NHL Situational Sports Betting Tips November 20-26, 2017
By Adam Burke
The NBA and the NHL schedules look very similar during the week of Thanksgiving. That had to be a logistical nightmare for schedule makers trying to figure out what to do. With the entire league dark on Thursday night, there are a ton of games on Wednesday and Friday. We also have several teams playing three games in four nights around the one-day break.
That means that we have a very light schedule on Tuesday and a very light schedule on Sunday. We’ve been digging around for those strong NHL situational betting spots all year and you can bet that we have some this week with the off day. Keep in mind, however, that Thanksgiving is a lot different in the NHL Canadian Thanksgiving was October 9. With several Canadian teams and lots of Canadian players, the holiday isn’t as big of a factor as it is for the NBA.
Here are the NHL situational betting spots for the week ending November 26:
Monday November 20
Columbus Blue Jackets at Buffalo Sabres – There are a decent number of games on Monday, but there aren’t any really good situational spots. The Sabres are the only team playing a third game in four nights. They were one of four teams to play on Friday night last week. The Blue Jackets have two days off prior to this one, which is a standalone road game, but with a day off before Calgary comes to town, that doesn’t seem like a big deal. Buffalo had Sunday’s off day at home, so this isn’t that bad of a spot.
Anaheim Ducks at San Jose Sharks – The only back-to-back on Monday belongs to Anaheim. The Ducks hosted the Panthers on Sunday and now make the short trek to San Jose to battle the Sharks. The Sharks have had some downtime at home recently, so they should be ready and raring to go for this one. The home team would be the preferred side here, but opinions on the Ducks have already soured with Ryan Getzlaf out. There won’t be a ton of value here.
Tuesday November 21
Montreal Canadiens at Dallas Stars – The Canadiens hit the road for a stop in Texas and a stop in Tennessee before going back home. Dallas plays three games in four nights starting on Tuesday, with a trip to Denver on Wednesday and a home game against Calgary on Friday. Montreal’s goaltending situation has been iffy with Carey Price banged up, so we’ll see how Claude Julien opts to deploy his netminders in this back-to-back. Dallas could catch a break in that regard. The Stars have been really good at home, where they can get favorable line matchups with the last change, and really bad on the road. I’d expect that to continue here.
Vancouver Canucks at Philadelphia Flyers – The Canucks start a tough week on Tuesday night with a game against the Flyers. Vancouver is playing four road games in six days on this day, which will hit both stops in Pennsylvania and then New Jersey and New York City. There is nothing wrong with this spot for the Flyers, but they do start a home-and-home set with the Islanders at the Barclays Center the next night in a Metropolitan Division rivalry game. Perhaps we don’t get a full effort from the Flyers. Unfortunately, the Canucks are not good. Neither is Philly and the Flyers have some injury and suspension concerns. Maybe the Canucks are worth a look here catching a nice plus money price?
Wednesday November 22
New York Rangers at Carolina Hurricanes – There are 15 games in the NHL on Wednesday night. The St. Louis Blues are the only team not in action. The Rangers are looking for reasons to fire head coach Alain Vigneault and the team could be another step closer after what amounts to a standalone road game in Raleigh. Raleigh is a rough spot for teams to play. Carolina has a couple of days off to prepare for this one, so they are in a good spot at home. The Rangers have a couple of days off as well, but they return right home to host Detroit on Friday. Carolina isn’t the best team, so this home favorite price should be reasonable straight or as a money line parlay piece.
Chicago Blackhawks at Tampa Bay Lightning – There are worse places to spend Thanksgiving than in Florida. The Blackhawks will be down in the Sunshine State with Thursday and Friday off before battling the Panthers on Saturday. This looks like a good spot to back the Bolts. Tampa Bay has been exceptional at home. The Blackhawks are struggling everywhere this season. Perhaps the Blackhawks do treat this as a business trip, but it also seems fairly likely that they come out flat in this game. Because the Blackhawks have a positive goal differential and some underlying metrics that point to bad luck, it may be in your best interest to wait this line out and try to milk some more value out of the Tampa Bay side. Tampa Bay does visit Washington and Pittsburgh after the break. I don’t think that is an issue, but it is worth considering.
Dallas Stars at Colorado Avalanche – The well-rested Avalanche has turned the Pepsi Center back into a place where they have an advantage. The Avs have played very well at home this season and, as mentioned above, the Stars have played well at home and not on the road. This is the tail end of a back-to-back in altitude and a standalone road game right before the Thanksgiving holiday. This looks like an ideal spot to play Colorado and we should get a pretty reasonable number here.
