The NHL is in full swing Thursday night, with 11 games on the docket. Here are betting previews for a tri-state area showdown between the Devils and Rangers and an all-Canada battle between the Oilers and Canadiens.
|New Jersey Devils||+1.5||+130||0 6.5|
|New York Rangers||-1.5||-160||U 6.5|
The Rangers and Devils have both played wide-open hockey lately, so Over bettors appear poised to cash when these division rivals collide at Madison Square Garden.
Defense has not been New York’s forte this season. The Rangers allowed the Avalanche to register 32 shots against Igor Shesterkin in his NHL debut on Tuesday night. Fortunately for the Rangers, the goaltending prospect was able to stop 29 in a 5-3 victory. Grizzled veteran Henrik Lundqvist is expected to start in this one, but despite his reputation, the Blueshirts are 26th in goals allowed this year. New York will once again rely on Artemi Panarin (four multi-point games in his last six contests) and Ryan Strome (five goals and four assists in the same span) to generate offense.
— Hockey Daily 365 (@HockeyDaily365) January 8, 2020
The Devils have scored at least two goals in each of their last seven games and have exceeded the total in seven of their last nine contests. The Rangers have gone Over in 10 of their last 12, and Over bettors have cashed in each of New York’s last five home games, as well.
NHL free pick: Over
|Edmonton Oilers||+1.5||+105||0 6|
|Montreal Canadiens||-1.5||-130||U 6|
The Canadiens are mired in a seven-game losing streak and will catch an Oilers squad that seems to have stopped its freefall. Bettors should be all over the road team.
Edmonton has won three of its last four games, with the only loss coming in overtime against the Sabres. Goaltender Mike Smith has stepped up his game—though he surrendered four goals on 36 shots to a potent Maple Leafs offense Monday, he recorded a respectable 2.65 GAA and .918 save percentage in three prior starts. The Oilers have registered 19 goals in their last four tilts and their power play continues to be the most efficient in the NHL at 29.2%. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have unsurprisingly led the assault on offense, combining for 12 points during this stretch.
WHAT A MOVE. WHAT A GOAL. 🤯
New year, same Connor McDavid. 💁♂️ pic.twitter.com/mwNERgAx0X
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) January 7, 2020
Montreal is so desperate for offense, following Brendan Gallagher’s injury, that it plucked the over-the-hill Ilya Kovalchuk off the scrap heap for help. The Habs have scored just nine goals over their last five contests.