The NHL has a 10-game slate Thursday night, and there are just a couple teams on back-to-backs. Unlike Tuesday, there is not glaring spots for the NHL betting market to focus on, so movement and value should be plentiful today. Here are NHL betting picks for Thursday, Dec. 9.
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Stars vs. Kings Over 5 (-136, SugarHouse)
The Los Angeles Kings have a terrible defense, and the Dallas Stars are coming in on a back-to-back after relinquishing five goals last night to the Golden Knights. There are few teams on the slate worse on defense than the Kings, who have seemingly been in a transition phase for a few years now. The Kings have especially struggled on the penalty kill with just a 73.6% rate and come in the bottom third of the league in chances allowed, scoring chances allowed and high-danger chances allowed when a man short. The Stars are middle of the pack defensively in most categories but have done very well on the man advantage, with the second-best conversion rate in the NHL (29.7%). The point is that neither of these teams are good at preventing opportunities to their opponents and are above average at five-on-five and even better on the power play. Five is a low number by today’s standards, so hopping on early may be required. Even if the Stars try to slow this one down, their floor total is above the current number.
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Boone Jenner to Score a Point vs. Anaheim (-125, SugarHouse)
The Blue Jackets are arguably the worse defensive team in the NHL, but they are facing a team near their equal in the Ducks. However, this pick is mostly about timeshare and opportunity for do-it-all center Boone Jenner. Jenner has averaged over 20 minutes per game for the year while manning the top line, and the team’s top power play that ranks 11th in the NHL at 21% success rate. The Ducks and Jackets are young teams that play up-and-down hockey most nights, which speaks to the line (six goals). That should lead to plenty of chances for this top line and its pivot.
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