Monday Night Hockey – Betting Odds and Predictions
The NHL kicks off the week with five games on Monday night to help you ease into the holiday stretch. The league is celebrating it’s anniversary of the first game ever played on December 19, 1917. It was 99 years ago today that the inaugural games were played and the league has come a long way. Let’s set up the matches on this historic night.
Edmonton Oilers at St.Louis Blues
- Edmonton (+126) at St.Louis (-139)
- Edmonton (+1.5) at St.Louis (-1.5)
Total – Over/Under
Two teams with almost identical records strive to stay relevant in the West on Monday. The Oilers (16-12-5) skate into St.Louis to battle the Blues (17-11-4) with both teams struggling a bit during their most recent stretch.
Edmonton is coming off a 3-2 win over Tampa Bay, but is still just 4-3-3 in their last ten games. St.Louis meanwhile has fared slightly better with a 5-4-1 record over their last ten, but are coming off a rare loss at home. They let in a whopping six goals against the Blackhawks to drop just their second game in their own building 6-4.
The Oilers offense has been rejuvenated this season. Edmonton is scoring 2.94 goals a game which ranks 7th in the league. They rank one spot better at 6th for their power play performance.
Edmonton is connecting on an excellent 22.22 percent of all power play opportunities and find themselves with the extra attacker 3.27 times a game.
The obvious catalyst for the resurgence in Connor McDavid. McDavid leads the league in points with 39 but has cooled off slightly over the past few games. He has just a two point lead now for tops in the NHL.
Another reason for their strong offense is Leon Draisaitl. Draisaitl has been buried on the third line thanks to Edmonton’s depth cat the centre position, but that hasn’t stopped him from feasting on weaker opposition. He has 14 goals and 14 assists for 28 points this season.
St.Louis has been no slouch with the puck either this season. The Blues are up to 2.84 goals a game and have another young sniper to thank for it.
Vladimir Tarasenko is the aforementioned player who is just two points behind McDavid for the lead league in points. Tarasenko has 15 goals and 22 assists for 37 points this season and the 24-year old Russian continues to be the Blues leader on the offensive side of the puck.
Like Edmonton, St.Louis has a strong power play as well. The Blues succeed on 21.90 percent of their opportunities and get those chances 3.28 times a game. The goals should becoming fast and furious on Monday.
Both teams have defenses that rank below the league average, which is surprising given their positions in the standings. If you had to guess going into the season who would have the stronger defensive unit, most people would pick St.Louis. Most people would be wrong.
The Blues are allowing a shocking 2.91 goals a game despite having some of the strongest defensemen in the league. Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Bouwmeester have combined to go -10 on the ice this season and only Colton Paraynko has a “positive” rating of 0 this season along the blue line.
The Oilers on the other hand are just off the league average, allowing 2.73 goals per contest. Andrej Sekera has been the biggest surprise for Edmonton with 15 points and a +9 rating this season on the ice.
Edmonton also does a good job killing off penalties, shutting down the opposing team’s power play 83,.17 percent of the time.
A strong reason for Edmonton’s defense has been the play of Cam Talbot in net this season. Talbot owns a 15-10-4 record with a .916 save percentage and a 2.54 goals against average.
He’s had a few tough outings during the season, and may find himself over-powered by the Blues’ high-octane offense, but has shown time and time again that he’s capable of some resilient play.
In St.Louis it will be Carter Hutton in net for a rare start after Jake Allen played so poorly against Chicago.
Hutton is just 2-4-1 on the season in nine appearances and has a brutal .889 save percentage with a 2.92 goals against average. It will be a tough spot for a rare start against one of the best offenses in the league.
Connor McDavid against Vladimir Tarasenko. They’re the number 1 and 2 scoring leaders in the league, what more needs to be said?
After a tough loss at home against the Blackhawks, we don’t see the Blues opening up the first night of a back to back set with a loss against the Oilers.
With that being said, Edmonton is still capable of winning this, and the moneyline just isn’t strong enough to take the Blues. Why not take a chance on the Oilers on the spread given how strong their offense is this season?
Nashville Predators at Philadelphia Flyers
- Nashville (+110) at Philadelphia (-121)
- Nashville (+1.5) at Philadelphia (-1.5)
Total – Over/Under
Now that Philadelphia’s incredible win streak is over, we can start analyzing them as a real team, instead of some mystical unbeatable juggernaut. Despite the win streak the Flyers are still just the second Wild Card team in the East, and only own a +6 goal differential on the season.
