NHL Picks: Expert NHL Bets for Thursday, December 8th

NHL Picks: Expert NHL Bets for Thursday, December 8th

This article is part of our NHL Picks series.

Free Expert NHL Picks Tonight

Please don't tell me you actually want to watch Thursday Night Football at this point. No offense to the NFL side of our website, but come on, the TNF product has been atrocious this year and tonight's 5-7 Raiders taking on the 3-9 Rams doesn't seem too appetizing.

You know what does? 5 games of NHL action featuring some of the league's best teams and some of the most exciting players. We've got some barn burners on tonight's slate. A few teams look to stay hot, and a few are looking to find a spark. All the matchups look to be competitive and fun to watch. So let's get into it because I've got your best bet for each game on the schedule. How can you leave me for the weekly Bezos Bowl when I'm serving up that kind of sauce?

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook. If you're in Maryland, remember that you are now able to legally bet on sports. Sign up at DraftKings using the DraftKings Maryland Promo Code for a special sigup offer. Ohio is next in line to launch sports betting and those in the Buckeye State can get ahead of the game with the DraftKings Ohio Promo Code at signup.

NHL Bets Today

Kings vs Maple Leafs

I picked the Leafs to go into Dallas on Tuesday and come out with a big win. What did they do? They shut the Stars out 4-0. It wasn't like the Stars rolled over for that loss too. They peppered 44 shots on net and had nearly 90 total shot attempts, almost doubling up the Leafs in both categories. Yet the team from Toronto just has that swagger right now still not having lost in regulation since 11/11. They return home to take on the Kings to whom they dropped one of their 5 regulation losses on the season 4-2 in LA on 10/29. The Kings love throwing pucks on net and are in the top 5 of total goals scored on the campaign so far, just one goal behind the Stars at 97. I like how these teams match up. I expect a high-flying affair with lots of scoring chances for both sides. The burning question is if tonight is the night the Leafs lose in regulation for the first time in almost a month. 

  • Kings PL -165

Predators vs Lightning

These two teams faced off in Nashville back on 11/19 and the Bolts squeaked away with a 3-2 win in overtime. It was a tightly contested bout. The Preds got on the board early and then took a 2-1 lead late into the 3rd before the Lightning tied it to send it to OT. Both clubs are on a similar pace in their last 10 games, with the Bolts going 7-3 and the Preds going 7-2-1. The Preds however are on a 3-game win streak and have won 4 of their last 5 since that 11/19 loss. The Lightning are 3-2 since then. Tough to find the gaps, but if I had to nitpick, the Preds just suffered a major blow to their defensive core and overall team leadership with D-man Ryan McDonagh heading to the IR. The Lightning have looked good even in their losses, and I expect them to play tough at home tonight. But the Predators went to New Jersey and knocked the Devils off and then topped the Islanders 4-1 just a night later. Can they keep the magic going on their road swing?

  • Predators PL -155

Red Wings vs Panthers

This Red Wings team is making moves, y'all. They're 6-2-2 in their last 10 and just handed the Lightning a 4-2 loss on Tuesday. They roll into Sunrise to take on the Panthers in a battle for seeding in the tightly contested Atlantic. It's hard for me to trust the Panthers, even when I really want to. On paper, they're way better than their 12-10-4 record, which puts them 3 points back of the 13-7-5 Red Wings. Even on nights where they outshoot and out-chance their opponent, they still seem to fall short, kind of like what happened in Winnipeg on Tuesday falling 5-2 to the Jets despite winning the shot margin 41-31. The Wings are hard to trust too, especially since the bulk of their recent wins have come against likely non-playoff teams. Even in their win against the Bolts earlier this week, goalie Ville Husso had to stand on his head and turn away 44 of 46 shots. The team that gets the bounces tonight will be the victor. 

  • Panthers ML -195

Jets vs St. Louis Blues

The Jets have won 5 of their last 6 and are 7-3 in their last 10. Since Thanksgiving, they're the number 1 team in the Western Conference in points and wins while leading the entire NHL in goals. They head into St. Louis to take on their Central Division foe on a heater. The Blues are returning home after an impressive 7-4 win on the road against the Islanders which ended a 4-game slide. They've actually scored 1 more goal this season than the Jets have at 80, but the biggest discrepancy between the two clubs is the total goals allowed: the Jets have given up 61 while the Blues have surrendered a whopping 100. With all of that said, the Jets look like the easy play here. But, I don't know y'all, there's just something about the Blues tonight. I'll probably regret this, but…

  • Blues ML +100

Senators vs Stars

Want to know one of the most underrated yet most significant stats around, arguably in any sport? Looking at the league-wide injury report and not seeing your team listed. And that's the case for the Stars, who come into this tilt with the Senators (seemingly) at full strength healthwise. They just came off a disappointing home shutout to the Maple Leafs on Tuesday, but maybe didn't deserve to lose that one given they outshot and out-chanced the Leafs by a wide margin. This has sort of been the MO for the Stars recently too and says a lot about their 5-2-3 record in their last 10. Probably should be more like 8ish and 2ish, but they've been finding ways to lose somehow. The Senators are on a similar trajectory and have been that way all season. They're 5-5 in their last 10 and have basically outshot every team they've faced. Yet, they find a way to lose. So who will find a way to win tonight instead?

  • Senators PL -150

Happy hunting y'all!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Grant Leonard
Former Junior B ice hockey player, and current believer that the Washington Capitals' aging core still has another Cup run left in the tank. Writing about hockey and sports betting for RotoWire since 2022.
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