Expert NHL best bets and predictions for Friday, November 24

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NHL best bets and expert picks

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I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving. This is probably going be the hardest article I’ve had to write all season since I am still trying to catch my breath after eating all day yesterday. 

The NHL had a day off for Thanksgiving, but the league is coming back hot with 15 games across the board tonight, starting this afternoon at 1 p.m. ET. 

Let’s start with a Metropolitan Division matchup. 

NY Rangers at Philadelphia (+120, 6)

The Philadelphia Flyers were one of the hottest teams in the NHL over the last few weeks, but their luck ran out in their most recent game with a 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders. 

The Flyers have won five out of their last six contests, clicking very well offensively in that span. Dating back to November 10th, the Flyers are averaging 4.00 goals per game, which is the fourth-most in the league since that day. They’re going up against a very strong New York Rangers team that is coming off of a bounce-back win on Wednesday night. 

The Rangers went into Pittsburgh and shut out the Penguins thanks to a 35-save performance from Jonathan Quick. Igor Shesterkin is likely to start today, but because of that performance from New York, I feel different about their game going into today. 

New York has been very strong on the road all season, skating to an 8-2-1 record as the away team. The Flyers haven’t been very dominant at home, as they’re 5-4-0 on home ice. 

Philadelphia has been overperforming offensively. They’re currently skating to a 3.08 expected goals per 60, but they’re scoring 4.00 goals per game. The Flyers’ offensive success isn’t sustainable and considering that they’re playing a strong defensive-minded Rangers team, that production could struggle today. 

The power play might be the x-factor in today’s game. The Rangers’ power play is currently the third-best in the NHL at 30.9%, while the Flyers are way toward the bottom, skating to 11.3%, which has them at 28th. 

The Rangers have won the last four straight meetings against the Flyers, and I expect them to extend that to five today. 

Bet: New York Rangers to win in regulation +100 (play to -120)

Pittsburgh at Buffalo (-102, 6.5)

The Buffalo Sabres have been on the struggle bus as of late, only winning one of their last five overall games. Despite being shut out in their most recent game, the Pittsburgh Penguins have been one of the better teams in the league as of late. 

Through the month of November, the Penguins are 6-3-0 and have been scoring 3.56 goals per game, which is the seventh-most in the league as opposed to the Sabres, who are scoring 2.70 goals per game in the same span, ranking them at 28th. 

Buffalo’s month of November hasn’t been as successful. They’re skating to a 4-4-2 record, but their offense hasn’t found any consistency without their star forward, Tage Thompson, who is out due to injury. Not only are they scoring less than three goals per game, but the Sabres power play has only clicked at 14.8% this month. 

The Penguins have been the second-best defensive team in the league during the month, only allowing 2.00 goals against per game while skating to the fifth-best penalty kill as well (89.3%). 

Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel have made it very difficult for opposing teams to slow them down offensively. I don’t love the Sabres’ chances in this matchup. 

Bet: *3 Units Pittsburgh Penguins ML -118 (play to -130)

Colorado at Minnesota (+110, 6.5)

Speaking of teams that have struggled in the month of November, there haven’t been many that have been worse than the Minnesota Wild, who are 2-4-2. The Wild enter this game on a five-game losing streak, while the Avalanche have won four of their last five games. 

Colorado’s top players have been on fire in these last five games, but nobody has been hotter than Cale Makar. Makar is currently riding an eight-game point streak in which he has tallied two goals and 16 assists. 

The Avalanche have had the league’s best offense this month, scoring 4.20 goals per game. The Minnesota Wild have been horrendous in their own end, not only at 5-on-5 but also on the penalty kill. Minnesota is allowing the sixth-most goals against this month, giving up 3.88 per game, while their penalty kill has been the second-worst at 63.3%. 

The Wild’s goaltending has struggled this season as well. Both Marc-Andre Fleury and Filip Gustavsson have not played up to par. Fleury is skating to a 3-4-2 record with a .875 save percentage and a 3.46 goals against average. Gustavsson is skating 2-4-2 record with a .882 save percentage and a 4.15 goals against average. 

This is certainly a game that the Colorado Avalanche should win. They’ve been the much better team by far and should be able to take advantage of the struggling Wild. 

Bet: * 3 Units Colorado Avalanche ML -130 (play to -150)

 

2023-24 record: 38-45-0 (-10.95 units)