NHL Best Bets Tonight: Wednesday Predictions & Expert Picks (April 24)

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Let's dive into Nick Martin's NHL best bets tonight with his top picks and predictions.

The Stanley Cup Playoffs continue with three NHL games tonight, and we've got bets for the trio of games. The action includes a doubleheader on ESPN beginning at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT), as well as a nightcap on TNT at 10 p.m. ET.

Let's dig into the picks.

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NHL Best Bets Tonight

The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our NHL betting staff is targeting from today's slate of games. Click on the team logos for any of the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.

GameTime (ET)Pick
7 p.m.
9:30 p.m.
10 p.m.
Specific betting recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our NHL Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.

Bruins vs. Maple Leafs

Wednesday, April 24
7 p.m. ET
Regulation Tie (+350)

As the series shifts to Toronto for a pivotal Game 3, we should expect both of these teams to bring a sharp and urgent performance that should lead to a close score throughout.

The Leafs were undisciplined and made far too many mistakes in their Game 1 loss. However, they responded with a quality 3-2 victory in Game 2. It was clear though the Bruins were not at their best in Game 2 either, and  Bruins coach Jim Montgomery called out his side for a perceived lack of urgency.

At their best, the Bruins are one of the best defensive sides in the league, and they will receive elite goaltending from Jeremy Swayman. Their offensive play is somewhat limited though, which should allow a modest defensive side in the Leafs to keep games tight.

Throughout the Sheldon Keefe era in Toronto, we have seen many closely fought playoff games. While the Leafs have a reputation as a team that will disappoint each postseason because of shaky defensive play, the actual results suggest an inability to create offense in big moments is the bigger concern.

In last year's playoffs, five of the Leafs' 11 games needed an overtime session. Eight of those 11 games were single-goal victories one way or another if you take out empty-netters. The Leafs have averaged just two goals for per game over their last 10 playoff games, and they have allowed 2.75 goals against per game in that span.

Many of the factors contributing to the Leafs' recent playoff nail-biters remain in place for tonight's matchup, particularly against Boston.  That makes me believe there's value backing this game to go to overtime at +350, and I would play anything better than +335.

Pick: Regulation Tie (+350 at FanDuel)

Golden Knights vs. Stars

Wednesday, April 24
9:30 p.m. ET
Over 5.5 (-132)

If the Stars get steady goaltending from Jake Oettinger, they are arguably the most well-rounded team in the playoffs. They can defend at an elite level to be sure, but their deep offensive core is the greatest reason they have a better chance in this 2023 Western Conference Final rematch.

Oettinger stopped just 11 of 15 shots in Game 1. He was not necessarily awful, but it's been a while since he's been a dominant starter. The Stars are not going to be able to hold the Knights to fewer offensive chances tonight than they did in Game 1, and they will be fighting an uphill battle if Oettinger can't find his A-game.

The Stars generated 3.07 expected goals from 28 shots on target in Game 1, though, and we should expect them to generate their share of chances in Game 2.

At this point, the Knights also have to be viewed as a full-blown cup contender, and they made a statement in Game 1. Tomas Hertl was excellent, and captain Mark Stone was productive in his return with the game's opening tally.

Defense and Adin Hill's incredible play played key roles in the Knights' dominant 2023 cup run, but it feels like people often forget they led the league with 4.00 goals for per game average in those 22 games.

It's unlikely the Knights will be able to completely suppress the Stars' deep offensive attack with sweltering defensive play, and their goaltending situation is also currently more of a question mark than it was last season.

A total of 5.5 looks a little low given these teams' current strengths and weaknesses. It seems more likely we'll see another high-flying game than a low-scoring slog like this low total of 5.5 suggests.

Anything better than -140 is worthy of a bet on the Over 5.5.

Pick: Over 5.5 (-132 at FanDuel)

Kings vs. Oilers

Wednesday, April 24
10 p.m. ET
Adrian Kempe Over 2.5 Shots on Goal (-145)

For the third straight season, the Oilers and Kings are going head-to-head in the first round, and Adrian Kempe looks like he will once again be a thorn in the Oilers' side. Kempe registered a goal and five shots in the opening game of this series, which is comparable to his recent playoff results against Edmonton.

Kempe averaged 4.71 shots on goal per game against Edmonton in the 2021-22 series, and he netted six points in the process. In last year's series, he averaged 5.16 shots on goal per game, and he tallied five goals and three assists.

Kempe led the Kings with 75 points in 77 games this season, and he averaged 3.19 shots on goal per game. He was priced at -130 to record 2.5 shots on goal in Game 1, which was the best price I have seen on his shot prop this season. It was due in large due to the perceived defensive strength of the Oilers.

The Oilers will likely win this series, but I doubt it will be because they simply swelter the Kings entirely and allow 25 or fewer shots on goal.

Kempe is still priced at -144 (Bet365) to record over 2.5 shots on goal in tonight's matchup, and I believe there is value at anything better than -160.

Pick: Adrian Kempe Over 2.5 Shots on Goal (-145 at BetMGM)

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