NHL Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Friday, December 16th
Welcome to VSiN’s NHL Best Bets page. Your source for comprehensive and dynamic hockey betting analysis. Read on for odds, predictions and best bets for December 16th. Follow me on Twitter to stay up to date.
Recap: Thursday was a good day, as the Penguins (EVEN) and Sabres (+160) both cashed on the road. Now, If I could only string together a few more nights like that.
Friday’s Best 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.
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.
Chicago might be the worst offensive team in the league (31st in goals per 60 minutes over the last month) but they are the worst defensive team in the league (dead last in goals against per 60 minutes). The Blackhawks fell 4-1 to the Golden Knights in Vegas on Thursday and will likely suffer a similar fate when they play the Wild in Minnesota on Friday.
There’s no value laying -420 on the home team, though. The Wild will win the game about 79 percent of the time, according to my model, and that means they should be priced around -375. The Blackhawks only have three wins in their last 19 games, and nobody is going to pull one over on the market here. There’s an obvious gap between Chicago and just about every other team in the league, and it’s especially hard to find value betting against them when they’re on the road. I prefer to wait for spots where their home-ice advantage, or lack thereof, is not being accounted for properly.
Last season was such a fun ride, but this season has been anything but and I’m no longer interested in hearing about how the Flames going to turn it around. Calgary’s underlying metrics are mediocre. The Flames outshoot and outplay teams regularly, but they grade out as a below average team (18th) in expected goals and have scored just 51.5 percent of the goals over their last 15 games. The Flames’ offense ranked 24th during that stretch and even though they were a top-10 team on defense, there are still a lot of concerns about the play of goaltenders Jacob Markstrom and Dan Vladar.
St. Louis played a physical game in Edmonton on Thursday, so the Flames will get a boost from that, as well as playing backup goaltender Thomas Greiss, but the Blues’ offense could give the Flames some trouble. My NHL betting model says the Flames will win the game approximately 66 percent of the time, which converts to fair odds of about -195. I’m closer to betting on the road team because the Flames are going to have to improve big time if they’re going to be worthy of carrying such a price tag into a game.
Over the last month, the Coyotes have been the worst team through the lens of expected goals, but they did spend 14 consecutive games on the road. That would be tough for any team, though, let a one of the worst teams in the league, so it’s no wonder the Coyotes grade out so poorly.
New York deserves to be a big favorite on Friday, but the Islanders are a sub-par team themselves and they aren’t a good bet to win. They likely will win, but my model sees them as a -185 favorite and that’s not considering the possibility that Kyle Palmieri and Anthony Beauvillier will play. Both are regarded as game-time decisions. Regardless, I don't like the idea of laying a big price on the Islanders.
Notes: Ilya Sorokin is expected to start for the Islanders. He was in the starter’s crease at practice on Thursday. The Islanders will not hold a morning skate on Friday. Karel Vejmelka will start for the Coyotes.
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