NHL Betting Guide: Tuesday 12/7/21
We've got our typically loaded Tuesday with 10 games, so we should be able to find some bets to make some money.
Please note that lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. Please check here to make sure you're seeing the most updated information.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
Under 6 (-114) 2-Star Rating Out of 5
It was an eventful weekend for the Toronto Maple Leafs. They played a thrilling game on Saturday against the Minnesota Wild, which they lost 4-3 in a shootout, and then they had a scrappy game on Sunday against the Winnipeg Jets, a bout which saw many fights and a few suspensions. It has left them without three regular players in their lineup.
The Columbus Blue Jackets also played games on Saturday and Sunday, getting a split of one win and a loss. Their season is still going better than expected, as they are in the playoff hunt. They had some issues with illness for both of their goalies last week, but their starter will be back in the crease.
Many people think of the Leafs as a high-flying offensive team, but that hasn't been how they've been winning games this season. They are 13th in goals per game but 3rd in goals against per game. Toronto ranks eighth in expected goals against per 60 minutes, and Jack Campbell has been unreal, with 17.87 goals saved above expected.
Toronto will be without Mitch Marner due to injury, as they were over the weekend. Jason Spezza was his replacement in those games, but he's facing a suspension hearing for a kneeing incident on Sunday. These are two regular forwards who both contribute on the power play.
Columbus has scored a good amount of goals this season, but that needs to be put into context. They have the fifth-highest shooting percentage in the league, behind only teams with some of the best finishers, such as the Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche. Columbus doesn't have the same quality of players in their forward group that those teams do, and they are generating the 11th-fewest expected goals per 60 minutes.
All of this adds up to a bet on the under. The Leafs can still be solid defensively but will miss Marner and Spezza. Elvis Merzlikins against Campbell is a matchup of two solid goalies who won't give up many soft goals. Our model agrees with all of this, rating the under as a two-star bet tonight.
Anaheim Ducks vs. Buffalo Sabres
Anaheim moneyline (-128) 1-Star Rating Out of 5
The Anaheim Ducks played the Washington Capitals tight on Monday, losing in a shootout. It was their second straight shootout loss -- both coming against one of the league's better squads. With some of their youngsters really clicking and a goalie situation that may be a mistake by the betting market, the Ducks look like a great bet tonight.
We could be seeing the Trevor Zegras breakout for the Ducks that most people knew was coming. He has multiple assists in three straight games and pulls off moves that most players wouldn't even think of trying. It was obvious for anyone who saw his stats as an amateur and watched him play that he would be a star, and we are seeing that happening now. He's playing alongside Rickard Rakell and Sonny Milano, and this line has given Anaheim another scoring line outside of what Troy Terry is doing.
Since it's a back-to-back situation, the Ducks will be going with Anthony Stolarz. This is assumed to be a big downgrade from normal starter John Gibson, but Stolarz actually has a higher save percentage than Gibson this season.
The Ducks are facing the Buffalo Sabres. To reference a famous Dennis Green rant, the Sabres are who we thought they were. They've lost eight of their last nine games and allowed a whopping 45 goals in those nine outings. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has been recalled as the supposed goaltender of the future, but he had a meager .888 save percentage in the American Hockey League.
Anaheim is much better than this Sabres team, and we are getting them at discounted odds because of the back-to-back and the presumed goalie downgrade. The Ducks should be able to win this game and cash a ticket for us.