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NHL best bets
NHL best bets

Thursday brings five games to the ice in the National Hockey League, and it is a relatively competitive slate. Read on as we offer up our best bets and top NHL picks.

Of the 10 teams hitting the ice Thursday, the Ottawa Senators are the only team more than three points out of a playoff spot.

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

Check out our Kings vs. Maple Leafs picks!

Thursday’s NHL Schedule and Odds

(odds via DraftKings)

  • Los Angeles Kings (+150) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (-175)
  • Nashville Predators (+175) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (-205)
  • Detroit Red Wings (+175) vs. Florida Panthers (-205)
  • Winnipeg Jets (-115) vs. St. Louis Blues (-105)
  • Ottawa Senators (+155) vs. Dallas Stars (-180)

Thursday’s NHL Best Bets

  • Moneyline: Jets (-115 via DraftKings Sportsbook)
  • Spread: Kings +1.5 (-162 via FanDuel Sportsbook)
  • Upset: Red Wings (+170 via DraftKings Sportsbook)
  • Prop bet: Jason Robertson Over 0.5 Goals (+104 via FanDuel Sportsbook)

NHL Top Picks for Thursday

Moneyline: Jets (-115) ★★★★

Leading the Central Division, the Winnipeg Jets have, as usual, been leaning heavily on goaltender Connor Hellebuyck. The Jets are controlling just 48.1% of five-on-five score-and-venue-adjusted expected goals, which ranks 23rd, one spot behind the Blues.

Hellebuyck has 18.52 Goals Saved Above Expected, best among goaltenders. It stands in stark contrast to Blues counterpart Jordan Binnington, who has -9.48 Goals Saved Above Expected. These are two teams of similar quality, but diverge significantly at the most important position.

The Jets are consistently priced at -115 on the moneyline at all of the top sportsbooks.  

Spread: Kings +1.5 (-162) ★★★★

Not only have the Toronto Maple Leafs managed to avoid a regulation loss in the past 12 games, six of their nine wins have been by a margin of two or more goals. However, Toronto has covered the 1.5-goal puckline just three times In 13 home games.

The Los Angeles Kings have a 7-5-2 record on the road and have lost by more than one goal in just three of those 14 games.

Both the Kings and Maple Leafs are pulling 52.7% of five-on-five score-and-venue-adjusted expected goals, so they are generally teams of similar value, though Toronto has had better goaltending.

Most top sportsbooks have the Kings +1.5 (-165), but FanDuel is offering the Kings at a slightly more appealing +1.5 (-162).

Upset: Red Wings (+170) ★★★★

With back-to-back wins to start their four-game road trip, the Detroit Red Wings have been outperforming their underlying numbers. Even though Detroit has a 6-3-2 record in 11 road games, it has managed 44.9% of five-on-five score-and-venue-adjusted expected goals in those games.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Florida Panthers are controlling 55.8% of five-on-five score-and-venue-adjusted expected goals on the way to a 6-2-3 home record.

Florida’s vulnerability is based on the Panthers missing No. 1 center Aleksander Barkov, who has been out for the past six games due to pneumonia. The Panthers are just 2-2-2 in those outings.

DraftKings and Caesars has the underdog Red Wings priced at +175, which is a little longer than FanDuel (+172), PointsBet (+170), and BetMGM (+165).

Prop bet: Jason Robertson Over 0.5 goals (+104) ★★★★★

Dallas Stars left winger Jason Robertson was an under-the-radar sniper coming into the season.

Not anymore.

Robertson has tallied 15 goals in 13 home games this season, recording at least one goal in 10 of those 13 games. His current hot streak has vaulted Robertson into second place in the NHL goal-scoring race with 23 goals in 26 games.

The Ottawa Senators have allowed 3.30 goals against per 60 minutes, which ranks 20th in the league. Getting a goal-scorer with Robertson’s outstanding credentials at plus money against a below-average defensive team is a gift.

FanDuel is still offering an anytime Robertson goal at +104 while DraftKings and Caesars have Robertson priced at -105.

Where to Bet on NHL Picks

Here are our top-rated sportsbooks:

NHL odds and best bets from 12/8/2022 at 11:15 a.m. ET.