NHL Betting Guide: Monday 12/12/22

A majority of bettors are backing the over in Devils-Rangers after Vitek Vanecek's blowup outing on Friday. Should we join the public and buy into Vanecek's recent struggles?

We're back to basics on Monday. We've got a couple of totals that might be inflated with cash flowing on the under.

Here are today's best bets, per the model and me.

Note: Lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. All ratings are out of five stars. All NHL betting odds and totals come from FanDuel Sportsbook.

New Jersey Devils at New York Rangers

Under 6.0 (-114) - 2 Stars

It's surprising to see one of the league's best offenses in this low total, but a brick wall awaits.

New Jersey is second in the NHL in expected goals scored (xGF) per 60 minutes (3.69), yet they really also don't get enough credit for their defense. They're also second in expected goals allowed (xGA) per 60 minutes (2.61). The lone concern here is what happened on Friday.

While netminder Vitek Vanecek blew up in that one, he's been solid overall, posting 2.89 goals saved above expectation (GSAx). That's 26th in the NHL, and on the other side here, Igor Shesterkin has been much better. The reigning Vezina winner is 11th in GSAx (7.52).

The Rangers have also allowed the 12th-fewest expected goals per 60 (2.94), so far more signs in this one point towards defense than offense. Our model concurs, awarding a 65.1% chance this game sees six goals or fewer. Even factoring in a potential push, that's a two-star wager against these 52.9% implied odds.

I talked about following the money here, too. Just 44% of bets are on the under in this one, but a whopping 65% of the cash is.

Dallas Stars at Pittsburgh Penguins

Under 6.5 (-118) - 2 Stars

This a very similar handicap with an extra half-goal cushion.

The Penguins are right behind New Jersey, sitting third in xGF per 60 minutes (3.56). However, they're also not a bad defensive club, rating out 13th in xGA per 60 (3.00).

They're hosting Dallas tonight, who is also a defensive-minded hockey club. Their skaters haven't been quite as sound (3.08 xGA per 60 minutes), but it's all made up in goal. Jake Oettinger is one of the brightest stars in the sport after his playoff run last year. He's seventh in GSAx (10.97) this year.

Goaltending is where Pittsburgh has been a total negative in recent years, but Tristan Jarry (2.34 GSAx) has held up fine this season.

This tilt is numberFire's best bet of the day. It's assigning a 61.5% chance this game falls short of seven total goals against these 54.1% implied odds. We won't have a push in this one.

I happen to agree vehemently when bets are split 50-50 in this one, but 77% of the handle is on the under. Large-unit bettors are making a play on this line, and so should we.