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Top NHL Betting Picks for Saturday, January 22nd (2022)

by January 22, 2022
Johnny_Gaudreau

Despite delays due to COVID-19, the 2021-22 NHL season is closing in on its midpoint. And we’re starting to get a clearer idea of who the contenders are to hoist the Stanley Cup later this spring.

Saturday’s 11-game slate features a handful of massive favorites. So I’ll admit, there’s not a ton of value on the board unless I can interest you in laying -370 to bet the Colorado Avalanche to take down the lowly Montreal Canadiens.

Here’s my best bet for Saturday, January 22nd.

Compare odds from all major sportsbooks for today’s games >>

Calgary Flames +100 at Edmonton Oilers -120, Total 6.5 

After a hot start to the season, the Edmonton Oilers have fallen off fast. Edmonton was 16-5 at one point, then lost six in a row, then won two straight, and have been on several COVID breaks. They haven’t won a game since December 18th, are losers of seven straight, and got thumped 6-0 by the Florida Panthers at home on Thursday. Oh, and they’ve fallen to seventh place in the Pacific Division.

You would think the Oilers have to win a game eventually, right? You would think so, but I don’t think it’ll be Saturday night. The Calgary Flames are simply the better team. The Flames rank eighth in the NHL in expected goals for percentage in 5-on-5 play, while Edmonton ranks just 13th.

Edmonton’s primary advantage is when it can get top scorers like Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl on the ice with the man advantage. The Oilers have a lethal power play that has converted on nearly 30% of their opportunities, the third-best clip in the league. Edmonton is also sixth in the league in expected goals for the man advantage.

The problem? Calgary has one of the league’s best penalty kill units in the league. The Flames have shut down nearly 85% of their penalties, the fifth-best rate in the league.

Lastly, Calgary also has the advantage between the pipes. Jacob Markstrom should get the start in net after last playing Tuesday night. Markstrom ranks fourth in the league with 2.18 goals against average and fifth in save percentage. Meanwhile, Edmonton will have to go with Mikko Koskinen and his abysmal .895 save percentage, as backups Mike Smith and Stuart Skinner are inactive.

Calgary is the better team with the better goalie and can neutralize Edmonton’s greatest advantage. Roll with the Flames to get a big road win.

The pick: Flames +100

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Hockey, Picks