Home | News | Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week – January 8th, 2024

Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week – January 8th, 2024

By Hank Blaine

The Los Angeles Kings will be without backup goalie Pheonix Copley for the rest of the season, the team announced over the weekend due to ACL surgery. Copley was 4-1-2 with a 3.16 goals-against average, .870 save percentage and one shutout in eight starts this year. David Rittich will be the primary backup for the rest of the season. He is 2-0-1 in three starts since Copley’s injury with a 1.62 GAA and .926 save rate so this might actually be good news for LA. Here’s a look at two intriguing early-week matchups.

Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week (January 8th, 2024)

Boston Bruins vs. Colorado Avalanche

  • When: Monday, January 8th, 2024, 9:00 PM ET
  • Where: Ball Arena, Denver, CO
  • Radio: WBZ-FM 98.5 (Bruins) // Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 FM (Avalanche)
  • Live Stream: ESPN+
  • NHL Betting Odds: Bruins (+1.5) // Avalanche (-1.5)

Potential Stanley Cup Final preview and the start of a four-game trip through the Western Conference for Boston, which enters off a 7-3 home win against Tampa Bay on Saturday. The Bruins overcame a quick one-goal hole after Brayden Point gave Tampa a 1-0 lead just 21 seconds into the contest. Boston responded quickly with goals from Trent Frederic and Charlie McAvoy to lead after 20 minutes. Tampa twice cut the deficit to one, before the Black & Gold pulled away with a three-goal third period on tallies from Morgan Geekie, Jake DeBrusk (empty-netter), and Charlie Coyle.

“I really liked our third period,” said coach Jim Montgomery. “I thought we were smart, didn’t give up an odd-man rush, we had numbers everywhere, and we kept hanging on to pucks in the offensive zone, making them defend so they didn’t have much energy to go the other way. They got a couple of penalties which gave them power plays – which they’re dangerous [on] – and I thought our penalty kill was excellent. We sacrificed really well.”

David Pastrnak had a goal and an assist and has four multi-point games (four goals, six assists) in his last five to go along with 23 shots on net. Pastrnak is up to 24 goals and 55 points through 38 contests this campaign. The 27-year-old is on pace to outstrip his exceptional 113-point effort from last season, although he likely won’t touch his 61-goal production from 2022-23.

Linus Ullmark made 23 saves in the win and has won three consecutive games to improve to 6-2-1 in nine outings since the start of December. Ullmark has still allowed three or more goals in seven of those nine starts so it probably will be Jeremy Swayman on Monday, although he’s only 2-2-2 over his last six starts with a 3.15 GAA and .902 save percentage.

Colorado comes off an embarrassing 8-4 home loss to Florida on Saturday. The Panthers led 3-0 and 4-3, but Colorado rallied each time. Jonathan Drouin tied it at 4 with his ninth of the season 3:31 into the third but then the Panthers took off.

Valeri Nichushkin had his 20th goal of the season for the Avs, who became the first team with three 20-goal scorers this season (also Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen). The Avalanche now have three skaters with at least 20 goals through the team’s first 40 games of a season for the fourth time in franchise history and first since 1992-93 (Joe Sakic, Mats Sundin and Owen Nolan). The Avalanche became the first team since the 1995-96 Penguins (Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, Tomas Sandstrom & Ron Francis) and Flyers (Eric Lindros, John LeClair & Mikael Renberg) to have at least three 20-goal scorers through 40 team games.

MacKinnon was held to an assist. After the Hart Trophy winner saw a 19-game point streak end in late December, he has started another run with points (three goals, six assists) in four consecutive contests. Alexander Georgiev stopped 12 of 15 shots after replacing Ivan Prosvetov midway through the second period to take the loss Saturday. Georgiev was supposed to be getting his first game off since Dec. 16, and the regulation loss snapped a 6-0-1 streak for the Avs’ starting netminder. His heavy workload may be wearing him down, however, as Georgiev has given up 11 goals on only 69 shots over his last three outings.

It’s the first meeting of the season between these clubs. Boston swept in 2022-23 but we like the Avalanche at home here.

NHL Betting Pick: Avalanche

Edmonton Oilers vs. Chicago Blackhawks

  • When: Tuesday, January 9th, 2024, 8:30 PM ET
  • Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
  • TV: ESPN+, Hulu
  • Radio: 104.5 The Team ESPN (Oilers) // WJFK 106.7 FM (Blackhawks)
  • Live Stream: ESPN+
  • NHL Betting Odds: TBA

Unfortunately, NHL fans will not be treated to the second-ever NHL matchup between Oilers superstar Connor McDavid and touted Blackhawks rookie and fellow former No. 1 overall pick Connor Bedard because Bedard landed on injured reserve over the weekend with a fractured jaw. Bedard left in the first period of a 4-2 loss at the New Jersey Devils after a hit by defenseman Brendan Smith.

As he stickhandled into the zone, he was met with a shoulder check from Smith. Bedard fell to the ice and immediately clutched his jaw. He left the game at 9:11 of the first period as Nick Foligno, Brett Seney and several teammates ignited a skirmish with Smith behind the Devils’ net. The 18-year-old Bedard leads all NHL rookies in goals (15) and assists (18) in 39 games this season. The No. 1 pick in the 2023 NHL draft also leads rookie forwards in average ice time (19:04).

Following his selection last week, Bedard could be the youngest player ever in the NHL All-Star Game at 18 years, 201 days, topping a record set by Buffalo Sabres winger Jeff Skinner (18 years, 259 days) in 2011. The All-Star Game is scheduled for Feb. 3.

While there was no word on a timeline for Bedard’s return, the injury takes him out of the team’s upcoming game in his hometown of Vancouver on Jan. 22. It also means he could miss the All-Star Game in Toronto, dealing a blow to the league.

“It’s definitely hard to kind of wrap our heads around,” teammate Ryan Donato said. “It’s so fresh still for us, to realize what’s going on. But we hope the best for him and hopefully we can keep him positive and keep the guys positive.”

The Hawks are really banged up as forwards Nick Foligno (finger), Anthony Beauvillier (left wrist), Tyler Johnson (right foot), Taylor Raddysh (left groin strain), Joey Anderson (left shoulder) and Andreas Athanasiou (groin) are also out. Taylor Hall will miss the rest of the season after he had right knee surgery in November. Seth Jones, the team’s best defenseman, is on IR with a shoulder injury. He hasn’t played since Dec. 10.

Edmonton carries a seven-game winning streak into Tuesday. In Saturday’s 3-1 win over Ottawa. Zach Hyman scored each of the Oilers’ goals and tied Auston Matthews (3) for the most hat tricks in 2023-24. Hyman became the second Oilers player in the past 30 years to record at least three hat tricks in a single season, joining McDavid (3 in 2020-21 & 2017-18). Hyman also joined Matthews (3 in 2023-24), Patrik Laine (3 in 2018-19) and Alex Ovechkin (3 in 2017-18) as the fourth active player to record at least three hat tricks through their first 35 games of a season.

Edmonton has recorded multiple win streaks of seven-plus games in the same season for the third time in franchise history, following 1983-84 (4x) and 1984-85 (2x). On Dec. 12, the Oilers beat the Blackhawks 4-1 in Edmonton. Bedard had the lone Chicago goal, while McDavid had two assists. Stuart Skinner made 22 saves in the win.

NHL Betting Pick: Oilers

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