Top Shelf Picks: Best NHL Bets Today (Expect Goals in Canucks vs. Rangers)

Breaking down the best NHL bets to place for action set to take place on Monday, Jan. 8.

Jan 6, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider (20) during the third
Jan 6, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider (20) during the third / Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

NHL action continues on Monday so even if you're going to bet on the College Football National Championship game, you might a well place a few hockey bets to go along with it.

The best matchup on the board tonight features an interconference showdown between the Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers, who are both leading their respective divisions.

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Best NHL Bets Tonight

  • Canucks vs. Rangers OVER 6.5 (-105)
  • Stars -140 vs. Wild
  • Bruins vs. Avalanche UNDER 6.5 (-115)

Canucks vs. Rangers prediction

If you like goals, I think you're going to love this game. Over their last 25 games, the Rangers rank eighth in adjusted 5-on-5 expected goals per 60 minutes and 22nd in expected goals against. More importantly, they have the best powerplay unit in the NHL, scoring 29.66% of the time they have a man advantage. Now, they take on a Canucks team whose penalty kill is one of their weakest aspects, ranking 22nd in penalty kill this season.

Then, we can take a peak at the Canucks offense which leads the NHL in shooting percentage over their last 25 games, scoring on 12.54% of their shots on goal. They're also fourth overall in goals per 60 minutes at 3.49.

With all of that in consideration, I think we're in for a high-scoring affair tonight.

Stars vs. Wild prediction

The Minnesota Wild have announced that Marc-Andre Fleury will be starting in net for them tonight so we should feel comfortable fading them at home against the Stars. Fleury's days in the NHL are numbered and he's having his worst statistical season of his career. He's 7-8 on the year with a 3.07 goals against average and an .896 save percentage.

The Stars can match the Wild defensively, but unlike Minnesota, they can actually create some offense. Over their last 25 games, these two teams are first and second in adjusted 5-on-5 expected goals against per game, but the Stars average 2.58 expected goals per 60 minutes while the Wild average 2.33.

The Stars are better on special teams as well, including sporting the fourth best penalty kill in the NHL while the Wild have the fifth worst.

Give me the Stars to get the job done on the road.

Bruins vs. Avalanche prediction

As of writing this article, the Bruins have yet to announce who is starting in net for them tonight, but we can likely assume it'll be Jeremy Swayman, who has an impressive .922 save percentage on the season.

The Bruins' goaltending, combined with the Avalanche's defensive prowess, sets this game up for a great UNDER bet.

I'm going to bet on this being a defensive battle.

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

You can check out all of Iain's bets here!