Top Shelf Picks: Best NHL Bets Today (Penguins Will Take Down Defending Champs)

Breaking down the best bets to place in the NHL for action set to take place on Sunday, Nov. 19.

Nov 18, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Lars Eller (20) takes a shot
Nov 18, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Lars Eller (20) takes a shot / James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

If you were like me and completely forgot the Maple Leafs and Wild were playing at 9 a.m. EST this morning, then have no fear, we still have a handful of NHL games to bet on this evening.

As always, I have three bets locked in for the slate including the Penguins upsetting the defending champion Golden Knight.

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NHL Picks Today

  • Flyers -140 vs. Blue Jackets
  • Penguins +100 vs. Golden Knights
  • Blues vs. Ducks UNDER 6.5 (-120)

Flyers -140 vs. Blue Jackets

The Philadelphia Flyers have got off to a solid start to their season. They rank inside the top half of the NHL in both 5-on-5 CORSI% and expected goal differential. Their biggest strength has been their defense. In fact, they lead the NHL in expected goals against at 2.64.

The Blue Jackets, on the other hand, have been terrible defensively, with an expected goals against of 3.5.

Defense will be the difference maker in this Metropolitan Division showdown so I'll back the Flyers as home favorites.

Penguins +100 vs. Golden knights

I'm back to fading the defending Stanley Cup champions. Are they a good team? Absolutely. Are they as good as their 13-3-2 record indicates? Absolutely not.

The Golden Knights actual goal differential of +1.09 per 60 minutes is significantly higher than their expected goal differential per 60 minutes of +0.04. I expect some regression from them sooner rather than later.

A big reason for their success has been the strong play they've received from their goaltender, Adin Hill. Unfortunately for them, they now have to take on one of the best offensive teams in the NHL in the Penguins, who rank third in the NHL in expected goals per 60 minutes at 3.59.

With Pittsburgh being set as a home underdog, I think there's enough there to justify a bet on the Pens.

Blues vs. Ducks UNDER 6.5 (-120)

This bet is pretty straight forward. The Ducks and the Blues have struggled to create much offense during 5-on-5 play this season. Entering today, they're 27th and 30th in expected goals per 60 minutes of 5-on-5 play. The Ducks are also scoring just 2.16 5-on-5 goals per 60 minutes this season.

Both teams have had strong powerplay units, especially the Blues, but their numbers during 5-on-5 play is enough to point toward the UNDER with the total still set at 6.5 goals.

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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