NHL Best Bets Tonight: Picks, Predictions for Thursday, April 18

NHL Best Bets Tonight: Picks, Predictions for Thursday, April 18 article feature image

(Photo by Leah Hennel/Getty Images) Pictured: MacKenzie Weegar

  • Hockey betting expert Nick Martin shares his NHL best bets tonight.
  • Martin has three NHL best bets for the final night of the regular season and touches on a trio of games.
  • Continue reading for his expert picks and predictions.

The final night of the NHL regular season features a six-game slate, and hockey expert Nick Martin has made predictions for three matchups.

Let's dive into his NHL best bets tonight and read his picks and predictions for Thursday, April 18.

Thursday, Apr 18
7:00 p.m. ET
Kirill Kaprizov Anytime Goalscorer (-110)

What Kirill Kaprizov has done on a very average Wild team this season is simply not getting enough credit.

Kaprizov has put up 95 points and 45 goals in just 74 games this season. In his past 20 games, he has 32 points and 19 goals. He's scored a single goal in 13 of those 20 games.

He, Joel Eriksson Ek and Matt Boldy have been one of the league's most dominant lines when playing together. In 368.8 minutes together, they have generated 3.68 xGF/60.

The Kraken are a tougher than average defensive side, which is why we see a total of 5.5 for this matchup. Still, the Kraken have allowed three or more in four straight matchups.

I'll bet that Kaprizov will finish up the season with another strong showing on home ice. Even at -110, I don't believe oddsmakers have moved the number enough to accommodate for his current form.

Thursday, Apr 18
8:00 p.m. ET
Monitor Shots on Goal Props

There are a lot of ways to find value in the player prop markets on the final couple nights of the season, as rest games for certain players can throw a huge wrench into the prices.

This game has absolutely no significance in the standings, which should result in a loosely contested game.

It's fairly likely that Winnipeg will sit Kyle Connor, Gabriel Vilardi, Mark Scheifele, Josh Morrissey and one or two others for this game.

However, there is a limit to how many roster regulars can rest, which means there's value in predicting the ones who won't rest and betting them to outperform their regular prop prices. And if they do happen to rest, the bets will just push.

I don't expect Nikolaj Ehlers to rest in this game and his opening prop price of +100 for Over 2.5 shots on goal held clear value. Ehlers rarely plays big minutes, so a potential drop off given the situation is not that concerning.

The same sentiments apply for Nino Niederreiter, who is a volume shooter and another Jet to keep your eye on for Over 2.5 shots on goal.

As I wrote all of this, Winnipeg's shot props went off the board, but it is still information worth considering.

Thursday, Apr 18
9:00 p.m. ET
MacKenzie Weegar Over 2.5 Shots on Goal (Play to -155), Anytime Goalscorer (Play to +300)

The Calgary Flames will host the San Jose Sharks for fan appreciation night, and I'll bet Flames fan favorite MacKenzie Weegar puts on a show in the season finale.

Next to Jacob Markstrom, Weegar has been the Flames MVP this season. The 30-year-old defenseman has averaged 22:55 of time on ice, and has put up 19 goals and 51 points in 82 games. Since Chris Tanev and Noah Hanifin were traded at the deadline, Weegar's lofty usage has only grown. Since March 7, he is averaging over 25 minutes of time on ice.

Scoring 20 goals is a significant benchmark as a defenseman, and we should expect Weegar to push aggressively to hit that plateau in a game versus a horrific Sharks team.

San Jose has allowed an absurd 36.59 shots against per 60 over its past 10 games. Weegar has poured nine shots on goal over the past two outings, and I like the chances he goes over 2.5 again tonight.

Weegar is priced at -140 to record three shots on goal at DraftKings, and I see value at anything better than -155. He is also priced at +310 to score at anytime, which is worthy of a smaller bet.
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