The last month of 2022 brings us loads of ice hockey to bet on, but we have just a short three-game slate to pick through and discover some best bets on this fantastic Friday. So be ready to make some wagers and let's cash. BetQL subscribers can see more betting trends and all of our best bets with star ratings for every pick.
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The Ottawa Senators will travel down to the States to take on the New York Rangers in Madison Square Garden for our first game of the evening. It's been a tough past month for Ottawa, as they have taken a downturn from the tremendous start they had accomplished. It appears and though Senators fans will have to wait longer before they have a team that is truly ready to compete for a championship. They aren't terrible, and I would say they are much more competitive and interesting than Senators teams past. The offense scores 3.05 goals per game and gets an impressive 33.5 shots to the opposing net. Those numbers really aren't that bad. Defensively, the issues arise. They allow 33.7 shots per contest, and also let in 3.36 goals per game, both numbers being below average.
New York should be far better than their mediocre record indicates, if you go by the stats. They are getting 34.3 shots on goal per game, which is well above average, but they aren't scoring at near the same pace. They score exactly 3.00 goals per contest, which is the NHL average. Eventually that should change, but they aren't getting the puck in the net as much as they should. On defense, they are one of the better teams in the league. The Rangers allow just 2.79 goals per game, and only 29.2 shots on average against their net minders.
MY PICK: At some point, the puck will start going into the net for the Rangers. They are the better team here, especially at home against a brutal Senators defense. Give me New York -1.5, as the ML is juiced.
Two games in New York on the same night, how wonderful for the big apple. The Nashville Predators will take to the road to face off with the New York Islanders on Friday night. The Predators have won three of their last five games, but the only thing about their team that really impresses me is the goaltending. They allow far too many shots on goal, 32.6 of those per game to be exact, which is why I love their net minders. They are giving up just 2.86 goals per game, which is phenomenal considering the shots given up. They have one of the worst offenses in the NHL, scoring a measly 2.48 goals per game. You can't win with that offensive output over the long haul.
The Islanders have a great record, but they also aren't very impressive. Goaltending has saved them even more than Nashville, as they are allowing just 2.58 goals per game, one of the best marks in the entire league. However, they are letting up 33 shots per game, well below average. Eventually, pucks will start going past the net minders. New York has a slightly above average offense, taking 30.8 shots per game and scoring 3.25 goals each go. Really, there is nothing to write home about here, but they have somehow still managed to have a great start to their year.
MY PICK: Honestly, I don't want to pick the Predators, but the islanders get far too much credit for how they are actually playing. That's why we faded them against the Flyers last time, and now we will fade them here too. Make a small play on the huge number for Nashville, or take the +1.5.
Our last game of the night takes us up to Winnipeg in Canada, where we see the Columbus Blue Jackets travel to take on the Jets. It's been horrifying to watch this Blue Jackets team this season. They are very bad, specifically on defense, where they are allowing an insane 36.2 shots against them each time out. As a result, they have one of the worst goals against numbers in the NHL, allowing 4.10 per contest. When you couple that with a middling offense that scores just 2.86 goals per game with 29.7 shots, you get a team that is absolutely floundering like a fish out of water right now. It's been ugly.
Winnipeg is just like the aforementioned Islanders, whereas they have an impressive record, but their stats don't back them up. Once again, goaltending has saved another average team at best. They are allowing just 2.52 goals per game, again one of the very best averages in the league. This is despite giving up 31.7 shots on their net per game, which is below average. Speaking of average, look no further than this offense of the Jets, who score 3.24 goals per game and take 30.3 shots. There is no way they would be enjoying the success they are without some outstanding performances in net. Regression is coming if they don't get it together.
MY PICK: Again, this is a game where value comes into place. No way should the Jets be a -200 or more favorite against anyone. Take a small amount on the Columbus ML, even though it is understandably painful to place (+1.5 is a safer option).