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NHL Picks: Hockey Best Bets on DraftKings Sportsbook for October 20

Geoff Ulrich gives his best bets on DraftKings Sportsbook for Thursday’s NHL betting card.

There’s a massive 12-game slate in the NHL on Thursday. As of writing an astounding 11 of those games have a puck total of 6.5 on DraftKings Sportsbook, with just the Islanders vs. Devils sporting a 6.0 (and that could easily move by game time). Despite the massive schedule, it’s only the Winnipeg Jets (who play in Vegas in the late game of the night) who will be playing in a back-to-back spot today.

New York Islanders vs. New Jersey Devils

Islanders -135

The Islanders have looked strong to start the year. While they lost on opening night to the Panthers, they also outshot the Presidents Cup winners in that game and their top line produced plenty of good scoring chances. In the two games since, they’ve scored 12 times and have now averaged 39 shots on net through three starts.

Despite a solid start offensively, which has them ranked top of the league in xGF% (Expected Goals For Percentage), the Devils sport just a 1-2 record and the Islanders will undoubtedly be their toughest test of the season to date. The advantage in net here is also massive. Ilya Sorokin will certainly get the start after taking the last game off and looks on the verge of a special season. He has stopped 48 of 51 shots this year and gives New York a massive advantage over whoever the Devils choose to roll with. The Devils' offense will likely keep this close but Sorokin and New York’s resurgent offense will likely prove to be too much. The Islanders offer some decent value on the money line.

Ottawa Senators vs Washington Capitals

Senators puckline +190

Ottawa had scored just three goals in their first two games before their newly constructed squad came together for seven goals in a 7-5 win against Boston on Tuesday. This will likely be a roller-coaster season for the Senators as their defense and goaltending still leave much to be desired, but one can’t doubt the talent in their top two lines. They’ll be riding high Thursday against a Capitals team that has won two in a row, but will be without four integral forwards (Nicklas Backstrom, Tom Wilson, Carl Hagelin and Evgeny Kuznetsov) for this game.

With the first win of the season now under their belt, and the pressure off some of their new acquisitions (Claude Giroux got both his first win and first goal as a Senator on Tuesday), Ottawa should be ready to attack a weakened Washington team tonight. The Capitals have dominated this series in the past but this is a completely revamped squad and one capable of running opponents out of the building, especially ones as weakened as Washington. With solid odds nearing +200, playing for the big Ottawa cover on the puck line today makes sense.

Cole Caufield over 3.5 shots on goal +125

Caufield has started the season well. He’s already picked up three goals and has produced against some of the biggest and best the Eastern Conference has to offer. He’s averaged over 22 shifts per game through four starts and has now landed 5 SOG in each of Montreal’s home games. He’ll be at home again tonight against arguably the worst team in hockey, the Coyotes. Arizona is already allowing 41.3 shots against per game and is in the middle of a hellish six-game road trip to start the season. Caufield should have his way with Phoenix and taking him for over 3.5 shots on net at anything above +100 looks solid.

Rickard Rakell over 2.5 shots on goal +115

The Kings have allowed 34.8 shots on net through five games, the eighth most in the league. It’s a marked departure from their play last season when they were one of the league’s best in this category. Things aren’t likely to turn around tonight against the Penguins, who are averaging 42.0 shots per game (first in the league) through three starts. Rickard Rakell is playing on the top line, has averaged well over 20 shifts per game thus far and is averaging 5 SOG over two home games. At plus money, the over here looks like great value today.

Place your NHL bets at DraftKings Sportsbook or by downloading the DraftKings Sportsbook app.

All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.