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NHL Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Friday, December 30th
With just four games on Friday, there aren’t very many betting opportunities, but it is an interesting card, nonetheless.
Seattle Kraken -110 (see write up for details)
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.
Update: Shortly after posting my article to Twitter one of my contacts in Edmonton told me that Draisaitl WILL NOT play on Friday and is doubtful to play on Saturday against Winnipeg. Obviously, this information is not verified, but I trust the source enough to act on the information myself. Therefore, I am betting on Seattle to win at -110 or better, but I recommend shopping around because some shops are offering them at plus money.
Bet: Seattle Kraken -110
Previously: If Oilers’ head coach Jay Woodcroft had stated that Leon Draisaitl would be out of the lineup on Friday, betting the Kraken at -110 would be a good deal. Instead, when asked about his star players status for this game, Woodcroft simply said “We’ll see”.
Edmonton plays Winnipeg on Saturday and I’m guessing that Jack Campbell will start against Seattle. Campbell hasn’t started a home game since November 5th (seven games in a row on the road) and I don’t believe the team is planning on starting him against Connor Hellebuyck and the Jets.
Seattle is back to being leaky defensively, and they rank 25th on offense since the start of the month. It’s not a good combination, but if Draisaitl is out of the lineup, and Campbell is between the pipes, I’ll be looking to bet on the Kraken to win the game before the odds move.
Predators’ forward Matt Duchene missed Tuesday’s game to attend the birth of his child, but he was only expected to miss one game and should be available in Anaheim on Friday. This is the first half of a back-to-back for Nashville, who will travel to Vegas on Saturday to play the Golden Knights.
Head coach John Hynes will likely split the games between starting goaltender Juuse Saros and backup Kevin Lankinen, and my guess is that the latter gets the nod versus the Ducks. Anaheim is arguably the worst team in the league, after all. However, given where Nashville is at in the standings, they might just be looking for win.
At the start of the season, Nashville couldn’t keep pucks out of the net, but goaltending and defense sorted itself out, as was expected. Now, the Predators’ offense has dried up, and the team has lost eight of their last 10 games, but a game against the Ducks should help remedy that.
No team has allowed more expected goals per 60 minutes than the Ducks since the start of December and they rank 31st in goals and goals against year-to-date. If Saros is in goal, the Predators will win this game almost 64 percent (-175) of the time, but if Lankinen starts if will nerf any value at -160.
New Jersey has lost eight of nine, but the team has been snake bitten. The Devils have scored two or fewer goals in five of their last seven games even though they ranked as a top-10 team in expected goals. They’ve faced some good defenses and goaltenders recently, though, so it’s not all that surprising that they’ve run into some trouble.
Pittsburgh is a good defensive team, and Tristan Jarry has been one of the best goaltenders in the NHL over the last month and change, but the Penguins could be missing three defensemen on Friday. Jeff Petry isn’t due back for another week, and now Chad Ruhwedel and Kris Letang are regarded as day-to-day.
Assuming Jarry is between the pipes, but Letang and Ruhwedel are both out, the Penguins should be priced around -110. If, however, Letang ends up playing, then the home team should be priced closer to the opening line of -130.
The Penguins are a tough team to figure out, though. For a minute, it looked like they might go on a run, but their play hasn’t been inspiring much confidence recently, ranking 15th in expected goals percentage in all situations since the start of the month. New Jersey gave Boston quite a few scares on Wednesday and if the Penguins aren’t on their toes, it will be a stressful night for their goaltender.
Florida ran over the Canadiens at home on Thursday, but even though they’re icing the best roster that they have in weeks, the Panthers are sizeable underdogs on Friday against the Hurricanes.
The Panthers ranked ninth on offense in the month of December, but their defense ranked 20th and Carolina is the third-best team in both categories. Pyotr Kochetkov has been on fire, too, going 10-4-1 with a .928 save percentage.
Carolina will win the game more than 64 percent of the time, but their win probability converts to odds of around -180 so there is not enough value to bet on them at -175 odds.
Note: Spencer Knight is expected to start in goal for the Panthers. Knight has only played one game (Dec. 19) since December 6th.
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