Top Shelf Picks: Best NHL Bets Today (Plenty of Offense in Senators vs. Maple Leafs)

Dec 7, 2023; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Tyler Bertuzzi (59) chases the puck
Dec 7, 2023; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Tyler Bertuzzi (59) chases the puck / Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

The holiday break is over which means it's time to return to action in the NHL with a full slate of games on Wednesday night.

There are three games I'm targeting with my picks today, including the battle of Ontario between the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs.

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Best NHL Picks Today

  • Senators/Maple Leafs OVER 7 (-110)
  • Panthers -105 vs. Lightning
  • Wild -140 vs. Red Wings

Senators vs. Maple Leafs prediction

Strap in folks, because we're going to see plenty of offense in this Atlantic Division showdown. Few teams are scoring as many goals as the Senators and Maple Leafs through the first portion of the season. The Sens are averaging 3.39 goals per 60 minutes while the Leafs are average 3.49 per 60 minutes, which is an average combined number of 6.88 goals per three periods of hockey.

To make matters even worse (or better, depending on how you look at it), neither team has been strong defensively either, ranking 23rd and 26th in adjusted 5-on-5 expected goals against.

Both these teams are all offense and no defense so we may be in for a barnburner today. I'll be the OVER despite it being at the high mark of 7.

Panthers vs. Lightning prediction

The Panthers have been the superior team so far this season by most metrics. They're fourth in the NHL in adjusted 5-on-5 expected goal percentage while the Lightning are 20th. If it wasn't for poor shooting, the Panthers would have an even better record than what they have.

But, with the Holiday break giving the players a chance to reset, I'm going to bet on the Panthers getting out of their shooting funk and start filling up the night. I'll back them in a near-pick'em spot against their Florida rival.

Red Wings vs. Wild prediction

The Detroit Red Wings are primed for regression coming out of the holiday break. They have a solid record at 16-14-4, but rank 30th in CORSI% and 26th in adjusted 5-on-5 expected goal percentage.

I would say the opposite is true for the Wild who have a similar record at 15-13-4, but yet rank 11th and 12th in the aforementioned stats. It's only a matter of time for things to start breaking the Wild's way and today is a great spot for that to happen against in overperforming Red Wings team.

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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