NHL Betting Guide for Thursday, December 16: Backing a Pair of Pacific Dogs

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December 16, 2021

There’s a mid-week trend starting to emerge in the NHL, with goal-scoring taking a back seat for weekday games. That continued with the under going 8-6-1 to start the week. Two of three favorites cashed on last night’s slate, making it nine of 15 over the past couple of nights. With 10 games scheduled tonight, there are plenty of positive expected-value wagers to be made.

Here’s what we’re looking at from FanDuel Sportsbook!

The Vancouver Canucks are thriving under Bruce Boudreau, winning five straight games and posting some of their best metrics of the season. That’s not enough to convince the betting market that they are a worthy adversary of the San Jose Sharks, as the Canucks enter the contest with an implied 45.9% chance of winning.

We saw resiliency from the Canucks that we hadn’t seen in quite some time in their most recent outing. The Nucks mounted a third-period comeback over the Columbus Blue Jackets, outscoring them 3-0 in the third period and winning 4-3. Vancouver attempted 10 high-danger chances in that contest, which was the third time in five games that they had attempted that many quality chances at five-on-five and the third time they out-chanced their opponents.

The Sharks have alternated good and bad performances over their previous six games. Still, some underlying concerns with their defensive zone coverage suggest that we should see more bad than good performances over their coming games. San Jose has given up 11 or more high-danger chances in three of six and 13 or more across all strengths in four of six. Opponents are averaging 12.8 quality chances over that span, with opponents scoring three or more goals in four of those contests.

That could be trouble for James Reimer, who is likely heading towards a correction phase. Reimer has the best save percentage and goals-against average of his career this season and is well ahead of career norms. The veteran netminder will inevitably come back down to earth, which could start tonight against the upstart Canucks.

We’ve seen Vancouver get past better opponents than the Sharks over their recent stretch, and they are in a good position to continue their hot streak on Thursday night. San Jose gives up a lot of chances, and Reimer could be due for a letdown performance. At +118, we’re betting the Canucks keep the good times rolling.

The Picks: Canucks +118

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Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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