Thursday has 12 games in play for us to choose from for betting. The biggest favorites right now are the Carolina Hurricanes who are -315 road favorites over the Columbus Blue Jackets, a team rated as +2.5 underdogs in their last game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Eight of the games have puck totals of 6.5 today and only Dallas at New York has a total of 5.5. Below are some of the NHL best bets to target for Thursday, Jan. 12.
Rangers Money Line (-120)
The Rangers come in as -120 favorites today and look like a solid value at that price. The Rangers have made very few mistakes over the last two weeks, grabbing points in six straight games. Igor Shesterkin has been his usual steady self, stopping 39 shots in two of his last four games while the Rangers have been solid offensively of late as well. New York has scored four or more goals in four of its last five starts and has seen its power play efficiency rise to 23.1%.
New York will be going up against a Dallas team that has won six of its last eight games but also could be without their top center Roope Hintz — who is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury. Hintz’s absence would be massive considering the Rangers will be countering with Mika Zibanejad and Vincent Trocheck down the middle. Dallas is a solid team but New York has played extremely well at home of late, winning six of its past seven games. Taking the Rangers in this spot with the Stars potentially down their best forward is more than fair at these prices.
Over 6.5 goals -120
Even at 6.5 with -120 odds, this line seems low. The Jets have allowed 11 goals over their last two games as Conner Hellebuyck may finally be showing some signs of needing a rest after playing in 31-of-41 games this season. The Sabres’ goaltending situation has been an up-and -down affair all season and recently, starter Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was forced to sit out a couple of games with an illness. He has been recalled and may be back in net for this game but also allowed nine goals over his last two starts. Buffalo’s other option in net will be a rusty Eric Comrie who was just activated off IR.
The offenses in this game should carry the action. Winnipeg has finally got their big guns back up front with Nikolaj Ehlers and Mark Scheifele back in the fold. The 16 goals they’ve scored over their last three games are a great indication of what this group is capable of when fully healthy. On the other side, we have one of the most dynamic offenses in the league in Buffalo who remain tied with Boston for goals per game at 3.9.
With the forward groups healthy and the netminding on both sides having some serious question marks, it would not be shocking to see an outright pond hockey game develop. The over at 6.5 is in play as long as the line stays above -140 but even playing the Over at +180 on the alternate line of 7.5 looks solid.
The Avalanche may not be in panic mode just yet but there certainly should be a sense of urgency forming with this team soon. They’re four points out of a playoff spot and on a bad 1-5-1 stretch, losing in regulation to the Arizona Coyotes and Vancouver Canucks.
Luckily, they play the Chicago Blackhawks tonight, a bottom-dwelling team who are currently without their top forward Patrick Kane. Chicago has skated to a 41.32 xGF% rate (expected goal for percentage) this season at 5v5, which is second worst in the league. The Blackhawks also look like they’re starting Petr Mrazek in net tonight, who has been the far worse option for them all season. The former Hurricane and Red Wing has just a .878 save percentage in 14 starts for the 2022-23 season.
If you want to get an extra piece of the Avalanche offense — in what is truly a terrific matchup against a weak goaltender — winger Evan Rodrigues looks like solid value to grab a goal at +205. He’s been skating on their top unit alongside Nathan MacKinnon and is averaging over 21 minutes in his last four games. He’s been busy, potting goals in two of his last three games against Western Conference opponents and should get plenty of solid looks today against a weak goaltender.
All odds are provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds are subject to change.
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