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Best NHL Bets Today | NHL Picks, January 18

Written by: Michael Hanich
Published January 18, 2024
6 min read
Best NHL Bets Today January 18

Thursday night in the NHL presents an exciting chance to see some great matchups, including a rescheduled game that holds potential value beyond just the moneyline. One game that will be played early on has a chance to be a Stanley Cup Finals preview. These games bring great value to NHL fans and sports bettors through sportsbooks. Oddsmakers are giving great opportunities for fans of the NHL and casual bettors to have fun and potentially earn some great winnings tonight through DraftKings.

For more betting opportunities, check out our best NHL betting bonuses and promo codes.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Buffalo Sabres

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My Pick: New Jersey Devils (NJ)

Another Eastern Conference game kicking off Wednesday night in the NHL is the matchup between the Montreal Canadiens (18-18-7) going on the road to take on the New Jersey Devils (22-16-3). This game will be the second matchup of the season between the two teams.

The Devils took care of business on the road against a Canadiens team that had developed a good record to start the season. New Jersey defeated Montreal 5-2 on the road, as center Jack Hughes accounted for four assists and forward Tyler Toffoli accounted for three goals.

Two of the worst defenses in the league are set to meet on the ice once again. The Devils are ranked 28th in goals allowed per game (3.49), while the Canadiens are ranked 24th in goals allowed per game (3.35). While some of it is due to the pacing of the offense, mostly from the Devils, it is largely due to the lack of talent on the defensive side of the ice.

Hughes is expected to be out for a significant amount of time for the Devils, but it will not be months. Since the injury to Hughes in the 4-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on January 5, the Devils have managed to still score three or more goals in three of the four games. The Devils have managed to find scoring opportunities for their seventh-ranked scoring offense (3.46 goals per game).

Look for the Devils to make their statement in a solid offensive performance for their best game without Hughes in the lineup against a bad Canadiens defense.

Colorado Avalanche vs. Boston Bruins

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My Pick: Boston Bruins (BOS)

Kicking off Thursday night in the NHL might also be the best game of the week as the Colorado Avalanche (29-13-3) go on the road to take on the Boston Bruins (26-8-9). This matchup is easily a potential Stanley Cup Finals matchup, as the Avalanche and the Bruins are two of the best teams in their conference.

If this game is anything like the matchup more than a week ago, NHL fans are in for a treat. This will be the second time this season that the Bruins and the Avalanche will meet. On January 8, Colorado defeated Boston with a 4-3 score in a shootout at home. While Bruins forward Brad Marchand scored two goals, the Avalanche had more dynamic play from their roster, including forward Valeri Nichushkin, who scored the game-winning goal in the shootout.

Anything goes for this matchup tonight as Colorado’s defense has declined in productivity as well as Boston’s offense. The Avalanche are one of the hottest offensive teams in the NHL, as they are averaging 3.73 goals per game, second in the league. Their defense has shown less intensity within the last few weeks. The Avalanche have given up 33 goals in the last eight games played since the new year, an average of 4.1 goals allowed per game.

The Bruins are ranked 11th in the league in goals per game (3.3), but have averaged 3.75 goals per game in the last eight games. Their defense has been elite this season, ranking fifth in goals allowed per game (2.63).

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Calgary Flames

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My Pick: Calgary Flames (CGY)

The Calgary Flames (21-18-5) are headed in the right direction after a tough start to the season, while the Toronto Maple Leafs (21-13-8) are on a serious losing streak. This Thursday night, the Maple Leafs and the Flames will meet on the ice for the second time this season.

The last time these two teams met on the court, the Flames had not found their consistency, as it was still early in the season. The Maple Leafs defeated the Flames with a 5-4 score in a shootout at home.

Toronto is attempting to redeem itself after a four-game losing streak, including a 4-2 road loss to the Edmonton Oilers this past Tuesday. The Maple Leafs are ranked sixth in the league in goals per game (3.48) with their role players clicking in the last four games.

The Maple Leafs had played at a high level in the four games starting the new year by allowing only three games. In the last four games, however, the Maple Leafs have allowed at least four goals, including a 5-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche this past Saturday.

The Flames were previously among the bottom-tier teams in the league offensively and defensively. A few weeks into the new year, the Flames have established consistency on both sides of the ice. Calgary is ranked 15th in the league in goals per game (3.16) and 16th in goals allowed per game (3.07).

The Flames kept the game close earlier in the season and that was before they found their rhythm. Calgary is hot, while Toronto is not, with their stars stalling out. This is a chance for the Flames to make a statement against the playoff-caliber Maple Leafs.

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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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