Top Shelf Picks: Best NHL Bets Today (Fade Maple Leafs Until Further Notice)

Nov 8, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Simon Benoit (2) and goalie
Nov 8, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Simon Benoit (2) and goalie / Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

NHL action continues on Friday night with a solid slate of games.

Unfortunately, my NHL picks have not been good to start the season, sitting at 28-32-1 (-7.83 units) through the first month. But, I'm still confident in my process and I think we can get back to the green sooner rather than later.

Let's try to find some momentum tonight. I have three bets locked in that I'm ready to break down.

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Best NHL Picks for Today

  • Flames +130 vs. Maple Leafs
  • Hurricanes/Panthers UNDER 6.5 (+100)
  • Flyers -120 vs. Ducks

Flames +130 vs. Maple Leafs

My Toronto Maple Leafs are a disaster of a team right now and might just be the most overvalued team in the NHL on the betting market right now. Bad coaching, bad defense, bad goaltending, and two of the worst players to touch the ice this season in Ryan Reaves and John Klingberg.

If you take a look at 5-on-5 score & venue adjusted numbers, the Maple Leafs are 17th in CORSI% and 27th in expected goal differential per 60 minutes. Not the types of numbers that support them being a sizable favorite at home against a tough Flames squad.

I'll be fading the Maple Leafs until further notice.

Hurricanes/Panthers UNDER 6.5 (+100)

These two teams are better defensively than you may think. In fact, the Hurricanes are second in the NHL in expected goals against per 60 minutes of 5-on-5 play and the Panthers are fifth in actual goals against per 60 minutes of 5-on-5 play.

Meanwhile, both teams have struggled to find the back of the net at times, ranking in the bottom half of the NHL in shooting percentage at 9.76% and 8.47%.

I'll take the UNDER at plus-money in this Eastern Conference Final rematch.

Flyers -120 vs. Ducks

The Flyers are just 5-7-1 on the season while the Ducks are 7-5, but I think it's the Flyers who have actually been playing better hockey. They outrank Anaheim in 5-on-5 CORSI%, xGF%, and HDCF%.

The Ducks are seventh in the NHL in PDO, which is a stat that combines shooting percentage and save percentage and one that some people point to as being the stat that reflects "luck" the best in the league. Usually, teams that rank high in PDO are good fade candidates when it comes to betting, so that's exactly what I'm going to do. Give me the Flyers to win on the road.

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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