NHL best bets today: Kings are strong upset candidate over Maple Leafs

We’re approaching a third of the way through the NHL season, so we’ve begun to find out which teams are contenders and which are pretenders.

With that being said, there have been some surprising results through the first two months. One of those is the Detroit Red Wings sitting in third place in the Atlanta Division with the Florida Panthers sitting in fifth, something few people would have expected at this point of the season.

Luckily for us, we get to see those two teams face-off tonight to get a better understanding of what’s what.

The Red Wings vs. Panthers game is just one of five showdowns that are set to take place on Thursday night, and I’m here to give you my best bets for the action.

Let’s dive into my three favorite plays.

NHL Best Bets Record-to-Date

  • NHL best bets record: 75-71-1 (+0.77 units)

NHL Best Bets Today (Thursday, December 8)

  • Kings +150 vs. Maple Leafs
  • Panthers -200 vs. Red Wings
  • Stars -180 vs. Senators

Kings +150 vs. Maple Leafs

The Maple Leafs are 7-0-3 in their last 10 games, but their underlying metrics over that stretch give some cause for concern. For example, over that 10-game stretch they rank 30th in CORSI% and 19th in expected goals against. Their goaltender, Matt Murray, has been the main reason why they’ve been able to win games, but now he’s been sidelined for rest after a 44-save shutout on Tuesday.

Their backup goaltender, Ilya Samsonov, will take his place which opens a door for the Kings’ offense to do its work. I think they’re a great underdog bet with a chance to exploit areas that Toronto has lacked in recent games.

Panthers -200 vs. Red Wings

Sure, betting on a -200 favorite is a bit of a coward’s move. If you like the Panthers in this spot but don’t want to lay -200 juice, feel free to bet on the three-way moneyline or on the -1.5 puck line. For me, I’ve been burned by those bets too many times so in this spot, I’ll just lay the -200 juice and try to add a notch to the win column.

Detroit’s record may be impressive, but the Red Wings have all the makings of a fraudulent team. They rank 25th in CORSI%, 18th in expected goals for, and 14th in expected goals against.

I fully expect the Panthers, who lead the NHL in expected goals per game this season at 3.39, to be able to overwhelm the Red Wings and secure the win at home.

Stars -180 vs. Senators

Watch out for the Dallas Stars, who have all of a sudden turned into an offensive juggernaut of a team. Over their last 10 games, they lead the NHL in expected goals per 60 minutes while ranking fifth in actual goals per 60 minutes. This is something we haven’t seen in recent years from Dallas, but their offense will serve as a perfect compliment to their defense and strong goaltending.

Now, they get an opportunity to exploit a Senators team that has struggled defensively all season. They rank 24th in expected goals against over their last 10 games, which should lead to plenty of scoring opportunities for Dallas tonight.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Denise T. Jones

Denise T. Jones is a passionate sports enthusiast with a knack for capturing the electrifying essence of the sporting world. As a dedicated sports news writer for, Denise brings her unparalleled love for sports and her adept storytelling skills to deliver captivating and insightful content to readers worldwide. With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of various sports disciplines, Denise ensures that her articles provide comprehensive coverage of the latest events, matches, and developments in the sports realm. Whether it's the thrill of the game-winning goal, the drama of a nail-biting finish, or the heartwarming stories of triumph against all odds, Denise encapsulates it all with eloquence and precision. Denise's journey in sports journalism has been marked by her unwavering commitment to accuracy, integrity, and excellence. Her ability to blend statistical analysis with compelling narratives sets her apart as a trusted voice in the industry. From the adrenaline-pumping action on the field to the strategic maneuvers off it, Denise brings every aspect of the sporting world to life through her writing. With a finger on the pulse of the sports scene, Denise T. Jones continues to inspire and inform readers with her dynamic and engaging sports coverage on

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