The last month of 2022 brings us loads of ice hockey to bet on, and we have a huge 13-game slate to pick through and discover some best bets on this super Saturday. 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 first game of Saturday will take place in Minnesota, where the Wild will be at home facing off with the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks are losers of four straight games, and it doesn't look like it's going to get much better moving forward. This is one of the NHL's worst teams, and the stats back that up. The offense has the worst mark in the NHL in goals per game, averaging just 2.38. They are getting 30.1 shots on net per game, which is about average, but those obviously aren't very good scoring chances. Defensively, it's as bad as it gets. Anaheim is allowing a ridiculous 37.3 shots to opposing offenses, one of the worst numbers in hockey. It's no wonder their goaltending struggles so much, allowing 4.17 goals per game. It's a mess right now in southern California.
Minnesota started the season off looking like straight garbage on the defensive end, but they have turned it around significantly. The Wild now only allow 2.91 goals per game, and just 29.4 shots. They have tightened things up, and it's led to them getting back on track record-wise. The offense, which was supposed to be very good, is average at best. They score exactly 3.00 goals per game, and get about 30.8 shots on goal per game. Neither number is anything to write home about.
MY PICK: It's very difficult to advocate for a Ducks bet here. The Wild are starting to find their groove, they are at home, and against one of the worst defenses in the NHL. I'll take Minnesota -1.5 here.
One of the best games of the night will feature two teams that were serious contenders in 2021 to win the Stanley Cup. The Toronto Maple Leafs will travel down to Florida, where they will take on the Tampa Bay Lightning. Toronto has been one of the hottest teams in the league recently, and are currently riding a five-game win streak. They have been remarkable on defense, allowing just 2.44 goals per game and 28.8 shots on net. Just a handful of teams are even in the same category on that side of the ice. On offense, they have generally been a bit of a disappointment. The Maple Leafs score 3.04 goals per game, and take 30.5 shots each time out. For a team with Austin Matthews and John Tavares, this is far too average.
Tampa Bay has played more hockey than anyone else over the last four years, and even with all of that action weighing heavy on their legs, they still are one of the better teams in the league in 2022. The offense hasn't lost its touch, scoring 3.48 goals per game and getting 31 shots on net per game. On defense, things have been worse than in previous seasons, but no one is perfect. They allow 3.09 goals per game and 30.6 shots on goal. That's average, and this team has been anything but for years now.
MY PICK: Two teams that will be in the playoffs this season, and both to me have an equal shot to win this one. When that is the case, take the plus-money with the underdog, which is Toronto in this case.
The last game we're going to look at is in Boston, where the current team with the best record in the NHL will go up against last season's champions, the Colorado Avalanche. The champs haven't looked as dominant as they did in 2021, but they remain a good hockey team. They are scoring 3.43 goals per game, which is a very good number, and getting 33.2 shots on net per game. Colorado remains a serious threat to any opposing defense and goaltender. The defense has taken a step back, allowing 32.8 shots per game on net, but the goaltending has actually been better. The Avalanche allow just 2.67 goals per game, which is a lower mark than they had in 2021.
The Bruins have compiled a ridiculous amount of wins already this season, and currently sit at 19-3. They are great in every facet of the game right now, but what really stands out is their goaltending. Allowing just 2.18 goals per game is extraordinary. I doubt that lasts throughout an entire season, but this far in, to have that number is incredible. Especially considering they allow 29.9 shots per game, which is about league average for defense. On offense, they are great, scoring 3.95 goals per game and taking 34.2 shots per contest. It's hard to find a weakness with them.
MY PICK: Anyone who plays the Bruins right now will be an underdog, and that is when you can get teams you usually never could at a great price. Colorado is usually a massive favorite against most teams in the NHL with the talent they have, but we are getting +135 with them tonight. That's a great price for this team, and it's worth taking a shot with.