We have now passed the halfway point of the NHL season, and it is becoming clear which teams are the ones to beat on long terms. While there are a couple of elite teams emerging this season, there is still a great dogfight going on for division supremacy, as well as for playoff places. There is still an awful lot of hockey to be played, though, and we will see almost every team go through a bit of a rollercoaster ride the remainder of the way, no matter what the NHL betting odds may suggest.
The task heading into the second half of the season is to keep any losing skids as short as possible, as those can be playoff killers. Let’s look ahead to some of the best games on the NHL calendar this coming week.
Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week – January 16th Edition
St. Louis Blues vs. Toronto Maple Leafs – Tuesday
What we have here is a pair of teams who appear to be playoff bound this season. It’s also one of those match-ups that we don’t get to see very often, as these two play in different conferences. Recent meetings have very much gone the way of the Blues, as they have won each of the last 3 head to head match-ups.
Both teams need a win to break out of slumps, as the Leafs have lost back to back games, while the Blues are now on a 3-game losing skid. As much as St. Louis has dominated this match-up of late, I think Toronto will sneak the win here.
- Goals: St. Louis Blues 2.91 / Toronto Maple Leafs 3.24
- Power Play Chances: St. Louis Blues 3.33 / Toronto Maple Leafs 2.87
- Power Play Goals: St. Louis Blues 0.52 / Toronto Maple Leafs 0.60
NHL Betting Pick: St. Louis Blues 3 – Toronto Maple Leafs 4
Montreal Canadiens vs. Boston Bruins – Wednesday
No matter how well or poorly the teams are playing, there is always something special about a match-up between a pair of Original Six teams. The Montreal/Boston rivalry is one of the best in the NHL, and the form book tends to go out the window when this two hook up. If we do look at the current form, though, it is the Bruins who get the nod, going 7-0-3 in their last 10 games.
The Canadiens are down near the bottom of the Atlantic Division right now and are just 3-5-2 in their last 10, a run that includes back to back losses in their last two. Should be a win for Boston on home ice.
- Goals: Montreal Canadiens 2.61 / Boston Bruins 3.26
- Power Play Chances: Montreal Canadiens 3.02 / Boston Bruins 3.21
- Power Play Goals: Montreal Canadiens 0.59 / Boston Bruins 0.67
NHL Betting Pick: Montreal Canadiens 2 – Boston Bruins 4
Las Vegas Black Knights vs. Tampa Bay Lightning – Thursday
It was certainly fun to see the expansion Black Knights get off to a fast start this season, but we all believed that they would eventually fall back to earth and struggle the rest of the way. That has not happened, though, and LV have been one of the most exciting teams in the league this season.
They have the second-best record in the NHL, and their opponent on Thursday night, the Tampa Bay Lightning, is number one. Vegas won the earlier meeting 4-3 on home ice, but I think the Lightning will flip that this time around.
- Goals: Las Vegas Black Knights 3.45 / Tampa Bay Lightning 3.66
- Power Play Chances: Las Vegas Black Knights 3.29 / Tampa Bay Lightning 3.55
- Power Play Goals: Las Vegas Black Knights 0.60 / Tampa Bay Lightning 0.66
NHL Betting Pick: Las Vegas Black Knights 3 – Tampa Bay Lightning 5
L.A. Kings vs. Anaheim Ducks – Friday
The race for playoff spots in the Western Conference is incredibly tight, and perhaps one of the biggest surprises right now is that the Anaheim Ducks are sitting below that playoff line. They are 4 points back of the final Wild Card spot and are also just 4 back of the LA Kings in the Pacific Division.
The Ducks have been better of late, going 6-3-1 in their last 10 games, while the Kings have been slowly sliding backward, going 4-5-1 in their last 10. This should be a close one, and I would not be surprised to see OT.
- Goals: L.A. Kings 2.93 / Anaheim Ducks 2.71
- Power Play Chances: L.A. Kings 2.91 / Anaheim Ducks 2.71
- Power Play Goals: L.A. Kings 0.50 / Anaheim Ducks 0.47
NHL Betting Pick: L.A. Kings 3 – Anaheim Ducks 2