NHL betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Saturday 1/1

January 1, 2022 10:02 AM

Welcome to the daily NHL betting market report, your source for comprehensive and dynamic hockey betting analysis. This page will be updated throughout the day as needed. Be on the lookout for our best player prop bets powered by Range Hockey’s Puck Propagator.

All game lines via VSiN NHL Odds Page

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Market Report Recap for Friday, Dec. 31st

Early Bets: The Capitals got off to a slow start in Detroit, but Alexander Ovechkin came through in the clutch, scoring two late goals (one into an empty net) and the Capitals won the game 3-1. Great closing line value on this one, as I bet -145 up to -155, and the game closed around -185. A little too much of a sweat for my liking, but I was very happy to win my biggest bet of the day.

Late Adds: More closing line value here. However, the Ducks played one of their worst games of the season. The final score was 3-1, but the margin felt wider. Vegas was very shorthanded, as were the Ducks, but even at a big price, it only took about 15 minutes for me to regret jumping on the Ducks moneyline because it was clear that they were not in the game from the start. Luckily, this was a smaller, half-size bet, and it was still a profitable day overall.

Game Lines:

52-46, + 2.18 units, 2.3 percent ROI, Avg. Odds -108

Player Props: 

107-101, -6.15 units, -2.48 percent ROI, Avg. Odds -108

Market Report for Saturday, Jan. 1st

Happy New Year.

There’s a lot of hockey on today, including the 2022 Winter Classic, which will be played under the lights at Target Field this evening when the Wild host the Blues. In total, there are nine games to get into. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like I’ll have much action today, as game lines seem to be on the sharp side today. Maybe something will shake out,

Let’s look at things from a betting perspective:

Buffalo Sabres (+ 270) at Boston Bruins (-330)

This is the Bruins first game back since the break. The Sabres have already played twice. Jeff Skinner returned to practice on Friday, but Dylan Cozens did not. Colin Miller also missed practice. Boston is at full strength, with only one player on the injured list, and according to my model, the game is being priced appropriately by the betting market. Boston will likely win the game, but the Sabres continue to keep games close. Linus Ullmark will start in goal for the Bruins, and according to my model, Boston should be priced around -325, assuming Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen gets the start for the Sabres.

Montreal Canadiens (+ 400) at Florida Panthers (-500)

Carolina closed around -425 a couple of days ago when they hosted the Canadiens, and that was before Brendan Gallagher was injured. The Panthers should be priced at -490 according to my model, and the line will probably in their direction throughout the day. You can lay five dollars to win one on the moneyline, or two dollars to win one on the puck line. I don’t think either of those are value bets, even though they are both very likely to hit.

Carolina Hurricanes (-175) at Columbus Blue Jackets (+ 155)

Frederik Andersen could be back between the pipes for the Hurricanes on Saturday, but it could be Antti Raanta. According to my model, Carolina should be priced around -180 if Andersen starts for the Hurricanes, and Elvis Merzlikins is in goal for the Blue Jackets. Oliver Bjorkstrand is still out for Columbus, but Patrik Laine and Boone Jenner are back. Merzlikins hasn’t been good this year, but he hasn’t been bad either. Carolina is the superior team, and I would lay the favorite at a reduced price, if the market trends in that direction. The Hurricanes are one of the best defensive teams in the league, allowing the fewest goals, shots and shot attempts per 60 minutes league wide. However, both the Blue Jackets and the Hurricanes are above average teams on offense, and the Blue Jackets allow over three goals per 60 minutes.

Merzlikins hasn’t been good this year, but he hasn’t been bad either. He’s still a better option than Joonas Korpisalo, though. Korpisalo cleared COVID protocol today, and he’ll be available for the game. If he starts, I will make a small bet on the game going over the total, if the price is right. I might even lay the favorite if Andersen and Korpisalo are the starting goaltenders, but the price has moved quite a bit already due to speculation, so it might have been a missed opportunity.

Update: Raanta and Danill Tarasov will be the starting goaltenders.


Over 6 -105 (half size)

Chicago Blackhawks (+ 170) at Nashville Predators (-190)

This line started to move in Nashville’s direction overnight, because even though they don’t have Roman Josi, Juuse Saros is rested, and the Blackhawks are starting Collin Delia in goal. However, the game line blew up this morning, moving from -170 to -190, and I think that’s a little too high. According to my model, the Predators should be priced around -175, which means I’m closer to betting on the Blackhawks than I am the Predators, but it’s not very likely that I end up with a bet on either side. The Predators are a good hockey team thanks to the resurgence of Matt Duchene, Mikael Granlund and Ryan Johansen. However, without Josi in the lineup, I can’t price them as high as the market is.

