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This Week's Best NHL Bets

This Week's Best NHL Bets

This Week's Best NHL Bets

Every week, we update you on who's hot, who's not and situational betting spots in the National Hockey League.

For the week of Jan. 20-26

Hot team

San Jose Sharks (3-0 SU)

The Anaheim Ducks may be well in control of the Pacific Division, and the Western Conference, for that matter. But the rival Sharks have served notice that they won't go quietly. The Sharks won a trio of one-goal games this past week to extend their winning streak to six games and kept pace with the surging Ducks, who lead the division by nine points. Five of San Jose's six wins during the string have been by one goal - suggesting some luck may be involved - and the week ahead includes difficult home games against Los Angeles and Chicago.

Cold team

Montreal Canadiens (0-3 SU)

It's officially panic time in La Belle Province after the Canadiens had what was easily their worst week of the season. After opening with a 5-1 defeat in Pittsburgh and a 4-1 loss in Detroit to close out a 1-3-0 road swing, Montreal's losing streak reached four games with one of its worst efforts of the campaign - a 5-0 thumping at the hands of visiting Washington. How bad was it for the Canadiens? By the time netminder Carey Price was pulled after allowing the Capitals' fourth goal, the shots favored Washington 26-3.

Best Over play

Toronto Maple Leafs (4-0 O/U)

The Maple Leafs have not only provided fans with reason to believe in the team again, they've also given bettors the strongest Over play in the NHL the past two weeks. Toronto went a perfect 4-0 on the Over/Under last week, earning a 4-2 victory in Phoenix and a 5-2 triumph in Colorado before concluding its road trip with a 7-1 loss in Dallas and a 5-4 overtime defeat in Winnipeg. The offense is back in business after slumping mightily for a stretch earlier in the month. The defense and goaltending, however, have struggled for most of January.

Best Under play

Washington Capitals (0-3 O/U)

The Capitals were one of the few teams in the league not providing any value on the Over and it's a good-news/bad-news proposition for the club. Washington surrendered just four goals in three games this week but still lost two of them, managing just one goal in back-to-back losses to the Ottawa Senators and New Jersey Devils. The Capitals finally ended their scoring slump - and a season-worst seven-game losing streak - with that win over the Canadiens. Games in Buffalo, Columbus and Detroit could help keep the offensive surge going.

Surveying the schedule

The Tampa Bay Lightning have astounded even the most optimistic observer, rolling along despite being without top goal threat Steven Stamkos. The Lightning find themselves in a battle for top spot in the Eastern Conference, but will face a major test with a a four-game road trip coming up. Tampa Bay kicks things off in Toronto Tuesday before squaring off against Ottawa Thursday and wrapping up its three-city Canadian tour in Montreal Saturday night.

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Re: This Week's Best NHL Bets

See Spot Bet: NHL Edition
By Sean Murphy

Letdown spot

This one is fairly simple. The Devils are coming off an emotionally-charged outdoor game against the rival Rangers in the Bronx on Sunday, and now have to travel to face a non-conference opponent - and a tough one at that - in St. Louis on Tuesday.

The Blues got back on track during an eastern road swing last week, and should be in good position to grab another 'w' with noting but two days off to look forward to once the final horn sounds.

Lookahead spot

The Canucks have a big home game lined up against the rival Blackhawks on Wednesday night, but before that, they'll host the lowly Oilers on Monday night. With Edmonton coming off six consecutive losses and Vancouver having taken all three meetings in the series so far this season, it would be easy for the Canucks to overlook Monday's opponent.

Of course, this play should offer excellent value given the Oilers struggles this season. It's worth noting that Edmonton did manage to split two meetings in Vancouver last season.

Schedule spot

The Kings have faced a brutal schedule since the middle of January. In fact, they haven't played a home game since way back on January 13th, when they skated to a 1-0 win over the Canucks.

After dropping a 3-0 decision against the red hot Ducks at Dodger Stadium on Saturday night, they'll play in San Jose on Monday, before wrapping up their difficult stretch with a stop in Phoenix on Tuesday. Don't count on the Kings having much left in the tank in the desert.

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