Free NHL Picks Today for Monday, January 18th, 2021

Free NHL Picks Today for Monday, January 18th, 2021
Mon 18th January 2021

There are 20 teams that take the ice for a jam packed Monday in the National Hockey League! 

Find all of our free NHL picks for the 10 scheduled games below!

Columbus Blue Jackets @ Detroit Red Wings – 12PM ET

The 1-1 Detroit Red Wings will host the 0-2 Columbus Blue Jackets in an Eastern Conference matchup on Monday afternoon. After finishing the 2019/20 season with a league low 39 points and a goal differential of -122, Detroit opened up their 2021 season with a 3-0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, foreshadowing another disastrous year in the NHL.

However, in their second game against the Hurricanes the Red Wings flipped the script winning 4-2 in the second game of their regular season series against Carolina. Dylan Larkin netted two goals in the final period to secure the two goal victory.

The Blue Jackets season isn’t off to as good of a start, with 3-1 and 5-2 losses to the Predators in Nashville. Columbus will continue their road trip when they head to Detroit this Monday. Despite their win over Carolina, Detroit have opened as the +140 to record their second win at home.

Given that Columbus failed to put up a competitive score against Nashville in either of their opening two games, we like the Red Wings to continue their resurgence to form in 2021 with a second win at home from their opening three games. 

NHL Pick – Detroit Red Wings (+140)
NHL Spread – Detroit Red Wings +1.5 (-180)
Game Totals Pick – Under 5.5 (-110)

Boston Bruins @ New York Islanders – 5PM ET

The 1-0-1 Boston Bruins are headed to Brooklyn to take on the 1-1 New York Islanders on Monday afternoon. It has not been the most confident start to the season for last year’s best regular season team, with Boston claiming a shootout victory in their season opener against the New Jersey Devils before suffering an overtime loss in the second game of their regular seasons series.

The Bruins offense looks shaky early in the season, however their defense has been consistent and is more than capable of keeping them in games. Contrastingly, the Islanders have shown no consistency in their opening two games against the Rangers, defeating their rivals 4-0 in the season opener before suffering a 0-5 loss in their second matchup.

With two polarising different results from their opening two games of the season, it is impossible to pick New York against last year’s best regular season team, even if Boston have started without conviction.

The Bruins offense will struggle to cover against New York, however their defense (that has allowed only four goals in their opening two games) should exploit the weaknesses in an Islanders offense that failed to score in their second outing. 

NHL Pick – Boston Bruins (-131)
NHL Spread – New York Islanders +1.5 (-240)
Game Totals Pick – Under 5.5 (+125)

Winnipeg Jets @ Toronto Maple Leafs – 7PM ET

The 2-1 Toronto Maple Leafs will face the 1-0 Winnipeg Jets on Monday night in an East vs West matchup. In their opening three games of the season, the Maple Leafs have recorded single score victories over the Canadiens and Senators while also suffering a two score loss in their first game against Ottawa.

Toronto are 0-3 against the spread, failing to cover in either of their wins or their one loss. The Jets have played just the one game this season, recording a 4-3 overtime victory against the Flames. On paper the two sides are evenly matched with only one point separating them on the 2019/20 NHL table.

Given that Toronoto are returning home and they have two more games under their belts this season, it’s tough to go past the 2-1 Maple Leafs in their fourth game of the season. Winnipeg will be competitive, however the extra two games early in the season will bode well for the Maple Leafs. 

NHL Pick – Toronto Maple Leafs (-150)
NHL Spread – Winnipeg Jets +1.5 (-180)
Game Totals Pick – Under 6.5 (-105)

Buffalo Sabres @ Philadelphia Flyers – 7.30PM ET

The 2-0 Philadelphia Flyers will continue their early season stint at home against the 0-2 Buffalo Sabres on Monday night. The Flyers have had a strong start to their 2021 season, with three goal victories (6-3, 5-2) in each of their opening two games against Pittsburgh.

Travis Konecny has netted three of the Flyers 11 goals this season. Contrastingly, the Sabres lost their opening two games against Washington 6-4 and 2-1. Following Carter Hutton’s performance in goals in their season opener (.815 save percentage, five goals allowed), Buffalo made the change to Linus Ullmark (.905, two goals allowed) in their second game against the Capitals.

The change yielded good results, however Buffalo’s new look offense failed to fire in their second outing. It’s tough to go past the Flyers again in this one, having recorded consecutive three goal victories from their opening two games against an opponent that finished with a better record than Buffalo in 2019/20. Philadelphia will progress to 3-0 at home, leaving the Sabres at 0-3. 

NHL Pick – Philadelphia Flyers (-160)
NHL Spread – Philadelphia Flyers -1.5 (+145)
Game Totals Pick – Over 6 (-110)

San Jose Sharks @ St Louis Blues – 8PM ET

After both the Sharks and the Blues caused upsets in their opening games of the season, both sides suffered reality check losses, resulting in 1-1 records after their opening two games. The Sharks edged out the Coyotes in a 4-3 shootout in the first game of their regular season series before being defeated 5-3 in their second encounter.

Thomas Hertl has scored three of San Jose’s seven goals this season. In similar fashion, the Blues upset the Stanley Cup hopeful Colorado Avalanche 4-1 at home in their season opener, before the Avalanche responded with an 8-0 annihilation in their second meeting.

Despite coming into this game fresh off an 8-0 shutout defeat, the Blues should improve their record to 2-1 when coming up against the Sharks in their first game at home this season. The Blues 4-1 victory over Colorado showed that they are capable of defeating a quality opposition.

In Monday’s Pacific Division matchup, the Blues, who were last year’s Central Division champions, should comfortably defeat the Sharks, who finished last in the Pacific Division last season.

