NHL Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Monday, December 19th


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NHL Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Monday, December 19th

Recap: Sunday’s best bet on the Penguins was close to the finish line, leading 2-1 with about half of a period to go in the game, but the Hurricanes rallied and won the game 3-2.


Monday’s Best Bets: There are currently no best bets but that could change later in the day.

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.

Wins: 44 Losses: 48 Units Won: -5.77 units ROI: -12.1 percent

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.

Florida Panthers (+160) at Boston Bruins (-180)

Aleksander Barkov left Saturday’s game in New Jersey after a crosscheck to the leg from Devils’ forward Nico Hischier and the team has yet updated us on his status. Obviously, if Barkov can’t play, the Bruins’ chances of winning the game will increase significantly, but right now, it’s hard to say what will happen.

There are some other question marks for the Panthers, but none bigger than their captain, Barkov. This is the third meeting between the two teams this season. Each team has a regulation win on their home ice. The road hasn’t typically been kind to the Panthers, though, and they’re 7-10 straight up away from home this season.

Meanwhile, Boston is the best team in hockey and they’re 16-2 at home. Both losses came in extra time, too.

Dallas Stars (-220) at Columbus Blue Jackets (+190)

Dallas has been inconsistent for a while now, having not won more than three games in a row so far this season, and they don’t really have any excuses. The Stars have been relatively healthy, and the team continues to get great goaltending from Jake Oettinger. Even backup Scott Wedgewood has been decent.

One thing you can say about the Stars, though, is that they’ve only lost to good team this season. I mean, outside of losses to the Sharks and Senators earlier this season, Dallas has beat all the teams that they’re supposed to beat, and they should beat Columbus. The Blue Jackets are a bottom-five team in goals and expected goals percentage, and the team does not have any strengths.

Columbus has lost 10 of their last 14 games and ranks among the bottom-five in goals for and goals against over the last month. They’re healthier now than they were during that stretch, but this team is in the hunt for next year’s first overall pick, Connor Bedard, and they’re going to continue to lose often. However, because my model only sees the Stars as a -225 favorite, it doesn’t see them as a value bet.

Detroit Red Wings (+170) at Washington Capitals (-190)

Detroit has lost five in a row, and eight of their last 10, so it’s not surprise that the Capitals are a big favorite on Monday. The current odds are more than fair, though, and unless something unexpected happens, like the return of Tom Wilson and/or Nicklas Backstrom, or goaltender Darcy Kuemper.

Washington has been playing great, ranking as the third-best team in expected goals over the last month, and they’ll likely win the game. But this isn’t an advantageous spot for bettors. My model suggests the Capitals should be priced around -195, so unless the odds move in the road team’s direction, I won’t be able to justify betting on the home team.

Montreal Canadiens (EVEN) at Arizona Coyotes (-120)

I probably haven’t talked about Karel Vejmelka enough this season. The Coyotes goaltender currently sits fifth in GSAx (goals saved above expected) having saved the team about 14 goals in 21 games. He’s the main reason why the Coyotes are the favorite in this game. Arizona has been outperforming expected goals on offense and defense for a while now.

The Coyotes rank dead last in expected goals and shot attempts percentage since November 18th, but they have the second-best shooting percentage (12.9) in the NHL during that stretch and I don’t think that’s sustainable. That’s probably three or four percentage points above where it should be, and there’s no real explanation for their improved offensive efficiency.

Montreal hasn’t scored more than two goals in five games, and they lost four of those games as a result, so they’ll be looking to break out of the slump. Jake Allen is expected to start for the Canadiens, and my model sees them as a +105 underdog. In other words, there’s no value betting on either team at the current odds.

Buffalo Sabres (+160) at Vegas Golden Knights (-180)

Alex Pietrangelo returned to the Vegas lineup on Saturday, but the Golden Knights still ended up losing to the New York Islanders and there are still some big questions about their lineup that have yet to be answered. Shea Theodore and Jack Eichel have yet to return to action, but both are apparently getting close, and now Mark Stone is questionable to play on Monday.

The team is classifying his injury as a ‘stinger’ and hoping that it’s something like what Evgeni Malkin dealt with over the weekend (Malkin left a game and did not return after taking a shot to the leg but he did not miss any additional time). Still, there’s a chance that Stone will need to take a game off. But it’ll be tough to react to any news regarding Stone’s injury if the team doesn’t update us on the status of Eichel and Theodore first.

Buffalo might get one or two injured defenders back in the lineup and that would be a big help because the team is not going to have Owen Power on the blue line. Power has missed the last two games and is listed as day-to-day, but one reporter on Twitter confirmed that he’s not going to play in Vegas.

The Sabres are a team that I’m interested in betting on today but given the uncertainty surrounding the Golden Knights’ three top players, it’s tough to accurately price this game. If Stone, Eichel and Theodore are all out tonight, the Sabres will be a good bet at +160, but I’m not going to guess here because the home team’s chances will increase significantly if I happen to guess wrong.

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