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NHL Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Wednesday, December 28th
Recap: Tuesday’s best bet on Pittsburgh picked up some steam and closed strong (-130 to -145) but the Penguins didn’t stand a chance playing as poorly as they did and lost 5-1.
Boston Bruins -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.
Wins: 47 Losses: 49 Units Won: -4.07 units ROI: -8.6 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.
Bet: Boston Bruins -110 Risk: 1.1 units To Win: 1 unit
This is a familiar situation for the Bruins. Boston beat the Devils (in New Jersey) last Friday after playing the night before. I bet on them to win that game at -110 and -115, and I bet on them to do it again on Wednesday. Boston hasn’t lost two games in a row all season and, after losing to in Ottawa on Tuesday, bettors can expect the road team to play with purpose against the Devils.
Boston is the best defensive team in hockey, having only allowed more than three goals in four out of 34 games played, and goaltender Linus Ullmark is rested. The Bruins are among the best teams in the league on offense, too. This won’t be a cake walk, but according to my model, the Bruins should be the favorite.
New Jersey has lost seven of its last eight games and, since the beginning of December, they rank 24th in goals for and 19th in goals against in all situations. The Devils are still a good hockey team, but they’ve been reverting toward mediocrity for a while now and they are missing a couple of key blueliners in John Marino and Ryan Graves. It’s unclear who will start in goal for the Devils, but the Bruins are a good bet at -110.
Note: Shop around if you’re going to tail because some shops are offering better odds.
Brendan Gallagher is expected to skate with his teammates ahead of their game versus the Lightning in Tampa Bay on Wednesday, but he is not ready for a comeback according to Luc Gelinas of RDS. Montreal could really use a player like Gallagher, but either way, they don’t stand much of a chance against the Lightning.
However, this is the first game in six days for the Lightning, who were gifted a longer break than most teams, and it’s also the first half of a back-to-back. So, not only is there a chance that the team will start backup Brian Elliott, there’s also a chance that they’ll be a little rusty. It’s not like the Lightning don’t play well in front of their backup goaltender, though, as Elliott has a 7-2 record on the season so far.
Update: Andrei Vasilevskiy and Jake Allen are the starting goaltenders.
Pittsburgh couldn’t have played worse than they did on Tuesday against the Islanders. It took them most of the game to hit the 20-shot mark and expected goals were 5-2 in favor of New York. Of course, this makes them a good bounce back candidate against the Red Wings, who have lost nine of their last 12 games, but they’re only a good bet if Alex Nedeljkovic starts.
The Penguins won’t have Tristan Jarry in goal, but Detroit plays Buffalo on Thursday and if they’re lucky enough to see Nedeljkovic, they’ll be facing off against a goaltender that has allowed at least four goals in six out of his eight starts this season. My model prices the Penguins around -230 against Nedeljkovic, but if the starting goaltender is Ville Husso, who has saved the Red Wings approximately eight goals above expected so far this season, it is in line with the current odds.
Note: Casey DeSmith is expected to start in goal for the Penguins.
Anaheim is arguably the worst team in the NHL and if there was even a small chance that Jack Eichel, Shea Theodore and Jonathan Marchesseault were going to be in the lineup I would almost blindly bet on Vegas to get a bounce back win on Wednesday. Unfortunately, it only looks like Marchesseault is on track to return to the lineup, as Eichel and Theodore did not make the trip to California.
Vegas fell to the Kings 4-2 in Los Angeles on Tuesday, but they’re 8-4 with backup Adin Hill between the pipes and they’ve gone 14-4 on the road. The Golden Knights should win this game, but if they ice the same lineup that they did on Tuesday, without Marchesseault, their odds of winning the game should be around -190, according to my model.
Note: John Gibson and Anthony Stolarz are both regarded as day-to-day and that means Lukas Dostal is the expected starter for the Ducks.
Update: John Gibson will start for the Ducks.
Calgary once again failed to produce enough offense as they fell to the Oilers 2-1 at home on Tuesday. It was their seventh loss in their last 10 games. The Flames should be able to produce more offense against the Kraken, as only four teams have allowed more goals since the start of December, but they will be tired, and Seattle’s offense is slightly potent.
Calgary is good on defensive, and overall, they’re a well-structured team, but we’re almost at the halfway point of the season and I’m done holding my breath for them to go on a run. They’re not a team that I want to bet against, because they do have good underlying metrics, but they can’t seem to finish, and the sample size is big. If the market wasn’t so high on them, they’d be a team I’d be interested in backing, but I guess they’ll need to lose some more games before their stock will really drop.
Note: Jacob Markstrom is expected to start in goal for the Flames.
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