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NHL Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Sunday, December 4th
Recap: Neither of Saturday’s best bets hit. The Sharks held a 2-1 lead early, but they would allow four unanswered goals and lose 5-2 to the Senators, while the Kraken were blown out by the Panthers 5-1. I’m currently on a brutal 11-18 run that dates back to November 10th.
Sunday's Bets: There are currently no bets for Sunday.
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.
Dallas has had two days off since its 5-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks, while the Wild are coming of 5-4 overtime win over the Ducks on Saturday. The Stars’ play dropped off in the month of November, with the team ranking 22nd in even strength expected goals percentage, but even though the Wild have improved (12th in expected goals percentage last month) they are not in a good position to win this game.
Dallas has a big edge in goal with Jake Oettinger expected to start against Marc-Andre Fleury. The former has a .923 save percentage and has saved his team more than 10 goals above expected, while the latter has cost his team about five goals above expected. Both teams rank among the top-10 teams in expected goals against over their last 10 games, but while only one team allowed fewer goals than Dallas did during that time, the Wild allowed more goals than all but two teams.
Dallas is rested and they are better on offense, defense and in goal, which means they’ll likely win the game. However, my model prices the Stars around -150, and that’s where most shops have their line set at currently.
After starting backup goaltender David Rittich and losing 4-1 to the Columbus Blue Jackets on home ice, one would think the Winnipeg Jets will be geared up to play the Anaheim Ducks. After all, Connor Hellebuyck will likely return to the crease, and the Jets haven’t lost back-to-back games in well over a month. The Ducks are a bad hockey team that only has three wins in their last 15 games and six wins on the season. They’ll be tired, and my NHL betting model estimates that Winnipeg will win the game almost 76 percent (-315) of the time.
Detroit has been playing good hockey as of late, but they’ve been streaky in terms of wins and losses. The Red Wings started November by winning three in a row, then they lost four in a row. They got back on track with four straight wins, but the team has now lost their last three. Detroit should be able to beat Columbus, but they’re playing tired and backup goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic will likely get the start.
Columbus has only had one day off, but Patrik Laine is back in the lineup (he scored two goals in his return) and starting goaltender Elvis Merzlikins should be back in the crease on Sunday. Of course, there’s no telling what kind of goaltending Merzlikins will provide. He’s coming off a hip injury, and he’s one of the few goaltenders that has played worse than Nedeljkovic.
Head coach Brad Larsen said that his lineup will stay the same, though, so that means Joonas Korpisalo could get the start. He’s been decent this season in a small sample, which might mean he’s their best option right now, but the Red Wings still should be a small favorite.
San Jose doesn’t look like a terrible hockey team statistically, but the losses continue to pile up. There was some hope that starting goaltender James Reimer would return to the crease on Sunday in Buffalo, but according to head coach David Quinn, Reimer has suffered a setback and will need more time to recover from injury. We’ll likely see Aaron Dell in goal for the Sharks against the Sabres, and as a result, San Jose’s odds of picking up a win are worse off than they would have been with Reimer of Kakhonen in the net.
I don’t think the Sabres are a good bet here, though. They’re bad defensively, and while they do score goals at an above average rate, their style of play has resulted in them ranking among the bottom-five teams in expected goals against. My model estimates that Buffalo will win the game about 58 percent of the time (-140) with Craig Anderson expected to start in goal. Buffalo is the better team, but I’m not going to lay -155 on them given their current form. San Jose is a bottom-10 team on defense, but no team allowed more goals (per 60 minutes) in the month of November than the Sabres.
Chicago ended an eight-game losing streak with a 5-2 win over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, but their starting goaltender, Petr Mrazek, had to leave the game due to injury. Backup Arvid Soderblom was forced to enter the game in the third period and the 23-year-old is expected to start against the Islanders on Sunday at UBS Arena. This should be an easy win for the Islanders, but it still matters who will start in goal for the team. The Islanders should have beat Nashville on Friday, but Ilya Sorokin was outplayed by Kevin Lankinen. I have no concerns about Sorokin, but I do expect Semyon Varlamov will get one of the next two starts.
Varlamov has been good once again this season, but Sorokin is elite, and the Islanders chances of winning a given game are much better when he is in the crease. My model suggests that this game is priced appropriately if Varlamov is announced as the starter, but there would be some value on the Islanders if Sorokin ends up getting the nod. Of course, that value is going to be attached to chalk, and betting -300 favorites isn’t fun. I could bet on them to cover the puck line, but they empirical data suggests they aren’t a good bet to do that on most nights. Even against a team like Chicago. I mean, the last time these two teams met, Sorokin was in goal and the Islanders scored an empty net goal in the final second of the game to cover the -1.5 goal spread.
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