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NHL Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Sunday, December 11th
Recap: I took two steps back on Friday, but took a step forward on Saturday as the Lightning dominated the Panthers and won the game 4-1.
Sunday's Bets: Seattle Kraken +140 (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: 39 Losses: 43 Units Won: -5.39 units ROI: -11.4 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: Seattle Kraken +140
Prior to Saturday’s game against the Lightning, Panthers’ head coach Paul Maurice updated us on the status of sick players, namely, goaltender Spencer Knight. The 21-year-old is apparently making progress, but he was not available to backup Sergei Bobrovsky in Tampa Bay and that doesn’t bode well for his chances of playing on Sunday when the Kraken come to town. Florida defeated the Kraken by a score of 5-1 in Seattle last week, but Knight was between the pipes for that game and the team likely won’t have as much success preventing goals if they’re forced to run with a tired Sergei Bobrovsky or third-string goaltender Alex Lyon.
Seattle is experiencing a bit of an offensive drought, having scored just four goals in their last three games, and they’ve seemed to have reverted to average. Goaltending is a big concern, too, as confidence is low in Philipp Grubauer and Martin Jones has really struggled over the last month. The Kraken grade out among the top-10 offensively through the lens of both shots and expected goals, and they rank among the best teams in terms of suppressing shots, but they’ve allowed at least four goals in six out of their last eight games and if the team can’t continue to outscore their problems, it could get ugly going forward.
There’s a decent team here, though, and the Panthers, while dangerous at times, have a whole lot of holes that could be magnified by Knight’s absence. The Panthers have only scored 50 percent of the goals over the last month. Florida was an elite team in 2021-22, but they aren’t anymore, and at +140 or better, I'm willing to take a chance on the Kraken finding their offense against a team that ranks among the bottom-10 in goals against per 60 minutes. Shop around if you're going to tail. Quite a few shops are offering the road team at +145.
Note: Seattle might be without forward Jaden Schwartz, who missed Friday’s game in Washington due to an upper body injury and is regarded as day-to-day.
Update: Schwartz will play and Martin Jones will start in goal for the Kraken. I'm hoping that he plays the way he did earlier in the season, but I'm expecting the worst.
Bet: Winnipeg Jets -135 Risk: 1.35 units To Win: 1 unit
Winnipeg is playing their third game in four days, and fourth in six, but Connor Hellebuyck is rested and that gives them an advantage over the Capitals, who are likely still going to have to rely on backup goaltender Charlie Lindgren. Many of the Capitals' injured players, including starting goaltender Darcy Kuemper, are nearing a return, but it's unclear if the team will get any of those players back in time for this game. Kuemper and Dmitry Orlov are both currently on the ice for morning skate, but based on the practice lines, it doesn't look like Orlov will play, and given that this is the first time Kuemper has taken the ice, it's unlikely that he will start. I was reluctant to bet on the Jets earlier because of the uncertainty surrounding the Capitals' lineup, but I'm willing to bet on the home team now. The bet just isn't as big as it would have been at -130. Washington has played a lot better lately, and in they are not a team to overlook, but home ice has been kind to the Jets this season, and Hellebuyck has been great. Let's hope that's the case on Sunday.
Val Nichushkin is back in the Avalanche lineup, but the team is still a shell of the one that won the Stanley Cup in 2021-22 and it's incredibly difficult to assess what type of hockey this team will play. Then, on the other side, the Blues could be without (arguably) their best goal scorer, Pavel Buchnevich. The fact that this game is lined as a pick 'em is a reflection of the uncertainty surrounding it. The Blues are bad, but honestly, so are the Avalanche right now, and there are so many unknowns. My model prices the game at -110 in favor of the Avalanche (assuming Buchnevich plays) but, as I mentioned, I don't have a ton of confidence in my ability to assess situations like this. We're dealing with an Avalanche roster that is a lot different from the one we're used to. It also looks like the market is trending toward Colorado already, so even if the Blues do get their best goal scorer back, the market might not move enough on that news to create any betting opportunities for me personally.
Jack Eichel is regarded as day-to-day, and Alex Pietrangelo out, so losing Shea Theodore for a few games isn't something the Golden Knights can afford. Vegas ended Boston's record-setting home win streak last week, but they were outplayed by the Bruins and likely will be again on Sunday. Boston is the best team in hockey, and they're rolling, but unfortunately, the news about Theodore's injury caused an early shift in the odds and now the road team is priced where it should be. Vegas has dropped off a lot in recent weeks, and injuries are once again a big problem for the club. Not to mention, Linus Ullmark will probably be back in goal after getting three days off to rest. It's not a good spot for Vegas, but the market has already done its thing. Boston had already been bet up to -150 at most shops by 5:00 a.m. PT. There is no longer value betting on the Bruins, at least according to my model, which prices them around -155. There's also a chance Eichel will play, and if that happens, Boston steam chasers might have some regret.