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NHL Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Monday, December 12th
Recap: Sunday’s best bets split 1-1. The Kraken won 5-2 over the Panthers as a +140 underdog, but the Jets gave most of that back, losing 5-2 to the Caps as a -135 favorite.
Monday’s Bets: There are currently no best bets.
I’m tracking all my plays on Betstamp: a third party bet tracking app. The bets reveal themselves after the games start. I keep my own personal records as well and they may differ slightly from Betstamp due to several factors, but for the most part, it should line up closely.
Wins: 40 Losses: 44 Units Won: -5.34 units ROI: -11.3 percent
All game lines via DraftKings Sportsbook and BetMGM Sportsbook, but I will sometimes use the consensus odds from the VSiN NHL Odds page if it is a better price and widely available. All recommended bets will be accompanied by recommended stake size. All stats via Evolving Hockey and Natural Stat Trick.
It’s still kind of wild to see the Devils listed as the favorite as often as they are, but it’s deserved. The New York Rangers have won three in a row, but I wouldn’t say they’ve turned anything around. New York has been scraping by for a while now, and despite possessing strong underlying metrics earlier in the season, they’ve dropped off quite a bit. New Jersey, meanwhile, has continued to cruise.
The Devils have only lost four games since opening the season with a pair of losses, and remain the best team, next to the Boston Bruins, in expected goals percentage. New York has fallen to 20th in that same category (all situations) over the last month. The Devils should win the game about 54 percent (-120) of the time, but most sportsbooks are list them at -115, so bettors will really have to shop around if they want to find value on the road team.
Note: Vitek Vanecek will start for the Devils. New Jersey will play host to Dallas on Tuesday.
Kris Letang returned to action over the weekend after suffering a stroke less than two weeks ago, and it wasn’t the first time. So, it was shocking to see him back in action so soon. The Penguins are a much better team when Letang is healthy and in the lineup and it’s great to see him back. However, the Penguins might be without the services of Jeff Petry, as the 35-year-old defender was injured a game versus the Sabres and did not practice on Monday morning. The Penguins played back-to-back games versus the Sabres on Friday and Saturday so this will be their third game in four days.
Dallas isn’t rested, though, having only had one day off, and given that the Stars are set to face the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday, there’s a chance Pittsburgh could be facing off against backup goaltender Scott Wedgewood, not Jake Oettinger, who has been the Stars’ MVP. Dallas is good offensively, and Wedgewood has been mostly fine, but their chances of winning will drop significantly if they go with the journeyman. Most shops have the Penguins listed at -130, and that’s close to what I think a fair price should be if Oettinger is in goal. If it’s Wedgewood, though, then -130 turns into a good bet.
Note: Tristan Jarry will start versus the Stars.
Update: Jake Oettinger is in the starter’s crease at practice but has not been confirmed as the starting goaltender.
Calgary lost to Montreal on home ice earlier this month, despite dominating the game. The Canadiens scored a lucky goal (thanks to Jacob Markstrom) 13 seconds into the game and the Flames were never able to take the lead. They should have won, no questions asked, but the team also should’ve defeated the Blue Jackets on Friday and they didn’t show up for that game. Sure, the Flames made the Maple Leafs work for a victory on Saturday, but this team has a lot to figure out, specifically on offense.
The Flames rank just inside the top-10 in shots per 60 minutes, but they rank 22nd in expected goals, and 21st in goals. Their defense is solid, ranking third in shots against and eighth in expected goals against, but their lack of scoring, combined with below average goaltending, is not something that gets me excited. Especially not when the price tag is as high as it is. Montreal is a bad hockey team, and they’re dealing with injuries, but I wouldn’t suggest betting against them at -210. Calgary will likely win the game, but their odds accurately reflect their chances.
Note: Jake Allen will start versus the Flames
Update: Calgary defenseman MacKenzie Weegar is not on the ice for morning skate. The team says he is dealing with an illness. He should be considered doubtful to play on Monday.
Some big news out of Ottawa this morning as sniper Alex DeBrincat and goaltender Cam Talbot will be game-time decisions on Monday. DeBrincat isn’t scoring at his usual pace, but the two-time 40-goal scorer brings a lot of scoring potential to the Ottawa lineup, and his contributions have meant a lot to the team. The Talbot news isn’t as concerning given that backup goaltender Anton Forsberg has been solid this season, but still a concern, nonetheless.
Anaheim will travel to Toronto to play the Maple Leafs on Tuesday, so they have not announced their starting goaltender, but given that John Gibson has been dealing with an illness for the last couple of days, it sounds like Stolarz might get the nod. Either way, the Ducks’ goaltending isn’t good, and they’re the second-worst team in the league on offense. Ottawa should be priced around -235 if DeBrincat can play, but otherwise, their true odds of winning this game should fall within the sportsbooks’ current straddle.
The Oilers have beat up the Wild 5-3 and 5-2 already this month, but both of those games have been in Edmonton. The Wild are 7-7 straight up in Minnesota this season, though, and home teams are only winning 51 percent on average, so it’ll be interesting to see what kind of difference the venue change makes. It'll also be interesting to see if Jack Campbell finally starts a game.
The 30-year-old is now an overpaid backup, having lost his job to 24-year-old Stuart Skinner, who has started the last four games. Campbell has not started since December 1st. I don’t think Skinner is a world beater, by any means, but he is a much better option than Campbell and if the latter is announced as the starter, the Wild’s odds should jump to somewhere around -140.
Note: Marc-Andre Fleury will start for the Wild. Ryan Hartman is working his way back from injury but will not play on Monday.
St. Louis lost a close one to the Avalanche at home on Sunday afternoon, and they don’t have much time to regroup, as they will host the Predators on Monday. Thomas Greiss will start against the Predators, who will Edmonton to face the Oilers on Tuesday, which means it’s difficult to predict which goaltender they will start in St. Louis.
Juuse Saros is the No. 1 guy, but backup Kevin Lankinen continues to impress. Lankinen has a .934 save percentage, but a 3-3 record, which goes to show you just how average the team in front of him is. In fact, the Predators are below average, and even though they’re playing a bad team that’s running on fumes, they shouldn’t be priced any higher than -115.
Note: Blues’ forward Pavel Buchnevich hasn’t played since December 5th but there’s a chance that he will return to the lineup in time to face the Predators.
Update: Buchnevich will not play according to head coach Craig Berube.
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