Edmonton Oilers (-105) at New York Islanders (-115)

Some will say the Oilers are playing as if they want to get their head coach fired, or at least it seems that way from the outside. The team has lost eight games in a row with Dave Tippett at the helm and their last two wins came while he was in COVID protocol. The effort seemed to be there on Friday in New Jersey, but when it was all said and done, the Devils were the better team and the Oilers lost in overtime. Edmonton is not good defensively, and the team’s forward group doesn’t appear to be as strong as predicted. There’s also a chance that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will be out on Saturday after he left Friday’s game with an injury. Mike Smith hasn’t been good since returning, and Mikko Koskinen will likely get the start today since Stuart Skinner was assigned to the taxi squad. The Oilers are in a bad spot, and the Islanders might be back at full strength by the time the puck drops. According to my model, the Islanders should be priced around -115 if Brock Nelson is in the lineup, but he is not expected to play, which means my estimated line falls somewhere around the mid-point price at most sportsbooks.

Ottawa Senators (+ 250) at Toronto Maple Leafs (-300)

Ottawa forward Josh Norris was placed in COVID protocol, which means the Senators will be without one of their top scorers, and there’s a chance that Mitch Marner could be back in the lineup for the Maple Leafs, but I’m not going to bank on that. This is the first game back for both teams, and there will be no fans in attendance due to restrictions put in place by the local government. According to my model, the Leafs should be priced close to -300, assuming Marner does not play. I really don’t have a lot of interest in this game from a betting perspective, but that could change if Marner returns or there are any more changes to the Senators’ lineup.

Update: Marner will return to the Leafs' lineup, and Ottawa forward Nick Paul has been placed into COVID protocol. Jack Campbell is expected to start for the Maple Leafs. I've placed a small, half-size bet on the Maple Leafs to cover the -1.5 puck line at -125.


Toronto Maple Leafs Puck Line -1.5, -125 (half size)

St. Louis Blues (+ 100) at Minnesota Wild (-120)

Although the Winter Classic is in Minnesota, I would classify it as a neutral site game. The home team has won 11 of the last 13 outdoor games, but there is little evidence to suggest that there is a home-ice advantage when playing in these conditions. There have been 32 outdoor games since 2003 and the home team has won 14 of them. This also might be the coldest outdoor game on record, as the temperature is expected to be below zero at puck drop. The home team is in a tough spot, too, with Jared Spurgeon and Joel Eriksson Ek injured, and Jonas Brodin in COVID protocol. As a result, I’ve priced this game around -105 in favor of the Blues. St. Louis might get Brayden Schenn back, though, and that would push my line north of -110.

Note: Teams have averaged six goals in outdoor games, and sportsbooks don’t believe the cold weather will stop these teams from getting close to that mark, as the total is set at six and is shaded slightly to the under.

Vancouver Canucks (-115) at Seattle Kraken (-105)

Vancouver is playing their third game in four nights after travelling through California. The Kraken are also playing their third game in four nights after hosting the Flyers and Flames on back-to-back nights. Both teams are missing key players as Vancouver forward Brock Boeser is in COVID protocol and Seattle forward Jaden Schwartz has an upper-body injury. According to my model, the Canucks should be priced around -115, which means there's not value in laying the favorite, and there's no value in taking the dog.

Philadelphia Flyers (+ 135) at Los Angeles Kings (-155)

Sean Couturier and Carter Hart are in COVID protocol, which leaves two big holes in the Flyers’ lineup, while the Kings are at full strength after getting Philipp Danault back and snapping Vancouver’s win streak. Martin Jones and Jonathan Quick will start in goal for their respective teams. The Kings are a tough team to gauge, as there haven't been that many stretches where they had a healthy lineup. However, as things stand now, my model prices the Kings as a -160 favorite, and therefore, I likely won't end up taking a position on either side unless the line moves in the road team's direction.

Bet Summary

Early Bets:

Hurricanes – Blue Jackets Over 6 -105 (half size)

Toronto Maple Leafs Puck Line -1.5, -125 (half size)

Late Adds:

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