NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: 5 Best Bets for Massive Pre-Thanksgiving Slate (Wednesday, November 22)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images. Pictured: Tyler Toffoli #73 and Elias Lindholm #28 of the Calgary Flames
Check out our NHL Best Bets tonight as hockey fans are treated to a massive 14-game slate on the eve of Thanksgiving.
The pre-Turkey Day lineup kicks off at 7 p.m. ET with games across TNT and ESPN+.
Our hockey experts have scoured tonight's schedule and found value in five matchups. Their best bets include three plays on the moneyline, one on the total, and one anytime goalscorer pick.
Check out all of their predictions and previews below with their NHL best bets for Wednesday, Nov. 22.
NHL Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our NHL betting staff is targeting from today's slate of games. Click on the team logos for any of the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
Specific betting recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our NHL Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.
By Grant White
People need to stop betting on the Edmonton Oilers.
A coaching change wasn't the magical pill Ken Holland thought it would be, and their underlying concerns persist.
Tonight, they take on one of the top analytics teams in the league, putting them further behind the betting odds.
Since the coaching change, the Oilers have been outplayed in three of four outings, cratering their offensive metrics. Prior to Kris Knoblauch taking over, the Oilers were averaging 11.8 high-danger chances per game. Now, they are down to 9.3.
Those issues will only be compounded against the Carolina Hurricanes, who allow the fourth-fewest high-danger chances in the NHL.
Moreover, the personnel issues that Holland refuses to address continue to hamper the Oilers. Edmonton goalies have combined for the fifth-worst save percentage at 5 on 5, and the absolute worst across all strengths.
Hurricanes shooters should have no problem getting to Oilers netminders, and Edmonton doesn't have the offensive structure to keep pace. Carolina rolls tonight.
Pick: Hurricanes (-141 at Caesars)
By Greg Liodice
The Winnipeg Jets are among the hottest teams in the NHL right now. After winning six of their last seven games, the Jets head south to Tampa Bay to take on a surging Lightning team.
Winnipeg has been able to click on all cylinders. Kyle Connor is on fire, leading the league in goals with 14, and he’s connected superbly with Mark Scheifele.
Because of Winnipeg’s successes, the Jets have done well at 5-on-5 play, playing to a 52.23 xGF%. However, they’re even better on the defensive end with a 2.39 xGA/60. With a stalwart in Connor Hellebuyck in net (who has gotten better as the season’s worn on), this team’s in good shape.
Similarly, the Lightning are on a three-game winning streak, and they have gotten their sea legs under them. There’s been a lot of concern with this team with the absence of Andrei Vasilevksiy, but Jonas Johansson has done the best he could.
What’s important about this surge is that the offense in front of him has awoken. The power four of Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman and Brayden Point are all producing at a point-per-game pace.
The only problem that concerns me is their defense. Offensively, Tampa has picked it up, but I’m still seeing a drop in its even-strength defense with a consistent 3.00 xGA/60.
Ultimately, I see the Jets pulling this one out on the road. They’ve been hotter, and I trust them more at this juncture. They’re also an incredibly well-rounded team, rolling out four lines consistently, and the goaltending is figuring itself out.
Pick: Jets (-105 at DraftKings)
By Ryan Dadoun
The potential payout from predicting there will be under 6.5 goals in tonight’s contest between the Capitals and Sabres isn’t amazing on its own, but I see it as really good in the context of how likely I view that outcome to be.
Despite their reputations to the contrary earned from previous campaigns, Buffalo and Washington are two of the worst offensive teams this year. The Sabres are tied for 23rd with 2.83 goals per game while the Capitals rank 31st with 2.47.
At least part of the reason for that is injuries. Washington will play without forwards Nicklas Backstrom (hip), Evgeny Kuznetsov (illness) and Max Pacioretty (Achilles), and the Sabres are missing key forwards too in Jack Quinn (Achilles) and Tage Thompson (upper body).
Meanwhile, age might finally be catching up to Alex Ovechkin. He hasn’t been bad, but two of his five goals this campaign have been scored on an empty net, and his 8.6 shooting percentage would represent a career low if the season ended today.
With Buffalo, several forwards have underperformed relative to 2022-23 with perhaps the worst offender being Dylan Cozens, who has three goals and eight points in 16 appearances this year after scoring 31 goals and 68 points last campaign.
These two teams have also been surprisingly solid defensively with Washington ranking sixth by allowing just 2.67 goals per game while Buffalo is tied for 15th while surrendering 3.17.
That all combines to make this a very attractive bet.
Pick: Sabres-Capitals under 6.5 (-117 at BetRivers)
Nobody wrote off the Blues' playoff chances more than myself this offseason, and the Coyotes in particular were a divisional team I thought could sneak in instead.
The recent form of these teams suggests the Blues are a good bet as slight underdogs on Wednesday, though.
Despite my low expectations for the Blues this year, it's not surprising to see Pavel Buchnevich and Robert Thomas on fire while leading a productive top line for St. Louis. They should be point-per-game players this season, and the Blues top 5-on-5 line should be a strength.
What is surprising to me is that the Blues have played well-structured hockey all over the ice, and in particular, they have cleaned up their defensive game significantly. Over the last 10 games, they own a 53.33% expected goals rating.
Still, the greatest reason for the Blues' strong start is that Jordan Binnington has bounced back with a +9.4 GSAx and .922 save % in 12 appearances.
The Coyotes meanwhile have regressed after a high-quality start to the season. In the last 10 games, they own an expected goal share of only 45.5%. Part of the problem has been the loss of top center Barrett Hayton and two blue-line mainstays in Juuso Valimaki and Travis Dermott.
Pick: Blues (+100 at BetRivers)
By Tony Sartori
Oddsmakers expect a relatively high-scoring game between the Calgary Flames and Nashville Predators with the total bouncing between 6 and 6.5 depending on the book. With that in mind, let's take a shot on Elias Lindholm to find the back of the net at +220 via FanDuel, which is 20 cents longer than the rest of the market.
Lindholm has seemingly gotten the monkey off his back this past week, scoring two goals over the past three games following an extremely sluggish start to the campaign.
Positive regression was certainly looming for a guy who posted 64 goals over the previous two seasons, and his expected goals for per 60 minutes at 5 on 5 still outweigh his actual goals scored per 60 minutes despite scoring two even-strength goals this past week.
That means further positive regression is still likely on the way, which could come to fruition against a Nashville team that has struggled to keep the puck out of the net. This season, the Preds rank 21st in goals allowed per game, which is the product of a few variables.
First, goaltender Juuse Saros has struggled mightily, even with a lack of consistent defensive play in front of him. While Saros is far better than his .892 save percentage suggests, he simply can't be trusted now.
Over his past six starts, Saros is 1-4 with a .863 save percentage and 4.11 GAA. At 5 on 5, he ranks 26th out of the 27 goaltenders to start at least 10 games this year in Goals Saved Above Expected per 60 minutes.
Even if Lindholm doesn't find the back of the net at even-strength, he centers the first power-play unit, which could thrive against a Predators team that ranks 30th in penalty kill percentage.