This article is part of our NHL Picks series.
NHL Betting: Expert NHL Picks and Plays for Monday, December 5
It’s that home stretch here in America where Thanksgiving is now a thing of the past but the holiday season is ramping up. Motivation at work is on a sharply declining trend from today through the end of the calendar year. Getting a case of the Mondays is at an all-time high these next few weeks, so never fear I’ve got a prescription for that impending fever. And it’s a healthy dose of NHL betting action. There are 6 games on the board tonight, and I got a pick for every one of them. Stay frisky my friends!
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook. If you’re in the Buckeye State, you’re in luck as Ohio is set to launch sports betting on New Year’s Day. Get ahead of the action with the Draft Kings Ohio Promo Code and receive a $200 pre-live bonus.
NHL Best Bets Tonight
avalanches vs Flyers
One of the best teams in the league versus one of the worst. The Avalanche are in the city of brotherly love – someone should tell John Tortorella that’s the style there, he doesn’t seem to get the memo in his post-game pressers – to take on the lowly Flyers. The Avs are 2-3 in their last 5. They had a suspect home loss to the Canucks on 11/23 but then followed that up by handling the Stars 4-1 three nights later. Then they got blanked in Winnipeg 5-0 but outgunned the Sabers 6-4 in Buffalo before getting dominated by the Bruins 5-1 in Boston. They’re up and down. On some nights you get the perennial powerhouse that is supposed to compete for another cup this year, and on others, it just looks like they can’t connect the dots. The Flyers aren’t nearly as unpredictable because on most nights you’re getting what was expected: not much. They’ve won 1 of their last 13… the question tonight is basically: will they cover?
blues vs Rangers
If you could get a do-over or a get-out-of-jail-free card in the NHL, both the Blues and Rangers would pay handsomely for one. Things have just not clicked for either club so far this year. Sure, they’ve both shown flashes, but that light never seems to burn too long. Both of these teams just got smoked in their last outings. The Blues lost 6-2 in Pittsburgh and the Rangers lost 5-2 at home to the Blackhawks. Maybe the most shocking stat in this matchup is the Rangers are only 4-6-4 at MSG where this tilt will faceoff. The Blues come in having lost 3 straight and are 5-5 in their last 10. If they win tonight, that would mark 5-straight home losses for the Rags.
Golden Knights vs Bruins
I could write an entire article just about this game. So many juicy storylines. Bruce Cassidy returns to Beantown behind a different bench for the first time to face his former team. His Golden Knights are 11-2-1 on the road, 2nd only to the Devils who are 11-1 away from home ice. The boys from Vegas are the best team in the West and 3rd overall in the NHL behind only the top-ranked Devils and the 2nd-place Bruins. The B’s are undefeated at home with a perfect 14-0 record. They trail the Devils by one point with two games in hand for the most points in the league, so mathematically speaking, they have the NHL’s best record. It’s a renaissance season for the likes of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchandand David Krejciand David Pastrnak has ascended to superstar status. They’re even getting Vezina-caliber goaltending from Linus Ullmark. Not a bad start for coach Jim Montgomery’s tenure as bench boss. The Bruins have won 9 of their last 10 and are 20-3 overall. The Knights have cooled off a bit and are only 5-4-1 in their last 10. Stats and trends aside, the only question we need to ask ourselves is: will tonight be the night the Bruins lose at home?
Capitals vs Oilers
I almost feel bad for the Caps at this point (and then quickly remember that they’re professional athletes making generational wealth to play a sport that generates negative returns for me as a fan when I write articles like this in my $225 Ovechkin jersey). Starting netminder Darcy Kuemper left their loss to the Flames on Saturday and is still being evaluated, adding to an already overcrowded injury report. The Caps have lost more man games to injury than just about every team out there, and their only company is… well, the Flyers. They head to Edmonton with a 3-8-3 road record to take on the Oilers. These teams faced off in DC on 11/7 and the Caps pulled off a 5-4 win with backup Charlie Lindgren net. But that was then, and this is now. Can the Caps rally to get only their second win ever at Rexall Place, or will they add another L to the loss column of their 1-2-2 record in this barn since the Oilers moved there in 2016?
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coyotes vs Flames
The Flames are an absolutely massive favorite in this one at -330 on the moneyline. That’s not totally unreasonable. The Coyotes are pretty bad. They’re 6-9-3 on the road and 2-5-3 in their last 10. But in their last 5 games, they’ve covered the puck line spread in 4 of them including a 4-0 upset victory on the road against the hurricanes. It’s not as if they don’t have some tricks up their sleeves, so bettors be wary. The Flames seem to play their best hockey on home ice and will be in their own barn for this tilt looking to add to their 8-5-1 home record. This one for me is probably the friskiest bet on the board. It’s almost forcing a bet on the puck line, or even for the friskier underdog moneyline… how frisky we feeling y’all?
Canadians vs Canucks
These clubs faced off in Montreal on 11/9 and the Habs came out with a 5-2 victory. The Canucks are 6-5 since that tilt and the Canadiens are 5-5. They’re only separated by 1 point in the standings, with the Canadiens holding the slight edge at 25. Vegas loves the Canucks in this one though, putting them at -195 on the moneyline. Perhaps the oddsmakers are expecting the same team that beat the Kings, Avalanche, and Golden Knights in a week’s span just two weeks ago to show up, and not the team that struggled to beat the Coyotes at home on Saturday or got smoked 5-1 by the Caps and Panthers in the two games before that. The Habs are coming off two good tilts in Western Canada though, beating the Flames 2-1 on 12/1 despite being outshot 46-19 and then going toe-to-toe with the Oilers in a tight 5-3 loss where they outshot Connor McDavid‘s aisle 33-22. It’ll be interesting to see which version of each club shows up in this one, and that variability may be the difference between cashing this bet or bitching about it tomorrow.