NHL Pick – St Louis Blues (-191)
NHL Spread – St Louis Blues -1.5 (+130)
Game Totals Pick – Over 6 (-105)

Carolina Hurricanes @ Nashville Predators – 8PM ET

The Predators continue their early season stretch at home looking to improve on their 2-0 record when they face the 1-1 Carolina Hurricanes. Nashville recorded multiple goal victories in both of their opening games against the Blue Jackets, with a 3-1 victory in their season opener and a 5-2 win in their most recent outing.

Like the Predators, Carolina got their season off to a strong start with a 3-0 victory over the Red Wings, before Detroit responded with a 4-2 upset in the second game of their regular season series.

Despite being favoured in this game, Carolina has scored just five goals in their opening two games of this season against an opponent that was undeniably the worst team in the NHL last year.

Meaning the Hurricanes will struggle offensively when trying  to remain competitive against the Predators at home. Nashville are firing on both offense (eight goals for) and defense (three goals against) early in the 2021 season. 

NHL Pick – Nashville Predators (+100)
NHL Spread – Nashville Predators +1.5 (-240)
Game Totals Pick – Under 5.5 (+105)

Minnesota Wild @ Anaheim Ducks – 9PM ET

The 0-1-1 Anaheim Ducks will return home after their stint in Vegas to host the 2-0 Minnesota Wild on Monday night. The Ducks failed to get their first win of the 2021 season in their opening two games against the Golden Knights, going down 5-2 in their season opener and 2-1 in a shootout in their second meeting.

Maxime Comtoise proved himself as the danger man against Vegas, scoring all three of the Ducks goals this season. Minnesota kicked off their Los Angeles road trip with a pair of 4-3 overtime victories against the Kings.

The Wild showed their versatility offensively against Los Angeles with all eight of the team’s goals coming from different Minnesota players in their opening two games. Other than a three goal third period for Vegas in their season opener, Anaheim’s defense has been sturdy, allowing just four goals in the remaining five periods.

However, the Ducks have only scored three goals of their own in their opening two games and do not not look to have improved drastically from last season’s equal third worst scoring unit (187 goals for, the equal third fewest in the NHL), making it tough for Anaheim to outscore Minnesota’s dynamic offense with multiple avenues to the back of the net.  

NHL Pick – Minnesota Wild (-131)
NHL Spread – Anaheim Ducks -1.5 (-236)
Game Totals Pick – Under 5.5 (-115)

Vancouver Canucks @ Calgary Flames – 9PM ET

The 1-0-1 Flames will host the 1-2 Canucks for the second match in their regular season series, with Calgary currently leading 1-0. After going down to the Jets in overtime of their season opener, the Flames responded with a 3-0 victory over Vancouver at home.

Contrastingly, the Canucks won their opening game 5-3 over the Oilers and have since dropped their next two games only managing two goals across both outings. Jacob Markstrom made his presence felt in goals for Calgary in their previous game against Vancouver, saving all 32 of the Canucks shots on goal to keep a clean sheet.

Expect the Canucks offense to improve in their second matchup against the Flames, however Vancouver has not shown enough in their past two outings to indicate an upset win against Calgary. The Flames will improve their record at home to 2-0 after another gritty defensive performance. 

NHL Pick – Calgary Flames (-140)
NHL Spread – Calgary Flames -1.5 (+170)
Game Totals Pick – Under 6 (-105)

Montreal Canadiens @ Edmonton Oilers – 9PM ET

The 1-2 Edmonton Oilers will host the Montreal Canadiens for the second installment of their regular season series. The Canadiens improved to 1-0-1 as the result of their impressive 5-1 victory in Edmonton on Saturday night.

Jeff Petry and Tomas Tatar both scored twice in the four goal victory. The Oilers have played an extra game so far in 2021 but have been far less consistent, losing their first game 3-5, winning their second game 5-2 and most recently losing their third game 1-5 against the Canadiens.

Yet to travel this season, the Oilers will be looking to bounce back in their fourth consecutive game at home and should be much more competitive than their previous 5-1 scoreline against the Canadiens. However, Edmonton gave no indication that they are capable of turning around a four goal margin against Montreal this Monday. 

NHL Pick – Montreal Canadiens (-110)
NHL Spread – Edmonton Oilers +1.5 (-245)
Game Totals Pick – Over 6.5 (-105)

Arizona Coyotes @ Vegas Golden Knights – 10PM ET

The 2-0 Vegas Golden Knights will continue their run of home games when the 1-0-1 Arizona Coyotes play the first of two straight games in Vegas on Monday. After getting upset in their opening game of the season against the Sharks, Arizona responded in their second game with a 5-3 win against San Jose.

Phil Kessell scored twice in the second matchup against the Sharks and has scored three of the eight Coyotes goals this season. Vegas are 2-0 after their opening two games against Anaheim, winning their first game 5-2 and their second game 2-1 in overtime.

Mark Stone has been on fire for the Golden Knights already with a goal and three assists for Vegas this season. Having only allowed three goals in their two games this season, the Golden Knights will improve to 3-0 at home with another win over a Pacific Division rival, restricting the Coyotes offense that is 1-1 after their two games against the Sharks, who finished last in the Pacific Division last season. 

NHL Pick – Vegas Golden Knights (-196)
NHL Spread – Vegas Golden Knights -1.5 (+125)
Game Totals Pick – Over 5.5. (+121)

The 2021 NHL season is here! If you want to catch up with all the latest information, make sure you visit our NHL hub page.

*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of PointsBet.

Jesse is and always has been a lover of sports. No matter the league, no matter the game, Jesse is constantly keeping up to date with the latest odds, news, injuries and stats. He has a strong interest in the NBA and the NFL, and he will always strive to keep you up to date with the best news, odds, predictions and picks that the ever engaging sporting world has to offer.