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Top NHL Betting Picks for Thursday, January 28 (2021)

by January 28, 2021

After a successful Tuesday night that saw us go 3-1 (+2.61u), we’re back for another massive fourteen-game slate. While there’s a myriad of betting avenues to explore tonight, we’re going to focus on four specific bets.

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YTD: 26-15 (+12.86u)

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook

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New York Rangers (-107) vs. Buffalo Sabres (-109)

Entering the season, both of these teams had high expectations. As usual, they’ve both been underwhelming to begin the year. Sabres fans are probably used to it, but the cries of Rangers fans can be heard across all five boroughs of New York City.

Although they’re off to a 1-4-1 start, it hasn’t been all bad. Kidding. It’s been bad. There’s been more underachieving going on from the offense to the defense and goaltending than those mid-90’s Buffalo Bills teams. However, apart from one blowout loss, every defeat has only been by one goal – which is relatively decent news. The team currently owns a 2.34 GA/60, and their xGF/60 is just a tad higher at 2.44.

The Sabres own a much lower xGF of 2.12 – but do own an advantage in xGA/60 of 1.57 to the Rangers’ 2.31. However, the latter owns the more talented goalie tandem between Igor Shesterkin and Alexandar Georgiev.

So, is this what we should expect above from the Rangers all year? I don’t believe so. The sample size is still too small to make any final verdicts, and this team is loaded with offensive talent. We should expect them to break out, and I believe it will be tonight.

Pick: NY Rangers (-107)  

Calgary Flames (+113) vs. Montreal Canadiens (-130)

The Calgary Flames are currently playing with the same amount of gusto as a waterlogged Bic lighter. Fresh off dropping two-straight to the Toronto Maple Leafs, they’ll look to rebound against a deep and talented Canadiens team that has gotten points in each of their first six games. Fun.

What I’m looking at regarding the Flames is their offense. Although they don’t have a premier sniper, they have a plethora of above-average options. They’re currently registering a GF/60 of 1.8 but own an xGF/60 of 2.46, which tells us they’re severely underperforming in the offensive end.

On the other bench, the Canadiens own a GF/60 of 4.27 but a 2.71 xGF/60. Translation – we shouldn’t expect another seven-goal outburst as we saw in Vancouver.

Another angle to consider is that the Canadiens haven’t played since last Saturday. In their previous series, the Flames were coming off a long layoff, and we saw them start slow.

The shortened season also brings a sense of added urgency to certain teams on different nights. Currently sitting 6th place in the North Division, this Calgary team will have to play desperate.

Picks: Calgary 1p ML .5u (+105) and Calgary ML: +113

St. Louis Blues (+127) vs. Vegas Golden Knights (-148)

We’ll keep this one relatively brief. If anyone had money on the Blues Tuesday night (me), you probably came out of it drenched in sweat (also me). If not for a poor early performance in net from the Knights’ Robin Lehner, the outcome most likely would not have resulted in a St. Louis win.

The Golden Knights outshot their opponent 46-25 and hit the post six times. They absolutely dominated possession, registering a wild CF% of 62.22. It’s also expected that they’ll get better goaltending in this game after earning an xGA of 1.5 in the game to the Blues’ 2.4.

These teams have played to overtime in three straight games. While I don’t expect that to happen again, their games are typically close. For that reason, I’m going to lay the juice.

Pick: Vegas -148

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Jordan Anderson is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Jordan, check out his archive and follow him on Twitter @Jordan_A03.