Edmonton Oilers at Detroit Red Wings – Another good spot for the home team here as the Red Wings host the Oilers. The Oilers play a conference game against St. Louis on Tuesday, head to Detroit on Wednesday, and then visit Buffalo on Friday, which has become something of a rivalry because of Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel. This looks like a little bit of a flat spot for the Oilers. The Red Wings are going to bank some home games over the next few weeks with a big home/road disparity in games played, so they may be a team to back as we go forward.
Montreal Canadiens at Nashville Predators – PK Subban and Shea Weber face their former teams in this one, so it should be an interesting night in Nashville. It is a back-to-back with travel for the Habs, while the Predators are enjoying the comforts of home for a few days. There probably won’t be any value in this spot, but the Canadiens are one of five teams in a back-to-back for the Wednesday card, so it merits mentioning.
Minnesota Wild at Buffalo Sabres – This standalone road game for the Wild looks like a pretty good spot to back Buffalo. The Wild head right on back home to face division rival Colorado and then play another division rival on Saturday in St. Louis. The Sabres have spent a little bit of time at home, so they should be in a good spot here. We should catch the Sabres as a home underdog of plus money as well, which is always nice when we get situations like this.
Friday November 24
New York Islanders at Philadelphia Flyers – The Rapid Revenge Theory is in play here with the conclusion of the home-and-home between the Islanders and Flyers. These two teams just played Wednesday night in Brooklyn and now play in Philadelphia. This is the third game in four nights for the Flyers and Thanksgiving can hardly be considered a day off. The Islanders play the next night in Ottawa, but, for now, this is just a regular run-of-the-mill spot. We’ll see what we get on Wednesday that could create line value for Friday.
Toronto Maple Leafs at Carolina Hurricanes – This is another one of those strong Friday night spots for the Hurricanes at home. Toronto returns home to host Washington on Saturday, a Capitals team that knocked the Leafs out of the playoffs last season. This isn’t a standalone road game for Toronto, but it is the front end of a back-to-back with a really tough matchup on deck the next night. This looks like Carolina or nothing and Carolina should be catching a plus money home price in this spot.
Los Angeles Kings at Arizona Coyotes – The Coyotes are historically bad. Through 21 games, Arizona has three wins. Los Angeles has been one of the better NHL teams in terms of the advanced metrics. The Kings are in a really bad spot here, though. With Saturday’s home game against rival Anaheim on tap, could we see a slip-up? Playing the Coyotes is insanely hard right now, but a standalone road game against a very, very bad team with a big rival on deck is a challenging spot for the Kings. You can probably lay half a unit to win a full unit on the home dog here and it is a gamble that is definitely worth it.
Detroit Red Wings at New York Rangers – Who knows what state the Rangers will be in by this point, but the Red Wings hit the road for a standalone road game against the Rangers before going right back home to host the Devils. Spots don’t come much better than this for the Rangers in their current state. They’ll draw a backup goaltender and an opponent eager to get some games in at home. There is only one way to go here.
Pittsburgh Penguins at Boston Bruins – Another standalone road game coming out of the holiday features the Penguins in Boston against the Bruins. Pittsburgh comes back home on Saturday to host the best team in the East in the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Bruins are getting a little bit healthier and have played much better at home this season. With Pittsburgh’s goaltending depth concerns, Boston should have an advantage in that regard. This looks like another spot to play against the standalone road game team.
Saturday November 25
Washington Capitals at Toronto Maple Leafs – The buy sign should be on for Toronto in this spot. The Capitals are not the team that they were last season because of injuries and other losses. The Maple Leafs have this game circled, much like they had the first head-to-head meeting circled. This is the fourth game in six nights for both teams, but the first road game for Washington in that span. Look for the home team to secure two big points with a very amped up crowd at the Air Canada Centre.
Winnipeg Jets at San Jose Sharks – The Jets wrap up the dreaded three games in four nights stretch through California in this one. This is also the fourth road game in six nights for the Jets. The Sharks are playing their third game in four nights, with the previous two on the road, but this spot still looks favorable for the home team. With a lot of games, the Sharks can either be a straight bet or a money line parlay candidate.
Calgary Flames at Colorado Avalanche – The best spot of the week is this one on Saturday between the Flames and Avalanche. Calgary is playing its fourth straight road game and third straight game in a different time zone. The Flames will do so in the altitude, where Colorado has played very well this season. The Avs are my favorite situational play of the week and hopefully this one will come through for us.
Sunday November 26
Edmonton Oilers at Boston Bruins – The Edmonton Oilers just keep getting farther away from home. A road trip that started in St. Louis has stopped in Detroit, Buffalo, and now Boston. This is a random 5 p.m. start time for the Oilers as well, which could be a bit of a shock to the system. Boston looks like the side here given the situational spot and the Oilers have really had some struggles this year overall.
Vancouver Canucks at New York Rangers – Again, we’ll have to re-visit the state of the Rangers at this point, but this is a 2 p.m. ET start time for the fourth road game in six days for the visiting Canucks. The Rangers are a really hard team to project long-term and their myriad of problems may not be overly conducive to situational spots at this point. Just be aware that this is a good one for them if they are playing well.
