NHL Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Tuesday, December 6th
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Tuesday’s Bets: New York Islanders -165, Winnipeg Jets EVEN (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.
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: Winnipeg Jets EVEN
Florida is finishing up a five-game road trip. They dropped the first two games in Edmonton and Calgary, but they have wins over the Canucks and Kraken since then. The Jets, meanwhile, have only lost five games in their last 18 (dating back to October 24th) and their 9-3 record at home is the second-best in the NHL. Winnipeg has outscored teams 39-22 at home and they might have a big edge in goal against the Panthers on Tuesday. Sergei Bobrovsky hasn’t played a game since November 29th. Panthers head coach Paul Maurice is returning to Winnipeg for the first time since walking away from the Jets’ head coaching position and it’ll be interesting to see if he continues to ride the hot hand (Spencer Knight) or turns to Sergei Bobrovsky, who hasn’t played since November 29th.
Normally, I’d want to wait and see whether the Jets announce who their starting goaltender is going to be but given that this game will be the first of three in four days for the team, I’m expecting to see Hellebuyck in goal. The Jets have a back-to-back coming up on Thursday and Friday against St. Louis and Chicago, so they will almost certainly start Rittich against either the Blues or the Blackhawks. Assuming Hellebuyck is in goal, the Jets should win the game around 53.5 percent (-115) of the time, and therefore, they’re a good bet at even money.
Notes: Panthers’ star forward Aleksandar Barkov is expected to be out until December 8th. Patric Hornqvist, Radko Gudas, Anton Lundell and Anthony Duclair are also injured. Winnipeg forward Nikolaj Ehlers has been out since early November and will not return until January.
Bet: New York Islanders -165
Islanders’ backup goaltender Semyon Varlamov started the last game for the Islanders and earned a shutout over the Chicago Blackhawks, but I expect to see Ilya Sorokin back between the pipes for New York on Tuesday. The Islanders don’t play again until Friday, and Sorokin has already had three days off. The Islanders already have a 5-2 win over the Blues this season, and in their current form, and the fact that the Blues played on Monday, they’ve got a good chance of beating them again.
St. Louis has allowed five goals or more in six out of their last seven games. They rank as the seventh-worst team on defense over the last month. New York’s offense isn’t all that dangerous, but their defense grades out as the fifth-best in the NHL since November 1st and Sorokin is arguably the best goaltender in the NHL right now. The Blues will likely start backup goaltender Thomas Greiss, and my NHL betting model suggests that their odds should be around +180. Therefore, I’m betting on the Islanders to beat the Blues at -165 or better.
Notes: Ilya Sorokin is expected to start according to reports.
Pittsburgh could be without their three biggest names on Tuesday. The team is already missing defenseman Kris Letang, who is on injured reserve, and now Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are regarded as day-to-day due to illness. Head coach Mike Sullivan did not seem all that concerned, though, as he did not replace them in the Penguin’ practice lines. That bodes well for their chances of playing on Tuesday. Goaltender Casey DeSmith was also sick, so I’m projecting that Tristan Jarry will face off against Elvis Merzlikins, who the Blue Jackets have already confirmed will start in goal.
Since sending goaltender Cal Petersen down to the minors, veteran Jonathan Quick has started every game and I’m left wondering when the team might give backup goaltender Pheonix Copley a start. I think it’s something bettors should be on the lookout for as the team embarks on a six-game trip through the Eastern Conference. On top of Ottawa, the Kings will also visit Toronto, Montreal, Columbus, Buffalo and Boston before returning home later this month.
Notes: Cam Talbot will start for the Senators.
Toronto had its five-game winning streak snapped in Tampa Bay on Saturday and are looking to get back on track after having two days off to reset. The Maple Leafs have been dealing with injuries, specifically on their blue line, but they still managed to score 62 percent of the goals over their last 10 games. Still, I have my concerns about this team's somewhat mediocre peripherals. There's a lot of talent here, but owning 49 percent of the shots and expected goals at even strength is not good.
Dallas looks average lately, too, but they still look like they can go toe-to-toe with the Maple Leafs. Both teams grade out as top-10 teams on offense, and although the Maple Leafs appear to be good defensively (sixth-best goals against over last 10 games) they probably aren't. Dallas ranks among the top-10 teams in shots against, but they're closer to the bottom-10 in expected goals. The home team will have an edge in goal, though, assuming Jake Oettinger is in the crease, and my NHL betting model prices the game at -107 in their favor.
Notes: Matt Murray will start for the Maple Leafs.