s 25 wins have been by 2 or more this season. They just beat UNH 6-1 at the beginning of February. I have never been more confident in a -105 line than this one.

In Madison, there are two Mike Richter Award finalists between the pipes, but there are also two teams that are incredibly good at scoring in front of them. In their first series of the season, neither game would have hit this over. Mathematically, it’s due.

In Colorado Springs, it’s as simple as this: UMD stinks. Nothing else needs to be said. No matter how it happens, the Bulldogs are finding ways to lose. I hate doing it, but betting against my Dogs has been profitable all year.

The Gophers are the better team this year, but that doesn’t matter. Not to me. The back-and-forth crossover goal that everyone quote tweets when this matchup is on the schedule does. It’s stupid and I know that. I do not care. It’s at (3M Arena at) Mariucci and that factors in for me.

Northeastern vs UConn is going to be, in every sense of the phrase, a dogfight. *Ba Dum Tss* Northeastern is on the verge of being a playoff threat. For a program that went winless from October 15th to November 26th, they’ve rebounded nicely. Racking up wins against Boston College, Maine (twice), and Boston University (twice) in addition to winning the beanpot since has helped them climb quickly. I think that continues.

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

The College Hockey Rankings didn’t have much for turnover at the top, but that doesn’t mean it’s been boring. Omaha’s sweep over (then) red-hot Colorado College has the Mavs in a position to snag an at-large bid while the Tigers took a tumble down the ranks. The independent schools have cannibalized one another so they will all be missing the tournament…again. I’m proclaiming it today, the teams in the top ten will make the NCAA tournament. Past that, anybody from 11-18 has a shot and it’ll largely depend on how the conference tournaments play out. Given the parity of this season, I think only the top 13 in the pairwise are getting in, but would not be shocked to see that cut to 12.

The NCHC is in the driver’s seat for the last spots with Western Michigan, Colorado College, and St Cloud State. Each of those three has a matchup with either UMD or Miami and then another with either Denver or North Dakota. A good balance of opportunity for wins combined with a top-5 team to improve their strength of schedule. Not saying they will all make it, but it’s hard to say any other conference has a better recipe or opportunity to climb.

Feb 26th 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.

College Hockey Games To Watch

This week, we don’t need a big introduction to every series. We’re keeping it short and sweet with nothing more than stats and a couple of words about how I think things are going to play out. There are plenty of other sources to find the technical breakdowns for each matchup that are going to have a hell of a lot more access than I get via Twitter and the rumor mill. We’re vibes guys. Always have been, and always will be.

#16 Michigan @ #8 Minnesota – Fri & Sat, Mar. 1/2

Wolverines vs Golden Gophers

Stats:

33.9 β€“ PP% – 22.7
79.8 – PK% – 80.3
52.7 – FO% – 49.4
1.489 – GF/GA – 1.380
.906 – SV% – .919

Prediction: The Gophers refuse to sweep this season. I don’t know why, but every week they have the chance to do it, they’re left holding those hopes in one hand and an “L” in the other. Add another split to their resume.

Minnesota State @ Bemidji State – Fri & Sat, Mar. 1/2

Mavericks vs Beavers

Stats:

20.7 β€“ PP% – 15.7
80.4 – PK% – 74.0
51.3 – FO% – 46.1
1.220 – GF/GA – 0.913
.907 – SV% – .881

Prediction: Bemidji State splits the series, but takes home the MacNaughton Cup for the first time since 2017. It’ll be the first time a team other than Minnesota State has won it since then too. Some are calling that destiny.

#4/5 Denver @ #13/15 St Cloud State – Fri & Sat, Mar. 1/2

Pioneers vs Huskies

Stats:

25.0 β€“ PP% – 22.1
75.5 – PK% – 79.8
50.3 – FO% – 50.2
1.576 – GF/GA – 1.234
.887 – SV% – .905

Prediction: Technically speaking, both of these teams can still win the Penrose Cup. Realistically, they’re simply fighting for the 2 or 3 seed with each other. SCSU is inconsistent and Denver can’t defend and MAY still be missing two key forwards. Give me SCSU taking 5 of 6 points.

