NHL Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Monday, December 5th

December 5, 2022 06:33 AM
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NHL Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Monday, December 5th

Monday’s Bets: Washington Capitals +135 (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.

Wins: 35 Losses: 40 Units Won: -5.64 units ROI: -11.9 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.

Washington Capitals (+135) at Edmonton Oilers (-155)

Bet: Washington Capitals +135 Risk: 0.85 units To Win: 1.15 units

Even if Capitals’ starting goaltender Darcy Kuemper can’t play on Monday, Washington’s chances of beating the Oilers in Edmonton are better than the odds suggest. Kuemper was hurt in Saturday’s loss to the Calgary Flames, but he is still being evaluated and hasn’t been ruled out for this game. Regardless, I’m going with the assumption that backup Charlie Lindgren will get the start. Washington closed around +105 in Seattle last week, and the Oilers aren’t as good as the Kraken right now, so that’s a good indication that the market is already accounting for the possibility that Kuemper will remain out. If that wasn’t the case, this game would be lined closer to a pick ‘em because these two teams, in their current form, are very similar.

Edmonton is better on offense, but that’s about it, and my model estimates that the Capitals should be priced no worse than +125. There’s a chance the market might feel differently if Lindgren is confirmed as the starting goaltender, but I’m comfortable making a smaller than average bet at +135 given that my model sees it as a +EV bet and there’s still a small chance Kuemper will play. Edmonton is a bad defensive team, and Jack Campbell starts in goal, they’ll be worse off at the position than their opponents. Even if Stuart Skinner starts, I’m not all that worried. Skinner is a good goaltender, and he’s the Oilers No. 1 guy, but the Oilers rank among the bottom-10 teams in expected goals against and most of his starts have been underwhelming as of late. Skinner allowed roughly two goals above expected in the month of November.

I’m betting 0.85 units on the Capitals at +135 to win 1.15 units. It’s a good bet, regardless of which goaltender starts for the road team, but it’ll be a banger if Kuemper is healthy enough to start. So much so, that I’ll regret not getting a lot more down. I can’t overexpose myself to Charlie Lindgren, though, so, for now, let’s call it a decent bet with potential.

Notes: Capitals’ defender Dmitry Orlov is nearing a return. The team has not disclosed if he will play on Monday, but defenseman Martin Fehervary will miss the game. Oilers’ forwards Kailer Yamamoto, Warren Foegele and Ryan McLeod could play on Monday, but they are still regarded as day-to-day.

Colorado Avalanche (-210) at Philadelphia Flyers (+195)

Thanks to injuries, the Colorado Avalanche are a shell of the team that won the Stanley Cup in 2021-22. Gabriel Landeskog, Val Nichushkin, Bowen Byram and Evan Rodrigues all suffered injuries in November and are still out of the lineup, and Josh Manson and Arturri Lehkonen were both banged up in Saturday’s loss to the Boston Bruins.

Here's how the Avalanche lineup looks heading into Monday’s game against the Flyers, according to Daily Faceoff:

Forwards

Artturi Lehkonen*

Nathan MacKinnon

Mikko Rantanen

Andrew Cogliano

JT Compher

Logan O’Connor

Alex Galchenyuk

Alex Newhook

Jean-Luc Foudy

Dryden Hunt

Jayson Megna

Anton Blidh

Defense

Devon Toews

Cale Makar

Samuel Girard

Erik Johnson

Jacob Macdonald

Andreas Englund

The blue line is still strong, even without Byram and Manson, and MacKinnon, Rantanen, Makar and Toews can carry a team on their own, but lack of depth in their lineup could be an issue. However, the Avalanche have been playing well, despite the injuries, and losing Manson (and possibly Lehkonen) shouldn’t impact their ability to drive play too much.

It's unclear which goaltender Colorado will choose to start, but according to my model, there isn’t much difference between the two. Both Alex Georgiev and Pavel Francouz have each saved the team approximately two goals above expected. The market seems to be higher on the former, though, and recent benchmarks suggest that there might be a price available later in the day.

Vegas Golden Knights (+150) at Boston Bruins (-170)

Former Bruins’ head coach Bruce Cassidy makes his return to Boston on Monday. He’s already stated that the team will be without defenseman Alex Pietrangelo for at least one more game, and there’s a chance that his star player, Jack Eichel, will miss the game as well. Eichel left Saturday’s game in Detroit in the third period with an apparent lower body injury. I don’t feel comfortable ruling Eichel out, though, given the importance of this game to him and the team.

Cassidy has already said what everyone was thinking: Nobody wants to play in this game more than Eichel. Boston is about 30 minutes from Eichel’s hometown and there will likely be many his friends and family in attendance whether he plays or not. Even if he’s not at 100 percent, he will probably try to play if the team clears him to do so. The Bruins will likely win the game either way, but if Eichel is able to play, they shouldn’t be priced any higher than where they are currently. If Eichel can’t play, however, and Linus Ullmark gets the nod for Boston, the home team should be priced closer to -185.

Boston dominated the Colorado Avalanche at home on Saturday, owning roughly 65 percent of the shots and expected goals, and the Golden Knights have dropped off a lot in the last month. Vegas is still a top team, but there’s clearly a big gap between Boston and just about every other team and injuries to two of the Golden Knights best players could make it even larger.

St. Louis Blues (+145) at New York Rangers (-165)

New York has reverted to being a completely average team that relies on Igor Shesterkin to do the heavy lifting. They graded out 15th in expected goals in November, and their offense ranks among the bottom-third of the league year-to-date. It’s not just on the surface, either. Peripherally, the Rangers have gone from a team that generates a high number of shots and scoring chances to one that doesn’t. It’s not looking good for the Blueshirts.

Fortunately, the Blues have regressed, too. St. Louis followed up an eight-game losing streak with a seven-game winning streak, but they’ve lost five of their last six games. Jordan Binnington’s meltdowns have even gotten on head coach Craig Berube’s nerves, which says a lot about the state of the team. Of course, the Blues are playing the first half of a back-to-back, so there is a chance that Thomas Greiss will start in place of Binnington against the Rangers.

New York’s best hope is that Jordan Kyrou can’t (illness) play and the Blues’ goaltending continues to be atrocious, because they’ve lost six of their last seven games and, need a win badly. Igor Shesterkin will likely start the game, but my model prices the Rangers at around the same as the market (-160) and, but that’s assuming Kyrou is in the lineup. Take away the Blues’ leading scorer, and I’ll consider betting the Rangers in some capacity. The Blues have allowed five goals or more in five out of their last six games.

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