Kent Tukeli | Wed 20/12/2017 - 12:11 EST

5 Must-Bet Canuck Games This Week

5 Must-Bet Canuck Games This Week

#1 Philadelphia 76ers at Toronto Raptors

  • NBA Regular Season
  • Saturday, December 23
  • Air Canada Centre, 5:00 PM EST – TSN2, CN8PHI

Toronto’s won 16 of the last 17 games against Philadelphia, with the 76ers previous victory taking place last January, when Embiid lead The Process to a 94-89 home win against the Raptors. Similar to last season, much of Philly’s success depends on Joel’s health, even if Ben Simmons is turning out to be a rookie of the year candidate.

The Raptors head into this pre-Christmas matchup as one of the hottest teams in the NBA, including a home record of 11-1, the best in the NBA. Philly’s dealing with a depleted lineup. Embiid’s likely to miss two games against Toronto, while J.J. Redick’s dealing with a hamstring injury that might force him to miss the run-up to the holiday season. Unless the Raptors suddenly go down with several injuries, they’ll be heavily favored to blow out Philadelphia at the Air Canada Centre.

My Team's Next MatchToronto Raptors

#2 Toronto Maple Leafs at Columbus Blue Jackets

  • NHL Regular Season
  • Wednesday, December 20
  • Nationwide Arena, 7:30 PM EST – SN, FS-O

The Toronto Maple Leafs haven’t played well against the Columbus Blue Jackets lately, losing four of their last five meetings with Tortorella’s squad. Austen Matthews travelled with the Leafs, but there’s nothing else that indicates he’ll play. Top four defenseman Nikita Zaitsev will also miss the next couple of games with a lower body injury, subtracting important depth from Toronto’s lineup.

Columbus will enjoy a significant rest advantage, as the Leafs fly into Ohio less than 24 hours after beating the Hurricanes in Toronto. The Blue Jackets will look to rebound from a string of poor performances, including a 7-2 loss to the Boston Bruins. Unfortunately for the Maple Leafs, this matchup will prove to be extremely difficult to win.

#3 Ottawa Senators at Tampa Bay Lightning

  • NHL Regular Season
  • Thursday, December 21
  • Amalie Arena, 7:00 PM EST – TSN5, SUN, RDS

Another Canadian team with a tough matchup this week will be the Ottawa Senators, who fly to Florida to visit the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night. The Lightning look to finish off the first half of the season as the undisputed leaders of the NHL, while Ottawa just wants to start winning again after a brutal month of losing streaks.

Tampa has beaten Ottawa in four of the last five games and seven of the last ten. Three of the last four wins for the Lightning weren’t close, creating an average winning margin of 2.75 goals. Considering Tampa’s dominance of the Sens, and their status as the best team in the NHL, hockey wagering fans should consider selecting the puckline for this game.

#4 Montreal Canadiens at Calgary Flames

  • NHL Regular Season
  • Friday, December 22
  • Scotiabank Saddledome, 9:00 PM EST – SNW, TSN2, RDS

Montreal’s two-week road trip during the holidays started in earnest when they flew to the west coast and defeated the Canucks. They’ll resume their western Canada swing against the Calgary on Friday and play against the Oilers on Saturday. Winning the first of a 24-hour back-to-back will be important if the Habs want to avoid two losses in 24 hours.

The Canadiens will miss Shea Weber greatly on this road trip, as doctors figure out what to do with his injured foot. This will be sweet news for Flames forwards, who will enjoy raining rubber on star goalie Carey Price. The Flames have an 6-4 edge over the Habs during their last ten meetings, including two wins in a row. Expect a third consecutive win for Calgary over Montreal on Friday night.

#5 St. Louis Blues at Vancouver Canucks

  • NHL Regular Season
  • Saturday, December 23
  • Rogers Arena, 10:00 PM EST – CBC, SN, FS-MW

Vancouver’s dealing with a lot of bad luck, which started when top center Bo Horvat cracked his ankle. Fleet-of-foot Sven Baertschi ended up with a broken jaw because of an errant puck shortly after, and Brock Boeser nearly destroyed his foot, rounding up a trio of injuries to Canucks top-six forwards. Brandon Sutter and Chris Tanev will also be on the wounded list against the Blues.

Boeser’s foot x-rays were negative for breaks, which allowed him to return much earlier than expected, but the Canucks still don’t have the depth to match up against one of the elite teams in the NHL. Furthermore, the Blues have beaten the Canucks in six of the last seven meetings between these two teams. St. Louis will likely enjoy another win over Vancouver before the Christmas break. 

Results / FixturesNHL

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