NHL Betting Guide: Monday 12/19/22
The NHL schedule is usually unbalanced with a slant towards Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, but it's actually fairly balanced with the holiday break looming this weekend.
Which games can help us kick this week off right?
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.
Under 6.0 (-102) - 2 Stars
This one checks all the boxes we'd want for an under.
These offenses aren't elite -- by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, the Red Wings score the 10th-fewest expected goals (xGF) per 60 minutes in the league (2.90). Washington is also below the league average (3.10; 16th-fewest).
Plus, these defenses are solid. Detroit's winning record largely stems from its 11th-fewest expected goals allowed (xGA) per 60 minutes (2.92). The Caps aren't too far behind with the 14th-fewest (3.04).
And, as the kicker, we'll likely get some pretty solid goaltending tonight. Ville Husso is 10th in all of hockey in goals saved above expectation (8.99 GSAx), so we know what we're getting from him. However, in a bit of a surprise, Washington's backup Charlie Lindgren (2.56 GSAx) has been solid in spot duty with Darcy Kuemper on injured reserve.
Our model expects six goals or fewer in this game 64.2% of the time. Even with a potential push part of the equation, that's still a two-star (or two-unit) wager against these 50.2% implied odds.
Under 6.5 (+100) - 2 Stars
Our model is backing the dudes in pads here.
Edmonton's headliner will always be their offense. With Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and the league's sixth-most xGF per 60 minutes (3.47), that's more than fair. It's also fair to give some more credit to the true difference maker that's got the Oilers in a better position to win later into the year.
That's Stuart Skinner, who is seventh in all of hockey in GSAx (10.89). He's wrestled this job away from the struggling Jack Campbell and hasn't looked back. Of course, tonight in Nashville, we know he'll meet his match.
Juuse Saros (10.23 GSAx) was a finalist for last year's Vezina Trophy, and he's continued to carry an offense that is average on its best days. The Preds have posted the 12th-fewest xGF per 60 (3.01) this season.
With two top-10 goalies on tap, you won't find a 6.5-goal total all too often -- and it certainly won't carry +100 odds. That's the respect paid to the Oilers' offense in this spot.
Still, our model believes this one sees six goals or fewer 55.5% of the time. Against these even-money odds, fire away.