Top Shelf Picks: Best NHL Bets Tonight (Maple Leafs Trounce Islanders)

Breaking down the best bets to place for NHL action set to take place on Monday, December 11.

Dec 9, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) celebrates at
Dec 9, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) celebrates at / Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

I've been cold with my NHL picks the last few days, there's no getting around it.

But it's a new week and we have Monday night NHL to bet on so it's time to pick myself up and try to get back to my winning ways. As always, I have three bets locked in for tonight's action.

If you want to tail these picks (or bet the opposite side) then you should do so at Caesars Sportsbook. If you click the link below to sign up for an account, your first bet will be covered by Caesars up to $1,000!

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Best NHL Bets Today

  • Leafs -1.5 (+195) vs. Islanders
  • Coyotes +110 vs. Sabres
  • Avalanche -170 vs. Flames

Maple Leafs vs. Islanders prediction

I've bet against my Maple Leafs a lot this season, but this is the rare spot that I think there's a ton of value on them. So much so that I'm not even going to take their moneyline, I'm going to take their puck line at an aggressive price instead.

The Maple Leafs have been trending in the right direction over the past couple of weeks, improved their numbers in CORSI%, expected goals, and high-danger scoring chances. In 5-on-5 adjusted numbers, the Leafs are third in the NHL in high-danger scoring chances over their last 10 games. I think that's enough to overpower this Islanders team in what is generally a bad stylistic matchup for New York.

The Islanders are fourth last in the league in adjusted 5-on-5 expected goals against over their last 10 games. You simply can't give the Maple Leafs offensive opportunities or they're going to burn you.

Coyotes vs. Sabres prediction

The Buffalo Sabres are trending in the wrong direction and it's time to bet against them. They're fourth last in adjusted 5-on-5 expected goals 60 minutes over their last 10 games. Only the Blue Jackets, Sharks, and Blackhawks rank worse than them in that time frame.

Devon Levi is expected to get the start for the Sabres tonight. He has an .892 save percentage this season but now he has to face a Coyotes team that's third in the NHL in shooting percentage this season at 11.78%.

I'll back the Coyotes as short home underdogs.

Flames vs. Avalanche prediction

I'll take the safe route in this one and back the Avalanche to win at home. The Flames can beat weaker competition, but their inability to score or stop the puck costs them against strong opponents. They're 23rd in the NFL in shooting percentage and 28th in save percentage. That's not going to work against this Avs team.

Heading into tonight's game, the Avalanche rank ninth in adjusted 5-on-5 expected goal differential, whereas the Flames are just 15th.

Let's not get too cute here. Let's just take the Avs on the moneyline.

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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