With 9 hockey games to choose from, there are plenty of betting opportunities tonight. Anthony Elio has 2 NHL best bets for an intriguing slate.
Seattle Kraken vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
I was fully ready for the Tampa Bay Lightning to fade when it was announced that goalie Andrei Vasilevsky would miss time after getting lower back surgery. And while they haven’t been the best team in the Eastern Conference, they’re currently a respectable 4-2-2. Jonas Johansson has been playing well while replacing Vasilevsky, with a .925 save percentage and 2.56 GAA. It doesn’t hurt that Johansson has plenty of talent around him, such as blue liner Victor Hedman, who is currently tied for second in the league amongst defensemen with 9 points. Plus, the offense is still stacked with Nikita Kucherov (11 points), Brayden Point (10 points), and Steven Stamkos (8 points). Even without their All-Star goalie, this is a dangerous team.
The team they’re hosting, meanwhile, can’t really be described as dangerous right now. After an excellent playoff run in their second season of existence, the Seattle Kraken have been slow out of the gate. The team brings the fifth-worst offense in the league to the ice that’s averaging just 2.22 goals per game. After winning the Calder Trophy last season, center Matty Beniers has recorded just 3 assists without a single goal. The team has been held to 2 or fewer goals in 7 of their 9 games this season, and I’m not seeing anything that suggests tonight is the night they turn things around. Tampa has also been excellent at home thus far, with a 4-0-1 record at Amalie Arena. While puck line and 60-minute moneyline are definitely good options, I’m going to play this one safe and take the Lightning on the moneyline.
Best Bet: Tampa Bay Lightning Moneyline
Anaheim Ducks vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
Since my other play is a bit safe, let’s get spicy here. It feels weird to type, but the Anaheim Ducks have actually been decent so far. Anaheim is 4-4-0, with their defining win being a 4-3 overtime upset of the Boston Bruins. Then, for an encore, the Ducks routed the Philadelphia Flyers 7-4. Center Ryan Strome leads the team with 10 points, while Frank Vatrano is off to a hot start with 8 goals already. The team is on a 3-game road winning streak and averaging 4.6 goals per game along the way.
The Pittsburgh Penguins, meanwhile, haven’t exactly been lighting it up so far this year. The team is 3-5-0, and while they did have an impressive shutout win over the Colorado Avalanche, the team is on a 1-4 streak while being outscored 19-12. When it comes to projected goaltenders, the two teams are basically identical, with Anaheim’s John Gibson (.905 SV%, 2.80 GAA) facing off against Tristan Jarry (.901 SV%, 2.62 GAA) for the Pens. I just don’t see much separating these teams right now, so I’ll go with the hotter team that’s still waiting for center Trevor Zegras (who just recorded his first goal of the season) to get rolling. The reverse puck line is worth a look here as well, considering the Ducks are 4-1 ATS on the road this season. But when there’s this much value on the moneyline, I’ve got to take it.
Best Bet: Anaheim Ducks Moneyline
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