NHL Best Bets
It was very kind of the Colorado Avalanche not to make us sweat through anything last night. I can’t believe how great the value was with how poorly the Los Angeles Kings have been playing. Today is going to be a great Saturday, with 14 different NHL games across the board. Here are my NHL best bets.
The Winnipeg Jets and Toronto Maple Leafs are set to play the latter of a home-and-home series. Toronto took the first game on home ice thanks to an Auston Matthews overtime-winning goal, but tonight the Jets seek revenge.
Winnipeg probably deserved the win in the last meeting, but they couldn’t find a way to beat Ilya Samsonov. That said, things will be different tonight with the teams returning to Winnipeg.
The Jets are 16-6-2 on home ice this season. They are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games. They’ve been defending incredibly well over the course of these 10 games, as they’re only allowing 1.50 goals against per game.
One area where the Jets can exploit the Leafs is on the power play. While the Jets’ power play might not be clicking all that well, going up against the Leafs could be the perfect team to help turn that around. In their last 10 games, Toronto is skating to a 66.7% rate on the penalty kill, while the Jets are only at 13.3% on the man advantage.
Even if Winnipeg isn’t scoring at a rapid rate right now, I trust their defensive side of the puck. The Jets’ penalty kill can also slow down the Leafs’ power, as Winnipeg is clicking at 96.3% on their man down.
Connor Hellebuyck is likely to get the nod in goal today, and he has been money as of late. In his last seven starts, Hellebuyck is 5-2-0 with a 1.57 goals against average and a .946 save percentage.
To me, this is Winnipeg’s game to lose.
NHL Best Bet: Winnipeg Jets ML -130 (play to -140)
The New York Rangers have only won three out of their last eleven games. Things have not gone their way as of late. As much as it hurts me to say this, I don’t think it will get any better for them today, especially since they might potentially be missing Ryan Lindgren, who was hurt in last night’s game, and Jacob Trouba, who has a hearing with the NHL Player Safety today.
The Ottawa Senators have been trending in the right direction, as they’re 4-1-2 in their last seven games. The Senators are coming off of a very strong performance against the Boston Bruins, in which they fell short by the score of 3-2 in overtime.
The last time the Rangers were in Ottawa, the Senators completely dominated them, winning 6-2. In these past seven games, the Senators have been scoring 3.86 goals per game, and Tim Stutzle has been buzzing in his last five games with three goals and four assists.
The Rangers have been struggling mightily when it comes to scoring goals. In their last nine games, they have only scored more than two goals in two of those games. They’ve had difficulty creating second or third opportunities on their scoring chances.
New York is playing the second night of a back-to-back. I like the Senators in this spot.
NHL Best Bet: Ottawa Senators ML -102 (play to -115)
2023-24 record: 80–89 (-28..86 units)