NHL best bets and expert picks
It’s one of my favorite days of the year, Thanksgiving Eve. Depending on where you are in life, it could be different, but for me, this is a night where you get to head back to your hometown, see some old friends and reminisce about the old days.
Thanksgiving Eve is always a big party night, and it is no different for the NH tonight, as there are 15 games across the board. For anyone who’s been following the “Lazzy Lay” every Monday, we got absolutely robbed by the Avalanche this week. We were 40 seconds away from hitting a +703 parlay, but we can put that behind us.
Let’s talk about tonight’s action.
There hasn’t been a worse team in November than the Columbus Blue Jackets. They’re 1-7-2 in the 10 games that they’ve played this month, and they have lost their last nine straight contests.
Their opponent is just as desperate to get in the win column as the Chicago Blackhawks have lost four straight games of their own. But the young phenom, Connor Bedard, has been playing his best stretch of hockey. In his last five games, Bedard has scored four goals and tallied four assists, doing whatever he can to help this team win hockey games.
Both teams have been very bad, but the Blackhawks have had much more to be positive about as of late. The Blue Jackets have been dealing with some off-ice drama as Patrik Laine was a healthy scratch in the team’s last game.
The Blue Jackets power play has been a complete disaster. They haven’t converted on the man-advantage in their last seven straight games and are converting at 3.3% this month. In November, Columbus averaged 2.80 goals per game and allowed 3.90 goals against.
Chicago hasn’t been all that bad on the road, skating to a 4-6-0 record as the away team, while Columbus is 3-6-1 on home ice.
Peter Mrazek will be Chicago’s starter, and despite his losing record, he’s actually put up some solid numbers. Mrazek is 4-5-0 with a .915 save percentage and a 2.89 goals against average. Columbus hasn’t announced a starter yet, but Elvis Merzlikins and Spencer Martin haven’t been as good as Mrazek.
I like the Blackhawks in this spot to end their losing streak while extending the streak of the Blue Jackets.
Bet: *2 units Chicago Blackhawks ML +124 (play to +100)
The Vancouver Canucks and the Colorado Avalanche are two of the best offensive teams in the NHL. Five of the top 10 scorers in the entire league are split between the two teams. Quinn Hughes was the first player to hit the 30-point mark in the league this year, which is incredibly impressive as a defenseman. He currently leads the NHL in scoring, while his teammates, JT Miller (29) and Elias Pettersson (28) are third and fifth. Cale Makar (27) and Mikko Rantanen (23) are respectively seventh and tenth, so this game will feature some of the game’s most talented offensive stars.
This month, the Canucks have had the second-best offense, averaging 4.20 goals per game, while the Avalanche are right behind them in third, scoring 4.11 goals each contest. The Canucks power play is the third-best in the NHL, clicking at 31%, while the Avalanche man-advantage has tallied in their last four straight games.
The Avalanche have been a bit of a mess defensively, especially in their last game when they allowed two goals in the final minute as they saw their lead slip away. Their goaltending has been very weak, as Alexandar Georgiev is skating to a .888 save percentage and a 3.08 goals against average.
I think this game will have a ton of offensive firepower, and it should be the most exciting game of the night to watch. I love the over in this one.
Bet: *3 units Over 6.5 -125 (play to -140)
2023-24 record: 37-44-0 (-11.95 units)