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Best NHL Bets Today | NHL Picks, December 18

Written by: Michael Hanich
Published December 18, 2023
8 min read
Best NHL Bets Today December 18

Kicking off the new week in the NHL are a couple of matchups that are expected to bring significant earnings for numerous bettors. Two games, in particular, have Stanley Cup finals contending teams as potential close favorites against inferior opponents. These two games alone should make great opportunities for people to win big using DraftKings Sportsbook.

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

Seattle Kraken vs. Dallas Stars

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook. Skate into NHL action with DraftKings – Bet $5, Get $150 in bonus bets!

My Pick: Dallas Stars (DAL)

One of the closest Western Conference matchups this Monday night is set as the Seattle Kraken (10-14-8) go on the road to take on the Dallas Stars (17-8-4) in the potential trap game. Ordinarily, the Kraken our team would not challenge to the stars in a tough setting and account for a win, but the oddsmakers are given Seattle serious props to potentially pull an upset.

This game will be the first time that these two opponents will meet on the ice since last season's Western Conference Semifinals when Dallas won the series in seven games.

This Kraken team doesn’t look even as close as the playoff team they were last year as they started the season with four consecutive losses followed by a series of up-and-down performances. By the time Seattle had gotten to an overall record of 8-8-5 after a big 7-1 win over the San Jose Sharks, the Kraken would go on to lose eight consecutive games. Seattle has won two of their last three matchups but is coming off a tough outcome to the Los Angeles Kings with a 3-2 shootout loss.

The Stars were one of the hottest teams in the NHL to start the season. Dallas opened the season with a solid streak of 7-1-1 before their schedule took on a lot more tough road trips and more prominent playoff-contending teams. Dallas has won three of the last five games, but they are coming off a 4-3 overtime loss at the St. Louis Blues, who would just recently fire their head coach.

Both the Kraken and the Stars are just in the middle of the pack when it comes to defensive efficiency. Dallas is ranked 14th in the league in goals allowed per game (3.14), while Seattle is ranked 15th (3.16).

The biggest difference would be the efficiency on the offensive side of the ice as Dallas is ranked sixth in the league in goals per game (3.48). This is due to an impactful roster that has eight players who have accounted for at least 20 points this season. Seattle, on the other hand, is one of the worst teams in the league in scoring, ranking 28th in goals per game (2.69).

Florida Panthers vs. Calgary Flames

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook. Bet $5, snag $150 in bonus bets with DraftKings. Win or lose, you're a winner!

My Pick: Florida Panthers (FLA)

The final game of the night is set for an Eastern Conference versus Western Conference matchup as the Florida Panthers (18-10-2) go on the road to take on the Calgary Flames (12-14-5) in one of the closest games projected by DraftKings.

Outside of their first two games of this season, the Panthers have been among the most consistent teams in the league as they have been winning consistently and accounting for a solid win streak. The Panthers would only account for a losing streak three times during this course of the season, and there's never been a losing streak of more than two games. They have won four of the last six games and are finishing up a tough five-game Western Conference road trip.

Despite having reliable talent on both sides of the ice, the Flames are among the most disappointing teams in the league as they have the potential to be a playoff contender in the Western Conference. Calgary started the season with an overall record of 2-7-1 but has maintained consistent performances since then, except for when and only two of the last eight games.

The Panthers have a slow and methodical offense as they take their time to try and find good scoring opportunities, while the Flames are 13 that haven’t developed their rhythm offensively. Both teams average three goals per game, just below average in the league.

The Panthers will have the odds on the defensive side of the ice as they are the fifth-ranked-scoring defense in the league (2.57 goals allowed per game). The Flames are ranked 26th in the league and goals allowed per game (3.39).

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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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