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In the Crease - Week 8
By Joe Williams
The Buffalo Sabres have been scuffling lately at home, going 2-6 over their past eight in Western New York. Oddly enough, one of those victories came against the Washington Capitals back on Nov. 7. The Sabres have had difficulty putting the biscuit in the basket, scoring just four goals over their past three games, and two or fewer goals in five of the past six. outings. Since Oct. 24 they're averaging just 1.92 goals per game over the past 12 contests. It's no surprise that the under is 6-1 over their past seven battles, and 8-3-1 during the 12-game span.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have rolled up 80 goals through 20 games, averaging 4.0 goals per game. They have easily been the most prolific offensive squad, and lately that has translated to plenty of over results. The over has cashed in five of their past six outings, and the over is also 4-1 across their past five games on the road. They're back in action on Wednesday against the visiting Blackhawks, and for what it's worth, the over is 7-0-1 in Tampa Bay's past eight games on a Wednesday. The over is also 13-3-1 in their past 17 playing on more than three days of rest, while going 13-5 across their past 18 at home.
Wednesday, November 22
The Islanders and Flyers will do battle in Brooklyn, and the trends lately seem to favor the home team. Philadelphia is 5-2 in their past seven against eams with a winning record, but they're a dismal 2-5 in the past seven playing in the second end of a back-to-back situation. They have also dropped four in a row, and they're 10-27 over the past 37 road outings. The Isles have rattled off five wins across the past six home games, they're 9-3 in the past 12 against Eastern Conference foes and 9-3 in their past 12 against teams with an overall losing record. Philly has dominated this series lately, however, going 40-13 in the past 53, including 20-7 in their past 27 trips to Uniondale/Brooklyn. The road team is 5-1 across the past six.
The Rangers used to make themselves right at home in Raleigh, and they're still 9-4 across their past 13 trips to the Triangle. However, the home team has picked up victories in five in a row, so perhaps times are changing. The Blueshirts have managed just two wins across their past 10 road outings, too, and they're 1-5 in the past six against Metropolitan Division foes. Meanwhile, Carolina has won five of their past six against Estern Conference teams while going 5-2 over the past seven overall.
In the desert, the Sharks skate into Glendale looking to tame the Coyotes. The home team has actually won seven of the past nine games in this series. San Jose has picked on the dregs of the league, going 20-7 in the past 27 road games against teams with home winning percentages under .400. The 'Yotes have managed to win just 14 of their past 54 against Western Conference foes, while going just 1-8 in their past nine home games overall.
Thursday, November 23
There is no hockey on Thursday, so enjoy the football, the food and the Thanksgiving holiday everyone!
Friday, November 24
The Canucks pay a visit to New Jersey on Friday evening looking for revenge. Former Canucks backstop Cory Schneider stopped all 37 shots he faced in Vancouver for the 2-0 victory. The Canucks are playing much better these days, and head to the Steel City on Wednesday looking for a sixth road win in their past eight tries. However, they're still just 12-27 across their past 39 against Eastern Conference foes, and 7-19 in the past 26 against Metropolitan Division opponents. The Devils have won just 11 of their past 34 at home, and they're just 6-14 across the past 20 against teams with a losing record.
The Hurricanes host the Maple Leafs on Friday night at PNC Arena in Raleigh. The past four meetings in this series has resulted in the road team coming away with victories. The 6-3 victory by the Hurricanes in Toronto back on Oct. 26 was a rare offensive explosive, as the 'under' is 9-1 over the past 10 meetings in this series. Over the past 10 in this series, Toronto is averaging 1.9 goals per game while Carolina has averaged 2.3 goals per game during the stretch. As such, a line of 5.5 or 6 might mean a favorable under play.
Saturday, November 18
The Canadiens host the Sabres on Saturday night at Bell Centre. By then Carey Price might be back from his injury. Minnesota native Charlie Lindgren has been filling in, doing an admirable job in the veteran's stead. The Habs posted a 2-1 victory in overtime on Nov. 11 in the most recent meeting, as Lindgren was very sharp. In the first meeting, it was Montreal winning in a shootout at Buffalo, 3-2, back on Oct. 5. Yes, Montreal is 2-0 against Buffalo so far, but both contests have been ultra close.
The Blues host the Wild on Saturday night, and it should be a tight one. Five of the past 10 regular-season meetings have resulted in one-goal games, and the 'under' is 6-3-1 during the span. Usually these battles feature a lot of defense, and that's been the case frequently for Minnesota. The 'under' is 4-2-1 over their past seven heading into play Wednesday, and 8-5-2 over their past 15. For St. Louis, the totals have been all over the board and much less certain.
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