NHL Betting Guide for Sunday, December 19


December 19, 2021

Things have taken a turn for the worse in the NHL. The league has canceled games for a handful of teams dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks, leaving us with half of the original eight-game slate. Games start early on Sunday, with two-afternoon contests beginning at 2 pm ET, followed by two more games at night. We have you covered for the evening slate, breaking down our favorite wagers.

These are the wagers we’re looking at from FanDuel Sportsbook!

Puck drops on a home-and-home series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New Jersey Devils Sunday night. The Devils have home-ice honors on Sunday night before the teams travel to Pittsburgh for the second half of the series two days later. Both teams are bringing solid defensive metrics into the contest, resulting in a low-scoring game.

The Pens have been one of the best defensive teams in the league this season, limiting their opponents to an average of 21.3 scoring and 7.9 high-danger chances per game. That defensive structure has been even more suffocating than usual. Pittsburgh holds their opponents to 21 or fewer scoring chances in six of their past seven and seven or fewer quality chances in five of seven. The Penguins can use that to their advantage against a Devils squad that has been underwhelming offensively over their recent stretch.

New Jersey hasn’t scored more than one goal at five-on-five in three straight games and five of their past six. That decreased efficiency results from poor production metrics that have seen the Devils attempt more than eight quality chances in two of their past six and more than 24 scoring opportunities in one of those six games.

Despite the poor offensive showings, the Devils remain a defensively structured team. New Jersey has limited their opponents to nine or fewer quality chances in six of seven games and 25 or fewer scoring chances in all seven.

We’re expecting a defense-first battle in this Metropolitan Division matchup. Both teams are effective at limiting opponents’ chances which should help this game stay under 6.

The Picks: Under 6 -110

All NHL predictions and picks are courtesy of SportsGrid.

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Thumbnail photo via Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

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