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Best NHL Bets Today | NHL Picks, December 22

Written by: Michael Hanich
Published December 22, 2023
8 min read
Best NHL Bets Today December 22

There are only four games played tonight in this Friday's slate of NHL games, but they are games that are expected to be close, according to the oddsmakers. These games present all opportunities for casual NHL fans and bettors to get into the sports gambling side of the matchups. These games should give the bettors significant earnings with the correct pick from DraftKings Sportsbook.

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Edmonton Oilers vs. New York Rangers

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My Pick: New York Rangers (NY)

One of the two games to feature an Eastern Conference versus Western Conference matchup is set as the Edmonton Oilers (14-15-1) go on the road to take on the New York Rangers (22-7-1). This is a game that should bring one of the best matchups on the ice and the sturdy defense of the Rangers versus the veteran and highly productive Oilers offense.

Edmonton's offense ranks 7th in the league in goals per game, averaging 3.43 goals. This is due to the large selection of veterans who are among the best in the league in creating scoring opportunities. Among the two are center Connor McDavid (43 points) and center Leon Draisaitl (35 points). The Oilers also have three more players who have accounted for at least 30 points this season.

The Rangers have a defense that is ranked 8th in the league in goals allowed per game (2.7). They have two of the most efficient goalkeepers and defenders in the league. While their goldies are elite and stout, their defenders rank among the top players in the league in steals.

The biggest matchup of the night will be on the other side of the ice as the Rangers' 13th-ranked scoring offense (3.33 goals per game) takes on the Oilers' defense, which ranks 26 in the league and goes a lot per game (3.43). While one side of the matchup is completely neutral, the Rangers have a huge benefit against an inefficient Oilers defense. 

Montreal Canadiens vs. Chicago Blackhawks

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook. Score $150 Bonus Bet at DraftKings, Bet $5, Win Big, Act fast!

My Pick: Montreal Canadiens (MTL)

The final game of the night in the NHL is also set to be potentially one of the closest matchups as the Montreal Canadiens go on the road to take on the Chicago Blackhawks. This will be the second game this season between the two Eastern Conference teams, as Montreal took a 3-2 win on October 14.

There have been several sports books that have made the Blackhawks the favorites going into this game, but DraftKings has made the Canadians the favorites going into this game. This is the right move to make, because while there is potential with the Blackhawks with rookie center Connor Bedard, the Canadians are the far more trusting team.

 Both the Canadians and the Blackhawks have struggled on both sides of the ice this season. Coming into this game, it is Montreal that has the edge on both sides of the ice. The Canadians are ranked 27th in the league in goals per game (2.72) while also being ranked 22nd in goals allowed per game (3.34). The Blackhawks, on the other hand, are ranked 31st (second to last) in goals per game (2.35) while also ranking 29th in goals allowed per game (3.55).

The Blackhawks have a future star in this league with Bedard, but they have a bad supporting cast around him. The Canadians, on the other hand, have a much more reliable supporting cast around their star center, Nick Suzuki. Defender Mike Matheson and forward Cole Caufield are players for Montreal that have huge games, creating scoring opportunities for Suzuki.

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AUTHOR

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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