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Best NHL Bets Today | NHL Picks, December 19

Written by: Michael Hanich
Published December 19, 2023
8 min read
Best NHL Bets Today December 19

Let's choose a night as a big night for the NHL as it is NHL hockey night for ESPN+. There will be numerous games for casual and long-time fans of the sport to watch and potentially make bets on. These are games that will be impactful for the season and four fans too potentially when significant earnings in. Among some of the games being played tonight or potential Eastern Conference finals matchups. DraftKings has great betting odds and opportunities for this big night.

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

New York Rangers vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

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My Pick: New York Rangers (NY)

The biggest match of the night in the NHL is going to be a great one as the New York Rangers (21-7-1) go on the road to take on the Toronto Maple Leafs (16-6-6). This will be the second game this season between the Rangers and the Maple Leafs as Toronto took a 7-3 win this time last week in Madison Square Garden. Maple leaves center Austin Matthews accounted for two goals and two assists while forward Mitchell Marner accounted for two goals and one assist.

Toronto has been one of the most aggressive scoring teams in the league as they are ranked second in the league in goals per game (3.64). They are on a roll offensively as the Maple Leafs are averaging 4.6 goals in the last eight games. They are coming off a dominating 7-0 win at home versus the Pittsburgh Penguins this past Saturday. While their offense has been strong the past few games, their defense has been the reason why they have lost two of the last four games.

One of the best attributes of the Rangers this season is a stellar player of their defense. New Yorkers ranked 8th in the league in goals allowed per game (2.72), but they have been up and down within the past few weeks. In the eight games in December, the Rangers have allowed an average of 3.5 goals per game. The Rangers have allowed only one goal each in the last three games, including their last two against the Anaheim Ducks at the Boston Bruins.

Both teams are highly efficient in their best attributes, but their consistency is all over the place right now. The Rangers are the team that are currently on a good win streak and are coming off a set of two games with defensive proficiency, especially after a big win over the Bruins on the road. The Rangers are a team that does not lose multiple games in a series, especially in a short span. They will look to get revenge on the Maple Leafs in a thrilling game on Tuesday night.

St. Louis Blues vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

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My Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning (TB)

Another highly anticipated game on this Tuesday's slate of NHL matchups as the St. Louis Blues (15-14-1) go on the road to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning (14-13-5). Tonight's game will be the second time this season that the Blues and the Lightning will meet on the ice.

They previously met on November 15th as the St. Louis Blues dominated the Tampa Bay Lightning with a 5-0 score. Blues goalie Jordan Binnington accounted for 30 saves in the game, while center Jordan Kyrou accounted for two goals and defender Torey Krug accounted for two assists.

Since that win over the Lightning, the Blues have won only seven of the last 16 games. After the 6-4 loss at home to the Detroit Red Wings, the Blues fired head coach Craig Berube, the coach responsible for giving the franchise their only Stanley Cup Trophy.

The Lighting, on the other hand, has accounted for an overall record of 8-7-1 since the loss to the Blues. They have an up-and-down season as they have accounted for huge wins but tough winnable game losses. Tampa Bay defeated Edmonton on the road with a 7-4 win last Thursday but lost two days later at Calgary with a 4-2 score.

Tampa Bay’s defense is among the worst in the league as they allowed an average of 3.56 goals per game, fourth most in the league. The good news for Tampa Bay is that St. Louis’ defense isn’t much better as they allow an average of 3.27 goals per game, 21st in the league. The Lightning have a huge advantage of offense, ranking 12th in the league in goals per game (3.28).

Ottawa Senators vs. Arizona Coyotes

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

My Pick: Arizona Coyotes (ARI)

One of the late games of the night is set for a potential redemption game as the Ottawa Senators (11-15) go on the road to take on the Arizona Coyotes (15-13-2). There should be a game that the Coyotes normally take a big win for numerous reasons, but the oddsmakers are giving the senators serious hope for an upset.

After a hopeful start to the season, which included a 3-1 overall record, the senators had a chance to make some serious noise in a tough Eastern Conference and Atlantic division. Instead, after accounting for an overall record of 8-7, Ottawa would only win three of the next 11 games. After getting on a current four consecutive losing streak, the team fired head coach D.J. Smith and named Jacques Martin as the interim head coach.

It has not been an easy season for the codes as they are coming off a terrible performance last year. They are, however, starting to find a little bit of balance in their performances. After accounting for an overall record of 8-9-2, Arizona would win 7 of the next 11 games. They are currently on a two-game winning streak, with their last win coming last Saturday and a 2-0 win at home versus the Buffalo Sabres. Their defense has been stellar within the past two games as they haven't allowed a goal, but they have scored three goals in the process.

The Senators are coming into this game with the 10th-ranked scoring offense (3.35 goals per game). The Coyotes’ defense allows an average of 2.87 per game, 11th in the league. The Coyotes should have no problems attempting to score as their 17th-ranked scoring offense (3.03 goals per game) takes on a Senators’ defense ranked 26th in goals allowed per game (3.42).

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Michael Hanich

378 Articles

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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