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NHL best bets
NHL best bets

Wednesday features a seven-game schedule in the National Hockey League, including some competitive matchups. Read on as we offer up our best bets and top NHL picks.

While the Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalanche would normally be an intriguing matchup, a brutal run of injuries to the Avs would seem to make that game less appealing.

Instead, the most compelling matchup between contending teams on Wednesday’s docket has the Minnesota Wild, winners of four straight, visiting the Calgary Flames.

Here are our best bets for Wednesday’s NHL slate (odds via DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, Caesars, BetMGM, and PointsBet; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Wednesday’s NHL Schedule and Odds

(odds via Caesars)

  • Washington Capitals (-140) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (+118)
  • Buffalo Sabres (-170) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (+143)
  • Minnesota Wild (+130) vs. Calgary Flames (-155)
  • Boston Bruins (-178) vs. Colorado Avalanche (+150)
  • Arizona Coyotes (+235) vs. Edmonton Oilers (-292)
  • New York Rangers (+130) vs. Vegas Golden Knights (-155)
  • Vancouver Canucks (-120) vs. San Jose Sharks (+100)

Wednesday’s NHL Best Bets

  • Moneyline: Bruins (-175 via DraftKings Sportsbook)
  • Total: Blue Jackets-Sabres Over 6.5 (-130 via Caesars Sportsbook)
  • Upset: Wild (+130 via Caesars Sportsbook)
  • Prop bet: Logan Couture Over 0.5 Goals (+230 via DraftKings Sportsbook)

NHL Top Picks for Wednesday

Moneyline: Bruins (-175) ★★★★★

Normally, NHL fans would consider themselves blessed to watch a matchup between the defending Stanley Cup champions and the team with the best record in the league.

But while the Colorado Avalanche are still proudly flying that flag, Wednesday's roster bears little resemblance to the team that rolled its way to the title last summer.

The Avalanche are missing five of their top six forwards (Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, Valeri Nichushkin, Artturi Lehkonen, and Evan Rodrigues) along with a pair of solid defensemen (Bowen Byram and Josh Manson). It's no surprise, then that Colorado comes into this one having lost two in a row while being outscored 10-4 in the process.

Boston, meanwhile, has a 20-3-1 record and ranks fourth in the league with 55.9% of five-on-five score-and-venue-adjusted expected goals. Equally as important, the Bruins enter with zero impact injuries – making this an even more daunting assignment for Colorado.

DraftKings has the Bruins to win priced at -175, very slightly better than the rest of the top sportsbooks, which range from -175 to -180.

Total: Sabres-Blue Jackets Over 6.5 (-130) ★★★★

Tuesday’s 4-1 loss to Pittsburgh was the sixth straight game in which the Columbus Blue Jackets finished with a total of six goals or fewer. Nevertheless, the Blue Jackets have allowed 3.92 goals against per 60 minutes, the second-highest rate in the league.

The Buffalo Sabres have skewed heavily toward higher scoring games, hitting a total of seven goals or more in seven of the past eight games. The Sabres are averaging a total of 7.44 goals (for plus against) per 60 minutes, the highest rate in the NHL.

Caesars and DraftKings are offering a total of 6.5, priced at -130 for the Over, which is slightly better than PointsBet (-131) and BetMGM (-133). FanDuel has moved the total to 7, at +106 for the Over and -132 for the Under; I'm not as confident we'll see eight or more goals in this one, but the O6.5 feels like a strong option.

Upset: Wild (+130) ★★★★

The red-hot Minnesota Wild have a 6-3-1 road record and have controlled 51.7% of five-on-five score-and-venue-adjusted expected goals, so they do have above-average underlying numbers.

The Calgary Flames, meanwhile, rank eighth in the NHL with 53.3% of five-on-five score-and-venue-adjusted expected goals. They also have a 9-5-1 record on home ice, but the Flames have allowed as many goals as they have scored, so they are generally underachieving. That makes them at least a little vulnerable against the Wild.

Most of the top sportsbooks have the Wild priced at +130 on the moneyline. FanDuel is not quite as appealing, with the Wild priced at +126.

Prop bet: Logan Couture Over 0.5 goals (+230) ★★★★

You've heard of haute couture – but did you know about hot Couture?

The San Jose Sharks captain has scored 13 goals in 28 games, scoring at least one goal in six of 14 home games. And Wednesday, he gets the benefit of facing a Vancouver Canucks team that is not only shaky defensively but also is suspect in goal.

The Canucks have allowed 32.5 shots against per 60 minutes, the sixth-highest rate in the league. They also have the fifth-highest rate of expected goals against and fourth-highest rate of actual goals against per 60 minutes.

With Thatcher Demko injured, Spencer Martin is likely to start in goal for Vancouver. He has a dismal .892 save percentage in 12 games and was pulled from his last start Monday vs. Montreal after allowing four goals on nine shots.

DraftKings has a Couture anytime goal priced at +230, which is slightly better than BetMGM at +225. FanDuel (+198) and Caesars (+200) are not quite so generous.

Where to Bet on NHL Picks

Here are our top-rated sportsbooks:

NHL odds and best bets from 12/7/2022 at 11:00 a.m. ET.