James's Past Picks
Simply put: The Kraken have looked nothing like the team that made a solid playoff run last season in the early going in 2023. I actually like their chances at snapping their current five-game losing streak tonight, but my strong play is on the game going over 6.5 goals. Seattle goalie Philipp Grubauer has been struggling, and on the other side the Devils have allowed 20 goals over their last five games. Take the over.
The Avs haven't been playing great over the last two weeks, and they will again be without Valeri Nichushkin. All-Star Cale Makar is banged up, but expected to play. Still, they are incredibly difficult to beat on their home ice at Ball Arena, and they have the best first line in the NHL. I like the Avs to win and this game to go over 6 goals.
The Sabres are eventually going to get things right, but it's not going to be against the Bruins on Thursday night. Boston is riding a three-game winning streak and has been playing very sound hockey. The Bruins will keep things rolling here.
Everything stacks up in Edmonton's favor here. The Oilers are hot, and riding a four-game winning streak; they have been off since last Thursday; and the have the best player on the planet in Connor McDavid. I like the Oilers to win their fifth straight in this one.
These teams met on Monday in Las Vegas with the Blues notching a 2-1 overtime win. This 'rematch' will be played in St. Louis, and I like the Knights to bounce back and get a road win on Wednesday night. St. Louis held Vegas to one goal on Monday, and I just don't see that happening again tonight. I expect the Knights to win and this game to go under 6.5 goals.
For me this comes down to Tampa Bay being at home and having Andrei Vasilevskiy in net. Tampa snapped an ugly four-game losing streak with its 4-0 win over Dallas on Monday, and I expect another solid performance on Wednesday night.
Both of these teams have been streaky in the early going in 2023, and I expect this game to be close and hard-fought throughout. I'm giving the edge to Florida at home (even though they've lost three straight games at Amerant Bank Arena), but I think the game will ultimately be decided by one goal, which is why I'm taking the +1.5 here.
The Avs could be without three key players (including All-Star Cale Makar), but they should still cruise to a victory over the Ducks at Ball Arena. The juice is a little high on this one, but I am confident that the Avs are still the more talented team here.
Mahomes has gone over this number in all but three games this season, and he had three carries in two of those games where he went under. With Kansas City's offensive issues, I expect Mahomes to continue to extend plays and rack up carries and rushing yards against Green Bay.
The Packers have played well in their last two games, and had a mini-bye week after playing on Thanksgiving day. That said, I just don't think they have the offensive firepower to score enough points on Kansas City's elite defense to keep this game within six points. The weather will play a factor, and I expect a fairly ugly game, with the Chiefs winning by a touchdown or more on SNF.
Los Angeles has been playing outstanding, and Colorado has been scoring plenty despite their ongoing inconsistent play. The Avs have allowed four goals in back-to-back games, and while the Kings have been playing great on the defensive end, I do expect Colorado to put the puck in the net on Sunday night. I expect 7+ goals in this one.
Both teams are playing outstanding football heading into this game, and I think they each got caught looking ahead to this matchup in their surprisingly close games last week. For me, Georgia is the better team on both sides. I expect a bit of a shootout, with the Bulldogs winning by a touchdown.
I have Georgia winning by a touchdown in this one, but I expect the game to be fairly high-scoring with a point total going into the 60's.
I have the Ducks winning comfortably here (as seen in my other pick for this game), and I think it will be in large part due to an outstanding defensive effort against the Huskies. I don't see this game getting above 60 points.
I jumped on this earlier in the week at -8.5, and I'm still on board with taking it at -9.5. Oregon has been on a mission since their loss to the Huskies in Seattle (where they were clearly the better team in my opinion). Bo Nix can lock up the Heisman and a spot in the CFP in this matchup, and Washington hasn't been playing its best football as of late. I expect a dominant performance from the Ducks on both sides of the ball, with them winning by 2+ touchdowns.