NHL Best Bets Jan. 23

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·4 min read
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Welcome to the weekend hockey fans! Sunday offers up a smaller slate of five games around the NHL, which means there aren’t going to be a ton of angles for us bet on today. Even still, I have some potential winners in mind for this Sunday’s group of games. Looking to get a sweep today after the pesky Oilers left us even with yesterday’s bets.

Record to Date:

Record 42-27

Units +13.02

Los Angeles Kings @ New Jersey Devils 7:00 PM ET

Full disclosure, the Kings have been a tough team to pin down for me this season. They have brilliant stretches and then follow up those games with real head scratchers. That’s where we pick up today as the Kings have fallen three-straight games coming into this matchup with New Jersey. Taking the Kings to win all boils down to the starting goaltender for me. If Jonathan Quick gets the nod, then LA is in play, if he is not, it's tough to justify making the bet. Quick is the clear top goaltending option for the Kings even at 36 years old with a GAA of 2.56 and SV% having around .914. Quick is also 4-3-2 on the road this season in total. Another stat that puts the Kings on the radar today, and most days, is their overall Corsi numbers on the season. The Kings, despite their faults, are an excellent team at even strength, in fact they are third in the Corsi For metric this season at 53.9%. That shows pure 5-on-5 dominance across a large sample size and can’t be ignored. LA on the road has been fairly average this season and more recently, that remains the same. They are 3-3 over the past six away games although many of the losses came against stiffer competition than the Devils. I also expect the Anze Kopitar line will give the Devils young talent some trouble as well, we are all aware of Kopitar’s prowess of shutting down the opposition’s stars.

Looking quickly at the home side, the Devils are 10-11 straight up on the season in the Garden State. They also are coming off a big, emotional 7-4 win just last night over the Carolina Hurricanes. That means legs could be a little more tired, and we will see a different goaltender in the net. Seeing how the Devils have fared this season, they have had ups and downs almost hand in hand and game to game. They may be at home but as stated after a big-time win, the drop off could come hard for this unit. I like the Kings to steal a win on the road and continue their better than expected campaign.

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Sidney Crosby, Penguins Player Prop 1:00 PM ET

If you haven’t been paying attention, here is your public service announcement, Sidney Crosby is starting to truly heat up for the first time this season. In 10 games during the month of January, Crosby has posted 13 points which includes six goals and seven assists. Crosby is also back to playing over 20 minutes per game, and the Penguins' power play is starting to improve, in which Crosby plays an integral role. He remains the catalyst for the eighth best offense in terms of goals per game in the NHL at 3.38. Bryan Rust and Jake Guentzel are back in action together after injuries and COVID have marred their seasons to this point, but the line is now back together. Crosby’s opponent today will be the Winnipeg Jets, and they are playing their second game in less than 24 hours and on the road on top of that. Starting netminder Connor Hellebuyck played yesterday, so he will be a longshot to get the nod again today. His backup Erick Comrie has played in four road games this season and allowed an average of 3.18 goals in those handful of games. The Jets allow 2.87 goals per game this season which is 16th in the NHL, smack dab in the middle of everyone. Crosby will be on the ice a bunch tonight and will have the opportunities given the Winnipeg trends this season. I like Sid to find the scoreboard this afternoon and him to tally an assist gives more value than just a point overall, so I am going to bet on Crosby to go over 0.5 assists.

The Picks:

Los Angeles Kings ML (-130 on PointsBet)

Sidney Crosby, Penguins Over 0.5 Assists (-135 on PointsBet)

*Follow me on Twitter @jwaggs10*

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