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Best NHL Bets Today | NHL Picks, October 20

Written by: Michael Hanich
Published October 20, 2023
11 min read
Best NHL Bets Today October 20

Calgary Flames @ Columbus Blue Jackets

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook. See other NHL sportsbooks for more betting opportunities. 

My Pick: Calgary Flames (CGY)

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The Calgary Flames are just coming off a 4-3 win at the Buffalo Sabres and are now playing on the road again the following day at the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets will be the 4th opponent in the five-game road trip set to end on Sunday.

The Blue Jackets, on the other hand, haven’t played a game since their 4-0 loss at home to the Detroit Red Wings on Monday. This loss comes after a huge 5-3 win at home two days prior over the New York Rangers.

The Blue Jackets are showing signs of inconsistency already at this point in the season, while the Flames have seen some progress and their offense. On Friday night, the two teams will meet for the 66th time.

Calgary is seeing a lot of productivity and their offense and only four games played this season. Five players for the Flames have accounted for four points already, with center Elias Lindholm being the team leader in points with five, which consist of one goal and four assists. Noah Hannifin is one of the more effective scoring defenders for the Flames. He has four points, all of them being assists.

Columbus is looking for more productivity on the offensive side of the ice moving forward. They have only scored seven goals in three games this season. Center Boone Jenner has accounted for four points, with three of them being goals. No one else for the Capitals has more than one goal. They have shown the potential to score against any team, but consistency is the issue.

Jacob Markstrom is set to make his fourth start at goalie for the Flames. He has allowed nine goals this season. For the Blue Jackets, they will be starting Elvis Merzlikins, who has allowed only three goals in the two games played this season.

New Jersey Devils @ New York Islanders

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

My Pick: New York Islanders (NY)

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The New Jersey Devils and the New York Islanders are set to meet for the first time this season as they also play their first games this season in the metropolitan division. The New Jersey Devils started the season with a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings at home, but have lost two consecutive games at home to the Arizona Coyotes and the Florida Panthers. The Islanders, on the other hand, have opened the season with two wins over the Buffalo Sabres and the Coyotes, both at home.

The Devils are coming into this game with a much more impressive offense led by center Jack Hughes and left-wing Jasper Bratt. Four players for New Jersey scored two or more goals. Hughes and Bratt have combined for 11 total points, with five of them being goals and six of them being assists.

The Islanders have only scored four goals in the two games played. They are a team that distributes the puck efficiently throughout the ice. No other player for New York has more than one goal and one assist.

While New Jersey has the favor in scoring, New York easily has the better defense and goalie. Islanders goalie Ilya Sorokin has allowed only two goals in 40-shot attempts at the goal in the previous two games played. In two games played, Devils goalie Vitek Vanecek has allowed seven goals in 65 shot attempts. He projects to start for New Jersey on Friday.

While the Devils are looking strong on defense, it could be the Islanders’ defense that pulls through. 

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Michael Hanich

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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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