Kent Tukeli | Wed 13/12/2017 - 19:55 EST

4 Must-Bet Canuck Games This Week

4 Must-Bet Canuck Games This Week

#1 Nashville Predators at Vancouver Canucks

  • NHL Regular Season
  • Wednesday, December 13
  • Rogers Arena, 10:00 PM EST – TSN, FSSM

The Vancouver Canucks were able to get out to a solid start to the season, but it looks like bad luck could rob them of the opportunity to compete in the Pacific Division. First, Bo Horvat went down with a fractured ankle. Then, Sven Baertschi was extremely unfortunate to receive a fractured jaw due to an errant puck.

Nashville doesn’t show any signs of a Stanley Cup hangover during the early chunk of the 2017-18 season, competing neck-and-neck with the St. Louis Blues for the Central Division lead. Music City has a couple of games in hand to catch the Blues, one of which will be a clash in Vancouver.

With these injuries to a pair of top-six forwards in the Canucks lineup, Vancouver will have an extremely difficult time against one of the deeper bluelines in the league. Nashville will have their full fleet of forwards back, as Ryan Johansen returns to the fold. Considering the circumstances, it’s more than likely for the Predators to cover the puckline in this matchup.

#2 Chicago Blackhawks at Winnipeg Jets

  • NHL Regular Season
  • Thursday, December 14
  • Bell MTS Place, 8:00 PM EST – CSNC

After a fantastic November where the Jets rocketed up the Central Division standings, the NHL might have discovered the Winnipeg Jets weakness: do not play against them at the Bell MTS Place. Chicago will have no choice but to engage in a difficult mission to win in Winnipeg, likely without starting goalie Corey Crawford.

Over the past five games these teams have met, the Jets have beaten the Blackhawks four times. Prior to the 2016-17 season, Winnipeg lost four straight to Chicago, showing improvement against the ex-Stanley Cup champs.

Unfortunately for the Jets, Dustin Byfuglien will be out week-to-week with a lower body ailment. This will make it a bit easier for ‘Hawks forwards to attack, also impacting Winnipeg’s power play. Nonetheless, the Jets should be able to clutch out a win against a division rival.

#3 Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors

  • NBA Regular Season
  • Friday, December 15
  • Air Canada Centre, 7:30 PM EST – TSN

The Raptors have sprinted towards the top of the eastern conference standings over the past month, tweaking their lineup to include OG Anunoby as a starter. OG’s been contributing at a high level, hitting more than 40% of his threes and above .500 from the field. He’s solid at the defensive end as a rangy small forward who can switch between multiple positions. 

Toronto’s been one of the hottest teams in the NBA since the starting lineup switch, among the best in the league in terms of offense and net rating. Coach Casey has coaxed better defense out of the Toronto Raptors without affecting their offensive stats.

This will be a must-bet because the Raptors enjoy an eight-game winning streak against the Brooklyn Nets, including five victories with a double-digit margin. Even worse for Brooklyn, Jeremy Lin and D’Angelo Russell won’t play, leaving the Nets extremely short-handed at the guard position.

#4 Montreal Canadiens at Ottawa Senators

  • NHL Regular Season – Centennial Classic
  • Saturday, December 16
  • Lansdowne Park, 7:00 PM EST – CBC, NBCSN

Prior to the beginning of the season, the Centennial Classic appeared to offer two Atlantic rivals competing for positioning among the top rungs of the division. Instead, the Ottawa Senators have been playing their worst hockey in a long time, while the Montreal Canadiens have been one of the least predictable teams in the NHL.

Montreal got off to a terrible start, before Carey Price returned from injury and led the Habs to a five-game win streak. After everything looked great, Montreal dropped all three games the next week. Put simply, there’s no knowing which Canadiens squad will show up on any given night.

Still, the Habs have been far better than the Ottawa Senators, who might be in the middle of a death spiral during the months of November and December. The Atlantic Division’s the softest in the NHL, but the Sens can’t afford to keep on losing. Expect more Canadiens fans to show up than Senators fans, both of whom will likely witness a Montreal victory.

Results / FixturesNHL

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