Happy Thanksgiving! Due to the holiday, a normally action-packed Thursday had just one game. Conversely, the usually quiet Friday slate was packed with 12 contests. Saturday NHL betting boards are loaded with 13 matches, so many teams are playing on back-to-back nights. The previews and picks below feature three NHL best bets from the night game action.
Buffalo Sabres at Toronto Maple Leafs
Puck Line: Maple Leafs -1.5 (+105) | Sabres +1.5 (-125)
Moneyline: Maple Leafs -240 | Sabres +200
Goal Total 6.5: OVER -110 | UNDER -110
Game Details: 7:00 p.m. ET at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, ON, CA
Meeting in the back half of a home-and-home series, Buffalo visits Toronto for the first time this season. The Sabres have been busy, as this is their third game in four nights. Strong out of the gate, with a solid 9-2-1 season start, Buffalo has stumbled during a dismal 3-8-3 recent run. The Sabres were outscored by a 50-35 combined final count in those 14 contests.
Teams need to shake things up sometimes. That’s what Toronto did as head coach Mike Babcock was fired 10 days ago. Fourth overall on NHL Stanley Cup preseason futures betting boards, the Maple Leafs opened with a mediocre 9-10-4 record. New bench boss Sheldon Keefe guided Toronto to three straight wins over Arizona (3-1) Colorado (5-3) and Detroit (6-0).
Moving to 3-1 under Keefe, Toronto lost 6-4 in Buffalo last night. The Maple Leafs swept the four-game season series last year. Three of the wins were by at least two goals as the Leafs outscored the Sabres 18-10 in those contests. Toronto posted 5-2 and 5-3 victories in the two games played at Scotiabank Arena. Take Toronto to win a close contest over Buffalo.
Pick: Maple Leafs -240 ML
Columbus Blue Jackets at New York Islanders
Puck Line: Islanders -1.5 (+160) | Blue Jackets +1.5 (-180)
Moneyline: Islanders -170 | Blue Jackets +150
Goal Total 5.5: OVER +100 | UNDER -120
Game Details: 7:00 p.m. ET at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY
Columbus (11-10-4) travels to Brooklyn following a 5-2 home win over Pittsburgh last night. The Blue Jackets have posted a 4-2-1 record over their last seven games. During the first of four meetings this season, back on Oct. 19, Columbus lost 3-2 in OT at home to the Islanders. The Blue Jackets are 1-1 in back-to-back contests and are playing a third game in four nights.
New York (16-5-2) is back on home ice following a rough three-game run through California. The road trip opened with the 2-1 OT loss in San Jose that extended the Islanders’ franchise record for games without a loss in regulation time to 17 straight. The streak was snapped during a 3-0 loss in Anaheim and then New York played flat again during a 4-1 loss in Los Angeles.
New York and Columbus didn’t light the lamp much during the four-game season series last year. The Islanders won three of the four meetings including 2-0 and 3-2 wins at home. During two matches in Columbus, New York won 3-0 and the Blue Jackets posted a 4-0 victory. Following a well-deserved two-day break, New York gets back on track with a win at home over Columbus.
Pick: Islanders -170 ML
Vancouver Canucks at Edmonton Oilers
Puck Line: Oilers -1.5 (+175) | Canucks +1.5 (-210)
Moneyline: Oilers -135 | Canucks +115
Goal Total 6: OVER -120 | UNDER +100
Game Details: 10:00 p.m. ET at Rogers Place Arena in Edmonton, AB, CA
Edmonton hosting Vancouver is the only contest on the Saturday slate that involves teams that did not play on Friday. The Canucks (12-10-4) last played on Wednesday night, when they let a 6-3 third-period lead slip away during an 8-6 loss to the Penguins in Pittsburgh. Vancouver is on the road for a sixth straight game and posted a 2-3-0 record during the first five contests.
Also enjoying two days off, the Oilers return home following a 4-1 loss in Colorado. That ended a five-game road trip during which Edmonton posted a 3-2 record. After opening the season with five straight wins, Edmonton (16-8-3) has not won or lost more than two straight during an 11-8-3 run over their last 22 games. The Oilers have posted a 7-2-2 record at home this season.
During the season opener for both teams, the Oilers edged Vancouver 3-2 in Edmonton as Leon Draisaitl recorded a goal and two assists. Staying hot, Draisaitl leads the NHL scoring race with 48 points over teammate Connor McDavid, who has 47 points. Over four meetings last year, Vancouver posted two 4-2 wins before Edmonton split the season series with a pair of 3-2 victories.
Pick: Oilers -135 ML
Season Record: 1-2 (-1.1 units)