Watch out for the Vegas Golden Knights, who seem finally to have woken up from their Stanley Cup Finals hangover. They have won six in a row, losing just once in regulation in their last 10 games, and they are tied with Calgary atop the Western Conference with 56 points. Anaheim has slid into a free fall, losers of eight in a row. In the Eastern Conference, Tampa Bay leads everyone else by at least 10 points, winners of eight of their last ten, although the hottest team in the conference is the New York Islanders, winners of six in a row and nine of ten. We have three solid NHL betting picks for you to consider from the NHL this week.
Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week – January 7th Edition
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) January 7, 2019
Monday, January 7
Nashville at Toronto (7:00pm ET, ESPN+)
Two contenders clash in this interconference game on Monday night. Nashville comes in having won three of four, stacking up impressive wins over Washington, Philadelphia and Montreal around a head-scratcher of a loss in Detroit. In the win over Montreal, Craig Smith had a pair of goals, and P.K. Subban had a pair of assists. That was an impressive win given the loss to Detroit the night before, but they came out with speed that the Canadiens simply could not match. Juuse Saros stopped 27 shots in relief of Pekka Rinne, who had played in net the night before.
Now the Predators head to Toronto, who ended a two-game skid with a 5-0 shellacking of the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night. The Maple Leafs have some major instability in goal, with Frederik Andersen (groin) and Garret Sparks (concussion) still on the shelf, but call-up Michael Hutchinson was stellar against the Canucks, stopping all 28 shots for his first shutout in over two years. The Leafs got goals from five different players and looked like they were skating circles around the Canucks. Can they keep delivering at home against the Predators?
NHL Betting Prediction: Toronto 3, Nashville 2
Tuesday, January 8
Philadelphia at Washington (7:30pm ET, NBC Sports)
The Philadelphia Flyers have settled to the bottom of the Metropolitan Division, losers of six in a row. They looked more energetic in a 3-2 loss to the Calgary Flames but still fell in overtime. Now they play St. Louis on Monday before heading to Washington Tuesday night. The loss to Calgary especially hurts because the Flyers gave up a late lead with 4:17 left in the third period. The Flyers did get center Nolan Patrick (upper-body injury) back. However, they are having a hard time on both ends of the ice right now.
Washington comes in on the momentum of a 3-2 win in Detroit on Sunday, which brought a three-game skid to an end. In that win over the Red Wings, Washington went into the third period down 2-1 but got goals from Michal Kempny and Travis Boyd in the last frame and came out with a victory. The Capitals are still in the middle of a drought on the power play, going just 1 for their last 31. I look for the Capitals to continue building momentum when the hapless Flyers come to town.
NHL Betting Prediction: Washington 4, Philadelphia 2
N.Y. Rangers at Vegas (10:00pm ET, ESPN+)
The New York Rangers have lost three straight by a combined score of 18-3, as the defense is awful and the offense is pedestrian. Their last loss might have been the most embarrassing, as it came in Arizona against a dreadful Coyotes team by a 5-0 margin. It’s not like the Rangers have issues with their goalie, as Henrik Lundqvist is healthy, but it’s the defense in front of him that has been awful. Head coach David Quinn described his team as “fragile mentally and physically right now” according to ESPN.
This is not the best time, then, for the Blueshirts to be heading to Vegas, where the Golden Knights are riding high. They took down New Jersey at home on Sunday, 3-2, after the Devils took a 2-0 lead. Max Pacioretty scored the winning goal late in the second period, and the Golden Knights made the lead stand up, thanks to 36 saves from Malcolm Subban. Vegas has gone 17-3-3 since November 21 — and they should make it 18-3-3 on Tuesday night.
NHL Betting Prediction: Vegas 5, New York 1