After a tough loss against Dallas, they’re rewarded with the Predators. Luckily for the Flyers, the Preds continue to struggle despite how good they look on paper. Nashville is just 3-5-2 in their last ten games and a downright awful 3-9-2 away from home.
Jakub Voracek against P.K. Subban. The Flyers leading scorer has 33 points this season and goes up against one of the most talented defensemen in the NHL.
Teams often struggle to find consistency after going on such a long win streak and finally losing, but with the way Nashville has been playing this season, it doesn’t feel right to take them on the moneyline despite the good odds. Take the Flyers on the moneyline and the Preds on the Spread if you want action on both sides.
Anaheim Ducks at Toronto Maple Leafs
- Anaheim (+111) at Toronto (-123)
- Anaheim (+1.5) at Toronto (-1.5)
Total – Over/Under
At first glance, seeing the Ducks getting favorable odds in almost any matchup is awesome, let alone against the struggling Leafs, but look against and you may find some reasons to hesitate.
Toronto is coming off an enormous 2-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins and have improved to 4-3-3- in their last ten games. While it’s true they’re still ten points out of a playoff spot, they also haven’t won a single game in the shootout this season, which many argue isn’t a true test of a team’s performance.
They’re capable of scoring at any moment with players like Mitch Marner, Auston Matthews and William Nylander, but have struggled to defend teams at all this season.
The Ducks should be able to take advantage of that defense with their 91 goals this season but have struggled on the road. They’re just 6-7-4 away from home this season.
Frederik Anderson against his former team. Anderson has the skill set to shut out any team, on any night, it just depends on how his defence plays in front of him. If he can get some quality help, it will be fun to watch him stack the pads against his former team.
As much as we want to take the risky play and bet the Leafs, it just doesn’t make sense with the odds given. Anaheim getting a goal and a half against a bad team just doesn’t happen very often. So take the Ducks on the spread and run.
Detroit Red Wings at Carolina Hurricanes
- Detroit (+128) at Carolina (-141)
- Detroit (+1.5) at Carolina (-1.5)
Total – Over/Under
Two evenly matched teams hit the ice in Carolina, but evenly matched isn’t necessarily a good thing at this point in the season. Thanks to Philadelphia’s recent win streak, Carolina and Detroit are both eight and nine points out of a wild card spot in that order.
Both teams are coming off a win however and each have four wins in their last ten games. Tomas Tatar is coming off a hat-trick and maybe his recent offensive play can spark the struggling Wings. In Carolina Sebastian Aho tries to be the spark plug after posting his second multi-point game in December.
Dylan Larkin against Jeff Skinner. Larkin has been disappointing after his 45 point rookie campaign but capable of gaining momentum at any moment against the always fun to watch Jeff Skinner.
Detroit is 7-5-1 on the road this season and getting a goal and a half on the spread against a similarly weak Hurricanes team. Take the spread all day.
Calgary Flames at Arizona Coyotes
- Calgary (-141) at Arizona (+128)
- Calgary (-1.5) at Arizona (+1.5)
Total – Over/Under
Calgary is just 16-15-2 this season, which is a respectable record, but not one you would expect to be good enough for a playoff spot in a talented Western Conference. The thing is, that talented conference has struggled this year,
Every single team outside of the payoffs has a negative goal differential, and Calgary can join that club. The Flames are above .500 despite a goal differential of -11 on the season.
Thankfully for the Flames, they take on a woeful Coyotes club on Monday night. Arizona is a -27 in goal differential on the season and just 6-5-2 at home. The Coyotes have scored just 70 goals on the year and now go up against one of the best defensemen in the league in Mark Giordano
Johnny Gaudreau against Oliver Edman-Larsson. Two of the youngest and most talented players in the league have struggled this season, but are rounding into form lately. Look out for some burst of speed and highlight reel plays from both.
Calgary on the road are actually better than at home this season with a 9-6-2 record so we wouldn’t blame you for taking the moneyline. The only problem is it doesn’t pay much. With both teams struggling to score this season, why not breathe easy and take the under so you don’t have to cheer for either of these inconsistent teams?