Minnesota Duluth @ #11/14 Colorado College – Fri & Sat, Mar. 1/2

Bulldogs vs Tigers

Stats:

27.4 β€“ PP% – 13.6
82.9 – PK% – 81.3
43.4 – FO% – 54.5
0.854 – GF/GA – 1.227
.895 – SV% – .917

Prediction: Colorado College has to be on a war path after getting swept last weekend. An awfully similar script to what UMD was facing on the road a week ago and we all know how that went. CC wins both, but UMD comes away with a conference point by forcing one of the games to OT.

St. Thomas vs Michigan Tech – Fri & Sat, Mar. 1/2

Tommies vs Huskies

Stats:

17.4 β€“ PP% – 20.8
76.5 – PK% – 78.1
50.1 – FO% – 49.5
0.978 – GF/GA – 0.988
.905 – SV% – .910

Prediction: I am wondering how the CCHA would have shaken out if St Thomas didn’t have their roster decimated over the last month. They were in first place and have steadily fallen since then. Technically they’re still tied for 3rd with (you guessed it) Michigan Tech, but the prospect of snagging their first MacNaughton Cup trophy is now out of reach. All they can hope for now is a good CCHA playoff. Winning this weekend would get the Tommies back on track to do that. Unfortunately, I still think it’s going to be a split.

#6 Michigan State @ #4/5 Wisconsin – Fri & Sun, Mar. 1/2

Spartans vs Badgers

Stats:

27.7 – PP% – 18.8
82.0 – PK% – 89.0
49.6 – FO% – 54.9
1.309 – GF/GA – 1.781
.911 – SV% – 
.933

Prediction: Wisconsin is two points behind Michigan State in the Big10. Feel free to call me an idiot and ridicule me if this is wrong, but I THINK the Badgers would need to take 5 of 6 points to take home the title because Michigan State swept the first series between these two back in November. That said…I don’t think it will matter. Sparty wins in a high-scoring affair on Friday and drops the Saturday showdown.

#1 Boston College @ #17 New Hampshire – Fri & Sat, Mar. 1/2

Eagles vs Wildcats

Stats:

27.6 – PP% – 20.2
89.8 – PK% – 79.6
49.4 – FO% – 51.5
2.015 – GF/GA – 1.190
.923 – SV% – 
.890

Prediction: You all got the important stats about this series earlier. BC has got to win this one. If not for any other reason than keeping the boys sharp. Letting your foot off the gas as you head into the postseason has bitten too many teams for BC to make the same mistake. Eagles sweep.

#11/12 Western Michigan vs #3 North Dakota – Fri & Sat, Mar. 1/2

Broncos vs Fighting Hawks

Stats:

22.6 β€“ PP% – 26.1
83.7 – PK% – 80.7
53.6 – FO% – 52.2
1.586 – GF/GA – 1.470
.910 – SV% – .899

Prediction: Nodak could have been lulled into a false sense of security after last weekend. Looking at the stats, they’re outmatched in every category besides the power play. Now, I think there are some other factors to consider, but numbers don’t lie. Western is going to be putting up a fight as they try to steal home ice away from CC. I think Nodak gets stunned on Friday and comes back, putting the hammer down on Saturday.

Northeastern @ UConn – Fri & Sat, Mar. 1/2

Dogfight

Stats:

23.5 β€“ PP% – 12.4
84.4 – PK% – 83.9
55.4 – FO% – 50.3
1.155 – GF/GA – 0.780
.913 – SV% – .906

Prediction: Y’all remember how I said this series was going to be a dogfight a few hundred words ago? I still think that’s true, but maybe for the first two periods of each game. Northeastern is just too deep across the board to give up either. Huskies sweep the Huskies.

Previous Rankings/Reviews

Week 20: College Hockey Rankings, Betting Lines, & Weekend Preview

Week 19: College Hockey Rankings, Betting Lines, & Weekend Preview

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