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 January 1st. Follow me on Twitter to stay up to date.
NHL Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Sunday, January 1st
Recap: Washington cruised to a 9-2 win and easily covered the puck line, but the Senators couldn’t hold onto their 2-1 lead over the Red Wings and lost the game 4-2, resulting in a small loss to close out 2022.
Carolina Hurricanes -110
Buffalo Sabres +110
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.
Bet: Carolina Hurricanes -110
Carolina has been virtually unstoppable since the end of November, winning 14 of their last 15 games. The Hurricanes come into the New Year having won 10 in a row. What’s most impressive about the streak, however, is that the last four games have been won by backup goaltender Antti Raanta.
Rookie goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov has been Carolina’s MVP this season, but although he hasn’t missed any practice time, head coach Rob Brind ‘Amour had stated that he was not 100 percent prior to the holiday break and, therefore, decided to run with Raanta.
Raanta has shutouts in back-to-back games, but it’s been almost two weeks since Kochetkov was between the pipes and I’m willing to bet that he starts today. The 23-year-old has the best save percentage in the NHL.
The Devils ranked 27th in offense last month, and only four teams have scored more goals than the Hurricanes during that stretch. Carolina ranks first in shot attempt percentage, second in expected goals and goals percentage and no team has allowed fewer goals over the last month.
It’s not going to be easy, as this game will be played at breakneck pace, but the Hurricanes should be priced around -120, and therefore, they’re a decent bet at -110 or better. Shop around.
Bet: Buffalo Sabres +110
If Buffalo’s offense is enough to take down the Bruins in Boston, it’s enough to overcome whatever perceived edge the Senators might have in the crease. No team is scoring more goals than the Sabres and, besides, Craig Anderson has been good this season. In fact, he’s almost been as good as Anton Forsberg has been for the Senators.
The Sabres have won six games in a row and while they did suffer a 4-1 loss in Ottawa earlier this season, it was during the team’s slump in the middle of November. Buffalo has only allowed 15 goals in its last seven games and has not allowed more than three goals in a game since December 9th.
Ottawa has allowed at least three goals in six of their last seven games and their offense has only produced more than three goals in a game three times since the start of December. The Senators rank 23rd on offense year-to-date and, if anything, they’ve been worse in that regard as of late.
My model sees the Sabres as a -105 favorite. Shop around if you're going to tail because some sportsbooks are offering +115 and better.
Follow me on Twitter to stay up to date.