Best NHL Bets Today | NHL Picks, January 4

Written by: Michael Hanich
Published January 4, 2024
6 min read
Best NHL Bets Today January 4

This Thursday night is going to bring a numerous slate of games to watch. There is a lot of availability for teams to make a statement as they continue into the new year. Several close games have the potential to give fans the thrill of a stellar matchup and potential opportunities to win some earnings. This Thursday night is a great opportunity for the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Seattle Kraken to move up in the standings and give fans some money.

These will be the games to keep track of for solid betting opportunities. These oddsmakers are giving great opportunities for fans of the NHL and casual bettors to potentially earn some great winnings tonight through DraftKings.

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Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Boston Bruins

  • Time: 7:30 PM E.T. - Thursday

  • Moneyline: Penguins (+124) | Bruins (-148)

  • Puck Line: Penguins +1.5 (-198) | Bruins -1.5 (-164) 

  • Total: Over 6 (-108) | Under 6 (-112)

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

My Pick: Boston Bruins (BOS)

Both the Boston Bruins (23-7-6) and the Pittsburgh Penguins (18-14-4) have developed a groove within the past few games. Something has to give as they meet for the first time this season on Thursday night in a primetime-aired game.

The Bruins have been one of the most impressive and consistent teams since the start of the season. Boston didn’t suffer its first loss in regular time under the 11th game of the season. Since then, they found ways to win big games and themselves out of significant losing streaks quickly. After a four-game losing streak, the Bruins have accounted for a current four-game winning streak. They have outscored their four Eastern Conference opponents 18-7 during this run.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have been on the verge of being one of the most disappointing teams in the NHL due to the star-level talent on their roster. The Penguins started the season with an overall record of 3-6 before winning five consecutive games. Since then, Pittsburgh has been mostly juggling inefficient and lackluster performances as coaching has been a huge issue. There has been a change in this team as they feel more confident. Since the 3-1 loss at the Florida Panthers, the Penguins won seven of the last ten matchups. The Penguins outscored their opponents 17-7 in their last four matchups.

This is a game that will come down to which offense will be able to score against their elite defenses. The Bruins rank fourth in the league in goals allowed per game (2.56) while the Penguins allow 2.67 goals per game (sixth in the league). The Bruins are averaging 3.22 goals per game, while the Penguins are averaging 3.00 goals per game. Pittsburgh has the numbers of elite scorers, but the Bruins’ game plans and mentality make them the more reliable team.

Calgary Flames vs. Nashville Predators

  • Time: 8:00 PM E.T. - Thursday

  • Moneyline: Flames (+102) | Predators (-122)

  • Puck Line: Flames +1.5 (-245) | Predators -1.5 (-200) 

  • Total: Over 6 (-115) | Under 6 (-105)

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

My Pick: Nashville Predators (NSH)

One of the closest matchups of the night is set for a Western Conference matchup between the Calgary Flames and the Nashville Predators. The Flames are not finding consistency on the ice despite several impact/star players. The Predators, on the other hand, are playing well with their numerous role players making a significant impact.

This game tonight will be the second matchup of the season. The Predators defeated the Flames 4-2 on November 22 thanks to the numerous impact from several players on the roster. Predators defender Ryan McDonagh accounted for two assists. The Predators had four different players score in the game, a common trend this season.

Nashville is currently on a two-game wins streak after coming off a tough three-game losing streak to playoff-caliber teams. The Predators have shown they can beat any team and create a tough matchup for the opponents to score.

Calgary is also on a two-game win streak with a close win over the Philadelphia Flyers and a solid win at the Minnesota Wild. They have the talent on both sides of the ice to contain any team, but they have shown to lack the intensity and the focus.

The Predators are the more efficient team on both sides of the ice. Nashville is averaging 3.08 goals per game and allowing an average of 3.05 goals per game. Calgary is only averaging 2.97 goals per game while allowing an average of 3.16 goals per game.  

Ottawa Senators vs. Seattle Kraken

  • Time: 10:00 PM E.T. - Thursday

  • Moneyline: Senators (+110) | Kraken (-130)

  • Puck Line: Senators +1.5 (-225) | Kraken -1.5 (-185) 

  • Total: Over 6.5 (-105) | Under 6.5 (-115)

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

My Pick: Seattle Kraken (SEA)

One of the final games of the night could be a potential trap game for one of the hottest teams in the Western Conference. The Seattle Kraken (15-14-9), coming off their convincing Winter Classic win over the Vegas Golden Knights, host an upset-minded Ottawa Senators (14-19).

The Kraken have been one of the most disappointing teams through the first half of the 2023-2024 NHL Season. They were not able to win a game until game five of the season. The Kraken have had more bad luck than good luck into the season. Seattle is on a five-game winning streak, easily its best run of the season as they have defeated the Los Angeles Kings on the road, the Philadelphia Flyers in overtime, and the Golden Knights 3-0 at home in the Winter Classic. The Kraken have outscored their opponents 12-5 in the last five games thanks to the impressive play of their defense.

The Senators won the only matchup against the Kraken this season 2-0 on December 2, thanks to the stellar play of their goalie Anton Forsberg. He accounted for 39 saves and no goals allowed. The Senators have won three of the last five against a tough slate of playoff-caliber opponents. Ottawa’s offense has kicked significantly, but their defense continues to give goals consistently. The Senators have scored 19 points, but have given up 19 as well.

Seattle’s rise to prominent playmaking on both sides of the ice could be temporary or could continue to build toward a trend. The Kraken are on fire right now, and they look to keep the streak alive as they continue to play well into the new year.

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Michael Hanich

Sports Betting Analyst

Betting Picks
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.
Nationality: American
Education: N/A
Favourite Sportsbook: Caesars Sportsbook
Favourite Casino: FanDuel Casino
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