Top Shelf Picks: Best NHL Bets Today (How to bet Sharks vs. Devils)

Nov 30, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New Jersey Devils defenseman Luke Hughes (43) scores
Nov 30, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New Jersey Devils defenseman Luke Hughes (43) scores / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

We have an extremely small NHL slate to bet on Friday night with just two games set to take place, both scheduled for a 7pm et puck drop. Thanks for nothing to whoever made this year's schedule!

We went 2-2 last night after falling one goal short of the OVER in Lightning/Penguins and the Stars blowing a late-blown lead and eventually losing in overtime to the Flames.

We bounce back today, hoping to hit a bet for both of tonight's games.

If you want to get in on the action tonight, you should place your bets over at Caesars Sportsbook. For a limited time, new users will receive their first bet on Caesars, up to $1,000, if you click the link below to sign up for an account.

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Best NHL Bets Today

  • Blue Jackets +135 vs. Senators
  • Devils 1st period puck line (-0.5) vs. Sharks (-115)

Senators vs. Blue Jackets prediction

On their home ice, the Blue Jackets are the bet to place as significant underdogs against the Senators. A lot of Ottawa's success this season has been due to their strong shooting numbers, ranking second in the NHL in 5-on-5 shooting percentage at 10.54%.

Shooting alone isn't enough to justify their price tag tonight. If you look at some other metrics, the Sens are right there near the bottom of the NHL along with the Blue Jackets. For example, they rank 23rd in CORSI% and 29th in 5-on-5 expected goal differential per 60 minutes, whereas the Blue Jackets rank 24th and 27th in those two respective stats.

It's also worth noting the Blue Jackets surprisingly have one of the best penalty kills in the NHL, ranking second in penalty kill rate.

Taking Columbus as a home-dog in this spot is a no-brainer, in my opinion.

Sharks vs. Devils prediction

Betting on games involving the San Jose Sharks is always a puzzle. They're the worst team in the NHL and it's not even close and even as a guy who loves to bet on teams that everyone else thinks stink, I still can't get there with the Sharks. Even at +400 odds, I can't do it tonight but I also have no interest laying a ton of juice on the Devils to win either.

So, in these situations we have to try to find value in some player props or game props. The way I'm going tonight is taking a game prop, specifically the first period puck line on the Devils. That means they need to be winning by at least one goal at the end of the first period. Considering they're almost north of -400 favorites, this shouldn't be a huge ask.

Let's also consider the first period total is at 2.0 at most sportsbooks, but at shorter odds. So, unless you think the Sharks can score two goals themselves in the first period, then the Devils would need to score at least two goals anyway to hit the over on that bet.

The Devils are fourth in the NHL in 5-on-5 expected goals per 60 minutes at 2.96, while the Sharks are 31st in expected goals against per 60 minutes at 3.06. New Jersey's offense should be able to roll over this Sharks defense, so I'm going to bank on them getting off to a fast start tonight.

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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