Welcome to VSiN’s NHL Bets page. Your source for comprehensive and dynamic hockey betting analysis. Read on for odds, predictions and best bets for December 13th. Follow me on Twitter to stay up to date.
NHL Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Tuesday, December 13th
Tuesday’s Bets: Nashville Predators +115, Winnipeg Jets -130, Washington Capitals (-1.5) +125 (see write up for details and bet amounts)
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: 40 Losses: 44 Units Won: -5.34 units ROI: -11.3 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: Nashville Predators +115
1 unit To Win:
The Oilers were in action in Minnesota on Monday, while the Predators were in St. Louis, but even though both teams are tired after travelling to Nashville for this game, the Predators have something that the Oilers don’t: A good backup goaltender. Kevin Lankinen has been great (maybe better than Saros) this season, and while he’s punching above his weight class (.934 save percentage) he’s played well enough that I am confident that the Predators have a big advantage in goal if the Oilers start Jack Campbell.
Nashville has scored two or fewer goals in nine out of their last 14 games, and they’ve lost three in a row after scoring just four goals combined against the Lightning, Senators and the Blues, who they were shutout by on Monday. But getting to face off against a sub-par defensive team like the Oilers and a goaltender like Campbell, gives the Predators an opportunity to get right and score some goals. Campbell hasn’t played since December 1st and he grades out as one of the worst goaltenders in the league.
The Oilers are a better team than the Predators, and Edmonton’s special teams could give the Predators some trouble, but the gap between them isn’t as big as the odds suggests. Nashville shouldn’t be priced where they currently are. If the starting goaltenders are Lankinen and Campbell, the game odds should resemble a coinflip. Therefore, I’m betting the to beat the Oilers at Predators at +115. Shop around, though, as some shops are offering better odds.
Bet: Washington Capitals (-1.5) +125
0.5 units To Win:
Chicago has only won three of its past 20 games and the team hasn’t won at home in over a month. The Capitals, meanwhile, have rattled off four wins in a row and, over the last month, they rank among the top-five teams in expected goals percentage. I feel sort of vindicated because I thought Washington would be a good team this season and they’re starting to show that they will be once they’re healthy. They aren’t there yet, but defenseman Dmitry Orlov is back, and Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson are currently travelling and practicing with the team, so they’re close.
Goaltender Darcy Kuemper is on injured reserve, but backup Charlie Lindgren has held things down and then some. Lindgren was named the NHL’s first start of the week after going 4-0 and posting a .949 save percentage. However, there’s a chance that Hunter Shepard will make his first ever NHL start. Shepard was called up to play backup while Lindgren took over the starting position, but the latter has been playing every other day since the start of the month and the Capitals don’t really have any breaks in the schedule.
Chicago is the worst offensive team in the league, and they’ve scored just one goal in their last three games, so it would be a good spot to start the rookie. But, according to my friends in the Washington media expect to see Lindgren in goal. Blackhawks’ starter Petr Mrazek will be back in the crease after missing the last several games due to injury, but that’s not necessarily a good thing, though. Mrazek hasn’t been good this season and has allowed approximately seven goals above expected. Washington should be priced closer to -240.
I’m betting on the Capitals to cover the puck line at +125, but I’m scaling my bet size back a bit because of the uncertainty surrounding which goaltender Washington will start against the Blackhawks.
Note: Andreas Anthanasiou, one of Chicago’s only serviceable forwards, is expected to miss the game due to personal reasons.
Bet: Winnipeg Jets -130
1.3 units To Win:
Not that it would have made much difference in how the Jets played on Saturday, but I wouldn’t have bet on them to beat the Capitals if reports on the latter’s lineup had been accurate. Dmitry Orlov is an impact player and if I had thought he was going to play, it would’ve changed my handicap. But, like I said, it didn’t really matter. The Jets did not play well, and they were never really in the game to begin with.
I’d like to think they will bounce back on Tuesday, though, as Vegas is not only missing their best player, Jack Eichel, but they’re also without three of their top blue liners: Shea Theodore, Alex Pietrangelo and Zach Whitecloud. The Jets should be able to pressure the Golden Knights in certain areas, considering their three best right-shot defenders are out of the lineup. The Golden Knights have scored just 45 percent of the goals over the last month, and while they have managed to score more on the road than on in Vegas, the Jets have been one of the league’s best home teams.
