Expert NHL best bets and predictions for Friday, December 1

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NHL best bets and expert picks

There’s no way around it. Last night was one of the unluckiest nights I’ve had in a long time. As a sports bettor, it’s very frustrating when you know the research and facts are there to support a pick, and the game you take is incredibly tight, but you come up short in the end. That happened to me in all three games that I took last night. It’s a terrible feeling. 

 

With that said, I always try to be an accountable guy. I feel like I’m seeing the board well. Things just haven’t been going my way. Luckily, it’s a new month, a fresh start and with there only being two games on the slate tonight, it’s a chance to focus on one game and do everything possible to see a win. As hockey players always say, sometimes you just need to see one go in. That’s what tonight is all about. 

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Ottawa at Columbus (+124, 7)

The Ottawa Senators are coming off of two very rough losses on home ice, allowing five goals against in back-to-back games. However, even though they were getting embarrassed in their most recent game against the Panthers, the Senators didn’t back down. That game ended up having 167 penalty minutes, but it may have fired up this Ottawa team, who still believes that they can accomplish a lot this season. 

Despite struggling to score goals in their last two games, the Senators have been one of the more electric offensive teams in the league this season. They’re scoring 3.47 goals per game, which is the sixth-highest in the league, and their opponent tonight, the Columbus Blue Jackets, are only averaging 2.88 goals each night. 

The Blue Jackets will be playing their fourth game in six nights, while the Senators should be very well rested after having the last three days off to recover from their donnybrook against the Panthers. 

Let’s be clear: these two teams aren’t the league’s hottest right now, but many factors go into why I love Ottawa. 

The rest factor is big in the NHL. Playing four games in six nights is exhausting. It just happened to the best team in the league, the New York Rangers, who had the same scenario happen to them when they dropped a 5-1 loss at home against the Sabres on Monday night. 

Ottawa also has more pressure to win this game. Things haven’t gone their way this season, but this very young and hungry group wants to succeed. 

Neither team has great goaltending. We should see Joonas Korpisalo up against Elvis Merzlikins. Korpisalo has a .902 save percentage and a 3.34 goals against average, while Merzlikins has a .907 save percentage with a 3.11 goals against average. 

Ottawa’s offense is much stronger. They’re going to be more desperate and well-rested. 

I like the Senators. 

Bet: *3 units Ottawa Senators to win in regulation +100 (play to -110)

 

2023-24 record: 42-52-0 (-21.27 units)