The NHL seems to be back, with eight games on the schedule tonight. It has been slim pickings for NHL bets lately, with so many games being postponed due to COVID and roster issues. Because of that, Awesemo’s tools will be as useful as ever. This column will use Awesemo’s newly updated OddsShopper and industry-leading projections from the world’s No. 1 DFS player. Let’s make some picks for Tuesday, Jan. 4.
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Lightning Puck Line vs. Blue Jackets (-222, Bet MGM)
Playing the Moneyline is not always the most exciting, but it is the simplest ROI in all of sports. However, with a decimated Blue Jackets roster and a returning Andrei Vasilevskiy to the Lightning, it’s hard not to love them here. The Jackets have been awful at five-on-five all season, coming in the bottom five of the league in nearly every category imaginable, including the night’s worst goals against per 60 (3.1) and the second-worst expected goals against per 60 (2.7). While the Jackets are losing players left and right, including top defenseman Zach Werenski, the Lightning are getting healthier with Brayden Point, Andrei Vasilevskiy and Mikhail Sergachev all returning in the last week. With so many players missing for an already poor defensive team, this number for the Lightning is only going to get more steam as the day goes.
Logan Couture First Goal vs. Red Wings (+1300, DraftKings)
Couture is doing well, with four goals in his last five games coming into Detroit. After a terribly slow start, he has found the scoring touch lately while increasing the output, with seven shots on goal (over 2.5, +120) his last time out against the Kraken. For years the Red Wings have been a poor team overall with little defensive backbone or ability to shut down any line, especially one with the Sharks top line.
On the road in a plus matchup, this sets up well for Couture, as he will be called upon often to win faceoffs and be the default defensive zone line to match the Dylan Larkin line. Couple that with his spot on the top power play and an extra $2 on the bet, and there is value to be had.
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Mikael Granlund Over 1.5 Shots on Goal vs. Golden Knights (-110, Caesars)
Granlund has been very quiet in the scoring department, so this bet has near even odds. He has compiled just one shot on goal in his last five games and zero in seven of his last 10. Thankfully for him and the Predators, a trip into Vegas should do them well, as the Knights are just a shell of what their lineup should be. That supports their very lenient defense, which ranks bottom half of the league in all major categories on a per-60 basis, according to NaturalStatTrick.
Despite the slow 10-game stretch Granlund got off 36 shots on the net in the previous 20 games and comes into this game with a season average just under 1.5 shots per game, even with his terrible run. Regression plus value in a great matchup is always a great spot.
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