This will be the Jets’ fourth game in six days, but goaltender Connor Hellebuyck had three days off prior to his last start, which did not go well, and he should be relatively fresh for Vegas. Winnipeg has been a top-10 team in both goals and expected goals for a while now, and Hellebuyck is one of the most reliable goaltenders in hockey. The Jets have not lost back-to-back games in well over a month, and my NHL betting model sees the Jets improving their record in Winnipeg to 11-4 about 59 percent of the time. That converts to fair odds of around -145, and therefore, I can justify betting on the Jets to beat the Golden Knights at -130.
The Bruins are back in Boston after a successful three-game road trip but they might be without David Krejci, who missed Sunday’s game in Vegas due to injury. Tuesday’s game against the Islanders is the first of five straight games at home for the Bruins, and judging by their opponents, their winning ways should continue. However, as far as today’s game goes, although they will likely beat the Islanders, the betting market has priced this game accurately. Boston’s chances’ of winning this game will improve if Krejci is able to play, but that could be cancelled out if Jeremy Swayman starts instead of Linus Ullmark.
New York is a tough team to figure out, but they’ve barely been breaking even for a while now and even having strong goaltending, they’re nowhere near as good on defense as the Bruins are. Boston ranks fourth in goals and first in goals against over the last month, so even if the Islanders throw everything they have at the Bruins (and get great goaltending from Sorokin) it likely won’t be enough. My NHL betting model sees the Bruins as a -225 favorite, but as I mentioned, their odds could fluctuate based how strong their lineup is and which goaltender is guarding the cage.
Update: It looks like Krejci will play, and Semyon Varlamov, not Sorokin, will start in goal for the Islanders. The Bruins still have not announced a starting goaltender, though. I will retweet any news related to that.
Casuals might look at the Hurricanes and wonder how on earth they can be priced at -150 against the Red Wings, but that’s because their best player, Sebastian Aho, is expected to be out. Carolina doesn’t have any other star players, so losing Aho hurts their chances of winning a given game a lot. The Hurricanes are one of the toughest teams to play against, as they rank third in expected goals percentage over the last month, but they’re a below average offensive team and Aho is one of only three players that has put up at least 10 goals and has scored more than a point per game. Carolina should be priced around -140 if Pyotr Kochetkov is in goal.
Note: Ville Husso will start for the Red Wings.
Drew Doughty was a late scratch for the Kings on Sunday in Columbus, and it’s unclear whether he will play on Tuesday in Buffalo. The team called up players from the American Hockey League as insurance if Doughty doesn’t play. It doesn’t look like Viktor Arvidsson will be in the lineup, though, and that’s a big blow to the team’s offense. The Kings have two games left on this road trip.
Buffalo isn’t a good hockey team, but they’re not a bad one anymore. The Sabres have character, which is something they haven’t had for years, and their offensive attack is one of the best in the league. Their defense isn’t good, but the Kings goaltending has been bad enough that they don’t rank all that much higher than Buffalo as far as preventing goals. The Sabres don’t allow a lot of shots, they just allow good shots, and that’s why the biggest reason they allow so many goals.
Los Angeles is the superior team, but if Doughty is out along with Arvidsson, Buffalo should be priced as a small favorite.
Both Dallas and New Jersey were in action on the road on Monday, and both came away as losers. Dallas lost a low-scoring game in Pittsburgh, while the Devils blew a 2-0 lead (and a 3-2 lead) and fell 4-3 in overtime to the Rangers. It was only New Jersey’s seventh loss of the season, and it was the first time that the team lost two games in a row since they lost back-to-back games to open the season.
Scott Wedgewood and Akira Schmid are expected to start in goal for their respective clubs on Tuesday. Wedgewood hasn’t been bad. In fact, he’s provided the Stars with mostly average goaltending, but Schmid has been great for the Devils in limited action. He’s saved the team almost six goals above expected, but he's played fewer than 300 minutes (parts of six games) and he’s still a bit of a wild card. The Stars are a good hockey team, but they don’t dominate teams the way the Devils do, and that’s why my model prices this game around -145 in favor of the home team.
Follow me on Twitter to stay up to date.