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Best NHL Bets Today | NHL Picks, December 8

Written by: Michael Hanich
Published December 8, 2023
11 min read
Best NHL Bets Today December 8

This Friday night, only three NHL games are being played. Two of these games should be not only incredibly enjoyable but also have great value for potential bets. At this point in the season, it is going to be obvious that some of the best bets are going to be four teams going against opponents who are underwhelming but possess great talent. In this case, the teams two rely on are the Florida Panthers and the St. Louis Blues, two serious Stanley Cup Finals contenders.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Florida Panthers

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My Pick: Florida Panthers (FLA)

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One of two early games this Friday night and perhaps the biggest game of the night is set between the huge Eastern Conference matchup between the Pittsburgh Penguins (11-11-3) at the Florida Panthers (15-8-2). This is a matchup where two teams are coming into this game with completely different momentum that will play a part in the outcome tonight.

The Florida Panthers started the season on a rough note and have been battling well into November. In November, the Panthers completely turned their season around as they accounted for a 10-5 record in the month. Florida has won three of their last five matchups and is coming off a 5-4 home win over the Dallas Stars.

The Pittsburgh Penguins continue to have an up-and-down season as the pressure of so many stars on the roster is starting to affect the coaching staff. After accounting for an overall record of 8-6 at one point in the season, the Penguins have gone on to win only three of their last 11 matchups. They are currently on a three-game losing streak.

This is a game where two of the top defenses in the league are set to collide on the ice. Both the Panthers and the Penguins are ranked fifth in the league in goals allowed per game (2.6). The deciding factor of this matchup will come down to the efficiency on the offensive side of the ice. The Panthers have scored 13 goals in their last three matchups, while the Penguins have scored only five.

St. Louis Blues vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

My Pick: St. Louis Blues (STL)

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The second game of the early slate of matchups is that for tonight as the St. Louis Blues (13-11-1) go on the road to take on the Columbus Blue Jackets (8-15-5). The Blues are a team that is on the rise to be a serious contender for the Stanley Cup Finals. The Blue Jackets, while possessing some of the most talented players in the league, are considered a disappointment as their talent does not match the production.

The Blues have battled through an up-and-down season as they endured a brutal set of games early in the 2023-2024 season. After starting the season with an overall record of 5-5-1, the Blues have won eight of their last 14 matchups. St. Louis is coming off a split series against the Vegas Golden Knights. This past Monday, the Blues defeated the Golden Knights on the road with a 2-1 score in overtime but lost two nights later at home with a 6-3 score.

Columbus started the season well, but after a 2-2 start, the Blue Jackets only won one of the next 14 games. They have not become a more efficient team on both sides of the ice display accounting for four wins after the slump. The Blue Jackets are coming off a three-game losing streak where they have allowed 14 goals during that span.

The Blue Jackets are ranked 27th in the league in goals allowed per game (3.5). While the Blues are not the most efficient offense in the league ranking 24th in goals per game (2.88), they should be more than capable of scoring against a terrible Blue Jackets defense. It doesn't help that the Blue Jackets said they are ranked 25th in goals per game (2.86).

This game should say more about the inconsistencies that the Blue Jackets are, compared to the medium standards that the Blues give night in and night out.

Check out the best NHL bonuses and promo codes for more betting opportunities.

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Michael Hanich

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Michael Hanich is a sports journalist/analyst with a wide variety of experience in the newspaper and digital field. He has a love for all sports. The leagues that he covers are College Football, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, College Basketball (men’s and women’s), the MLB, Lacrosse, Volleyball, and the WNBA.

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