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NHL picks: Best bets for Thursday December 14

14 Dec | BY Andrew Berkshire | MIN READ TIME |
NHL picks: Best bets for Thursday December 14

Andrew Berkshire's picks for Thursday's action include wins for the Hurricanes and Flyers.

The Edmonton Oilers are the official Jekyl and Hyde team of the first third of the 2023-24 NHL season. They’re as red hot now as they were ice cold before, winners of eight straight games and officially above .500 on the season. So which team is closer to the truth? A lot will depend on the stability of the goaltending, but most of this is real, the inputs to create the results have been there all year, the execution hadn’t. So which other teams are due for a similar rise?

Carolina Hurricanes to beat Detroit Red Wings 1.60

The Hurricanes aren’t having the start we all expected, but the fact is they’re still dominating play just like usual. They are a team that have collectively undershot their expected goal totals each of the last 15 seasons according to Evolving-Hockey’s expected goals model, but they have earned more goals than they’re getting, and they’re also a team who have collectively saved more than their expected goals against for the last five years, but that hasn’t been the case this year. 

Antti Raanta has been off the rails bad with Frederik Andersen out, and Pyotr Kochetkov hasn’t been able to carry the mail either. Goaltending help is needed, but even with that, they’re still almost too good to fail. Eventually things will turn a little, and that may have already happened with their closed door meeting following a four game losing streak.

Philadelphia Flyers to beat Washington Capitals 1.74

I know this is weird to say but… The Philadelphia Flyers are good. 28 games into the season, they’re fifth in the NHL in expected goal differential. Barring major injuries, by this point in the season, it’s not a fluke anymore. They may not stay THIS good, but this team isn’t one to ignore. 

The Capitals on the other hand, are on a little heater, and not playing in a sustainable way to keep it going. No one is really scoring, the goaltending has been strong, but is it reliable to stay strong? I’m going in on Philly here.

Mitch Marner to score a goal anytime vs Columbus Blue Jackets 2.40

Putting up points never seems to be difficult for Mitch Marner, even when he’s playing objectively way below his standard this season. He does appear to be picking it up though, with some strong performances lately. 

Call me sentimental, but I think playing Columbus is coming at the perfect time for Mitch. I don’t doubt that his lack of effectiveness in the series against Columbus years ago still bugs him, you can never doubt that he cares. Punctuating his incoming hot streak with putting away Columbus would send a signal to himself that he’s back.

Seattle Kraken to beat Chicago Blackhawks with total goals over 6.5 2.80

The Blackhawks have been whittled down to Connor Bedard and some guys. Key injuries have taken a huge bite out of the team, and they’re getting beaten badly. Stack that up against a Seattle Kraken team that desperately needs to heat up, and has the underlying numbers that suggest it should happen.

If Seattle wants to get back in the playoff race after losing eight of their last 10 games, they can’t lose to Chicago. This game could be back-to-back wins, a building block for climbing their way back up the standings. It means too much to them to throw the opportunity away.

Visit Betway’s NHL odds page.

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Andrew Berkshire

Andrew is a hockey writer specializing in data-driven analysis of the game. He provides NHL betting picks for the Insider. 

Andrew Berkshire

Andrew is a hockey writer specializing in data-driven analysis of the game. He provides NHL betting picks for the Insider.