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Top NHL Betting Picks for Thursday, January 20th (2022)

by January 19, 2022
Filip Forsberg

We got a stacked nine-game slate tonight, with much more competitive matchups than last Thursday. There are some great betting angles to take advantage of tonight as I give out my best bets below.

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2022 Betting Record: 16-16, +2.53 units

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

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

San Jose Sharks (-105) vs. Seattle Kraken (-115), o/u 5.5

The second-ever faceoff between the Sharks and the Kraken takes place tonight as San Jose looks to avenge their 3-1 loss from mid-December. The Sharks come into this game following a big 6-2 over the Pacific Division’s second-place Los Angeles Kings, where Timo Meier channeled his inner Wayne Gretzky and deposited five goals before the end of the second period. Outside of Meier, however, this Sharks offense has been stagnant lately. The Sharks rank 20th in 5v5 Expected Goals For per 60 minutes and 17th in 5v5 Shots on Net %.

Just like the Sharks, the Kraken’s offense has also struggled all season long. Seattle ranks 30th in Expected Goals For per 60 minutes and 23rd in 5v5 Shots on Net %. While Seattle struggles at pretty much every aspect of the game, their one strength is their physical defense which suffocates shooters and makes scoring on them difficult. The Kraken rank 6th in Expected Goals Against per 60 minutes and 16th in 5v5 Shots Against on Net %.

The Sharks also have been playing good defense lately, ranking 14th in Expected Goals Against per 60 minutes and 1st in 5v5 Shots Against on Net %. Not only has their defense been strong, but projected starting netminder Adin Hill has been in tremendous form for San Jose. Over his last five starts, Hill has not surrendered more than two goals each outing.

Recent trends also suggest a low-scoring affair, as the Sharks have stayed u5.5 in five of their last six games while the Kraken have stayed u5.5 in three straight contests. Similar to their first matchup a month ago, I like a low-scoring game again tonight.

Best Bet: Sharks/Kraken u5.5 (+100)

Winnipeg Jets (+115) vs. Nashville Predators (-135), o/u 5.5

The Predators protect home ice tonight in their division matchup against the Winnipeg Jets. Nashville has lost their grip on the division as they have lost four straight games to drop to third place, while Winnipeg is coming off a demoralizing 4-3 overtime loss to Washington after tying the game in the final minute of regulation.

The Preds have not lost five-straight games all season, and I do not see them letting that happen tonight. Goaltender Juuse Saros is well-rested after Ritich got the nod in their last contest, and Winnipeg should struggle to score on one of the league’s best. Saros boasts a 0.923 SV% and ranks 14th in 5v5 Goals Saved Above Expected per 60 minutes.

It is tough for any opponent to come into Bridgestone Arena searching for a win, and the loss of star forward Nikolaj Ehlers due to a knee injury will not make that task any easier for Winnipeg. Meanwhile, the Predators are getting healthier as multi-dimensional forward Filip Forsberg will be playing in his third game back since his absence.

Both teams are around the same marks in their underlying metrics, with the Predators getting the advantage of home ice. The Jets beat Nashville in Winnipeg earlier this season, and I expect the Predators to return the favor at home tonight.

Best Bet: Nashville Predators 3-Way ML (+115)

All betting information was gathered from puckline.org and TopDownHockey.

Best of luck tonight!

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Tony Sartori is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Tony, check out his archive and follow him @tony_sartori.

Hockey, Picks