NHL Odds, Best Bets for Game 5: Wild vs. Stars, Kings vs. Oilers (Tuesday, April 25)
Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images. Pictured: Edmonton Oilers player Darnell Nurse and Adrian Kempe of the Los Angeles Kings
Check out our NHL Game 5 best bets from our crew of hockey experts for Tuesday, April 25.
The 2022-23 NHL postseason is entering a pivotal stretch of games, and for our hockey best bets today, we’re targeting two series that are all tied up, 2-2
Below, check out our hockey crew’s top picks, including Game 5 for Wild vs. Stars and Kings vs. Oilers, for today’s latest playoff games.
Wild vs. Stars Player Prop
Tony Sartori: Game 5 of this Western Conference series is set to get underway with the Dallas Stars hosting the Minnesota Wild. Dallas centerman Joe Pavelski remains sidelined due to the concussion he suffered in Game 1, which means other forwards need to step up in his absence.
One of those forwards is rookie Wyatt Johnston. The 19-year-old put together a solid campaign this year, logging 24 goals and 41 points while appearing in all 82 games.
While he has yet to find the back of the net in these playoffs, there is reason to expect positive regression. At five-on-five, Johnston leads all Dallas skaters in expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60).
In fact, the Johnston-Benn-Dadonov line leads the Stars in xGF/60 at five-on-five, which is a product of Johnston’s playmaking and his 15 shots on goal through the first four games. While Minnesota’s defense has typically thrived under head coach Dean Evason, it has taken a step back over the second half of this season.
Since the Christmas Break, the Wild rank in the bottom half of the league in expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60) at five-on-five. While goaltender Filip Gustavsson will surely be the biggest hurdle in Johnston finding the back of the net, it is worth taking a shot on him to do so at +295.
Wild vs. Stars Player Prop
Nicholas Martin: Matt Boldy had a full-fledged breakout season with the Wild this year with 31 goals in 81 regular season matchups. He was notably strong down the stretch with Kirill Kaprizov sidelined, and he entered the postseason in excellent form.
Owning just three assists so far in the series could be a sign that acclimating to postseason life is not going very well. However, I don’t believe that is the case, and instead, the problem has been an uncharacteristically tough time finishing.
Boldy’s 17 shots on goal in the series are the most by any player who has not scored this postseason. Considering his finishing ability and the number of looks being generated, I like the chances a breakthrough is coming tonight.
I will also note that Bet365‘s +240 is technically the best price available. However, Bet365’s “anytime” goalscorer prices actually do not count overtime, so we’ll go with FanDuel.
Pick: Matt Boldy anytime goalscorer (+230)
Wild vs. Stars Player Prop
Grant White: The Minnesota Wild take to the ice for a pivotal clash with the Dallas Stars. Dallas pulled even with the Wild with a dramatic 3-2 victory in Game 4, carrying momentum into Tuesday’s clash at American Airlines Arena.
Nevertheless, the Wild have been the superior analytics team, getting out-chanced in high-danger chances just once through the first four games. Although it’s not reflected on the scoresheet, Frederick Gaudreau has been a primary contributor for the Wild.
Gaudreau leads Minnesota’s forward corps in high-danger chances while also ranking top four in scoring opportunities and shots. However, Gaudreau’s output has decreased despite the improved analytics play. His on-ice shooting percentage has decreased to 6.1%, down from his regular season average of 8.0%.
The Wild deploy Gaudreau on the power play, setting him up for offensive success. Moreover, he and his linemates have accounted for the most quality chances so far this postseason. We’re anticipating growth from Gaudreau, as output catches up with production, and are backing him to go over his 0.5 points prop (+158) in Game 5.
Pick: Frederick Gaudreau over 0.5 points (+158)
Kings vs. Oilers Total
Greg Liodice: One word that can describe the series between the Los Angeles Kings and Edmonton Oilers: volatile. This has been anyone’s series, riddled with overtime wins, high-sticking controversies and comebacks down 3-0. But one aspect that this has is a lot of is scoring.
The Oilers are the only team since 1996 to have three players with more than 100 points in a season. While most would look to 150-point scorer Connor McDavid, it’s Leon Draisaitl who’s stolen the show. He’s notched two or more points in three of the four games played. McDavid is also heating up with six points after being held pointless in Game 1.
For the Kings, they’re extremely happy that Kevin Fiala is back from injury. The Swiss forward made his return on Sunday with two assists. With Fiala, Los Angeles unlocks a dynamic part of its offense. It makes players such as Adrian Kempe and Anze Kopitar that more dangerous.
Special teams have been a big part of the series. Both Edmonton and Los Angeles’ power plays have been exceptional whereas the penalty kill have not. The Kings’ power play is clicking at a 31% pace, and the Oilers at 54%. That doesn’t make for great PK numbers for either side.
Joonas Korpisalo has done great with an impressive .918 SV% and +3.4, while it looks like Jack Campbell gets the nod here. Campbell had an awful first season in Edmonton but came in relief to help the Oilers secure the win on Saturday. He stopped 27 out of 28 shots and played to a +2.4 GSAx.
Even though goaltending has been solid, I still think the offenses will overpower the game.
Pick: Kings vs. Oilers over 6.5 (-120)
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