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Best NHL Bets Today | NHL Picks, February 23

Written by: Max Heering
Updated February 23, 2023
20 min read
Best NHL Bets

Buffalo Sabres vs Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning -1.5 +104 (FanDuel)

The Buffalo Sabres will travel to Tampa Bay to face the Lightning for the third time this season. The Lightning won the first two matchups by scores of 5-3 and 6-5, respectively. The Lightning will have success once more this game and cover. Bet on the Lightning -1.5.

The Sabres have a killer offense but have been unable to replicate that success on defense. They allow 3.49 goals per game and gave up six goals to the Toronto Maple Leafs in their previous matchup. This is also partially because of their subpar goaltending, but their defense is also doing them no favors.

The Lightning’s numbers are much better than Buffalo’s on paper. Their offense is slightly slower, but their defense is significantly stronger. In additon, they have a reliable and consistent goaltender in Andrei Vasilevskiy. However, the real reason they will cover the spread is because they are coming off a 6-1 win against the Anaheim Ducks and have home-ice advantage. The Lightning are mediocre on the road, but are dominant at home. They come into this game with a 22-4-2 record at the Amalie Arena. Bet on Tampa Bay to cover.

Minnesota Wild vs Columbus Blue Jackets

Blue Jackets +1.5 -164 (FanDuel)

Our second bet of the day takes us to Columbus, Ohio, for a game between the Minnesota Wild and the Columbus Blue Jackets. These teams are having significantly different seasons. The Wild are in the Playoff race and will play past the regular season if they stay consistent. However, the Blue Jackets are having a horrendous season and sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with 41 points. With that being said, Columbus will keep this game close and cover the spread.

The Wild are an interesting team. Offensively, they are nothing special, but defensively, they perform well and allow less than 2.8 goals per game. Minnesota has also seen goaltender Filip Gustavsson step up this season and become the starting netminder. However, the Wild have not been winning by huge margins. They are on a three-game winning streak but won by one goal each time. In fact, their last six wins have all been by one goal. I do not see that changing today, even though they face the Blue Jackets. Bet on Columbus +1.5.

Los Angeles Kings vs New Jersey Devils

O 6.5 Goals -102 (FanDuel)

Our third bet of the day is a simple over/under bet. Even so, this is one of the riskier bets of the day. This matchup involves the Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils. These teams played each other in mid-January, and the Devils won 5-2. I expect this to also be a higher-scoring game, so I would bet on the over.

Both teams have high-scoring offenses. The Kings average 3.31 goals per game, and the Devils average 3.44 goals per game. They are both coming off games where they scored a combined three goals, but their previous performances were all high scoring. I realize that may not sound too convincing to some, so I will add this. The Kings lack quality defensemen and often have subpar goaltending, which results in them allowing 3.35 goals per game. The Devils will take advantage of that and put at least four goals on them. This game may or may not be close, but seven or more goals will be scored. Bet on the over.

Nashville Predators vs San Jose Sharks

Predators Moneyline -134 (FanDuel)

Our fourth bet of the day takes us to the West Coast for a game between the Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks. These teams play in different divisions, so they only see each other three times a season. Their first two games were at the beginning of the year. The Predators handled business each time and won by scores of 4-1 and 3-2, respectively. I expect the Predators to handle business once more, so I would bet on their moneyline.

The Predators and Sharks are in different positions and have different styles. The Predators are seven points out of the second Wild Card spot and have quality defensemen and good goaltenders. Their problems begin and end on the offensive end. Nashville does not have many scorers, which results in them averaging 2.78 goals per game. That number is quite low and will not get them into the Playoffs. Their opponents, the Sharks, are effectively out of the Playoff race and lack competent defenders and goaltenders. Their offense is a little below average, but their defense and goaltending are more significant problems and need major upgrades. San Jose allows 3.59 goals per game and gave up four goals in their previous game. They do not have what it takes to beat the Predators. Bet on the Nashville moneyline.

Vancouver Canucks vs St. Louis Blues

Blues Moneyline -120 (FanDuel)

Our final bet of the day is also a moneyline bet. It involves the Vancouver Canucks and St. Louis Blues. These teams went to battle in mid-December, and the Blues crushed the Canucks 5-1. I do not expect St. Louis to have as much success this time around, but they will win. Bet on the Blues moneyline.

These teams are pretty even on paper, but the Blues will win for two reasons. They are healthier than the Canucks and have home-ice advantage. Vancouver is playing quite shorthanded and missing many players. I will not list all of them, but I will say that goaltender Thatcher Demko, defensemen Oliver-Ekman Larsson and Luke Schenn, and center Curtis Lazar will not be on the ice. This is a problem for Vancouver, especially because the Blues will only be without Brandon Saad, Jake Neighbours, and possibly Pavel Buchnevick and Torey Krug. This will leave the Canucks at a major disadvantage.

The Canucks will also be playing on the road. They have lost four of their last five games away from Vancouver, and will lose this one too. Bet on the Blues moneyline.

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Max Heering

429 Articles

Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]

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