NHL Betting Outlook: Christmas Week

NHL Betting Outlook: Christmas Week
© USA Today

The NHL has five days of action this week. Christmas falls on a Sunday, so the traditional time off is taken over the weekend. This will create unique advantages. 

OK, let’s get you ready for your NHL betting this week. 

Schedule Breakdown

Let us do this first, in terms of game allotment. 

  • Monday – 8
  • Tuesday – 8
  • Wednesday – 7
  • Thursday – 8
  • Friday – 13

That is no misprint. There are 13 games on Friday. After that, the league takes three nights off for the Christmas break. Games will resume next Tuesday, along with lifting the Christmas roster freeze come midnight, Wednesday. 

Then, there are the teams that play back-to-backs this week. So, quite a few teams do that. 

  • St. Louis (Monday, Tuesday)
  • Columbus (Monday, Tuesday)
  • New Jersey (Tuesday, Wednesday)
  • Tampa Bay (Tuesday, Wednesday)
  • Minnesota (Wednesday, Thursday)
  • Philadelphia (Thursday, Friday)
  • Carolina (Thursday, Friday)
  • Boston (Thursday, Friday)
  • Ottawa (Thursday, Friday)
  • Winnipeg (Thursday, Friday)
  • Washington (Thursday, Friday)
  • NY Islanders (Thursday, Friday)
  • Vancouver (Thursday, Friday)
  • Calgary (Thursday, Friday)
  • Los Angeles (Thursday, Friday)

Again, there are plenty of teams playing three games in four nights. A majority do this week with this more balanced schedule. 

What To Look Forward To This Week

The biggest thing to look forward to might be the holiday weekend. Getting an extended weekend this time of year charges the engines for the players and the bettors too. Naturally, there will be a look back or two on the regular season in the first almost three months. Time seems to always fly on by. 

One of the bigger games tonight is Buffalo versus Vegas. The Sabres are playing better, and they play against former Captain Jack Eichel. Eichel looks great since his neck fusion surgery and has the Golden Knights rolling. However, Vegas is 1-6 in their past seven games at home. 

Then, there is New Jersey. The Devils have lost five straight after winning 13 consecutive games and 18 of 21. These are things that happen with young teams. Look at how the Chicago Blackhawks jumped up out of almost nowhere. The young days of Toews and Kane saw them have their moments too. New Jersey plays Carolina and Florida back-to-back. Finally, they end the week at home against Boston. Circle that one on your calendars!

The Battle Of New York resumes on Thursday. Those pesky Islanders and Rangers are on the upswing. Honestly, calling the Rangers vexing is probably not accurate. However, they have won seven straight games as their scoring heater sets up one goaltending battle between Igor Shesterkin and Ilya Sorokin.

More About That Friday Night

Funny enough, the game to bet on may be the Islanders and Florida on Friday. The team from Long Island often has letdowns after the Rangers game, so wagering on Florida at plus money could be an easy plan. 

That Friday schedule is going to be something else. No fewer than 10 teams are on the back end of a back-to-back scenario. There will be spots to bet. The key here is waiting. Be vigilant this week with injuries and goaltending situations especially. Understandably, there are always so many variables. Narrow the focus a bit this week. 

We almost forgot about Chicago and Columbus. They do play this week. Brace for chaos and lots of lousy defense. It may be the one time the Blackhawks score some goals. How bad has it been lately? Chicago is just 1-14-1 in their last 16 contests while being outscored 73-30. Their past seven games have been far more ugly. Cover your eyes as Chicago is on pace for around 50 points this season (well below their original 65.5 number from Vegas).

Lastly, do not sleep on any of those four Friday late games. The entertainment value of Vancouver and Edmonton alone may be biblical. Some joked there could be a 7.5 Over-Under. That remains unlikely, but 7.0 is reasonable. Both team defenses have a sense of adventure, which is often not good.

Some Quick Points To Be Mindful

  • Toronto should bounce back this week
  • Chicago is going to give up many more goals.
  • Keep an eye on Nik Ehlers and Winnipeg
  • Does Calgary find its groove after beating San Jose?
  • Can Jordan Binnington keep his cool this week? Will Juuse Saros lose his?

Good luck, and once again, thanks for reading! We will have a few more plays on social media as conditions warrant.

Thanks to BetMGM for the early Monday lines and ESPN.com for the easy-to-follow schedule

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