NHL Odds, Best Bets for Game 6: Picks for Maple Leafs vs. Lightning, Oilers vs. Kings (Saturday, April 29)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images. Pictured: New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers
- Our NHL best bets for tonight's Game 6 matchups cover all three games.
- Our hockey experts are targeting two moneyline plays, as well as a pair of player props, as teams looks to clinch tonight.
- Check out their best bets, including a pick for the Oilers vs. Kings nightcap, below.
Check out our NHL best bets from our crew of hockey experts for Game 6 on Saturday, April 29.
The 2022-23 NHL postseason rolls on with three potential series-clinching games tonight. And we’ve got NHL best bets for all three matchups.
Below, check out our hockey crew’s top picks, including picks for the Maple Leafs vs. Lightning and Oilers vs. Kings playoff games.
Maple Leafs vs. Lightning Moneyline
Greg Liodice: The Toronto Maple Leafs are one win away from moving onto the next round. Those words may have sent shivers up Leafs fans spines. Since 2005, Toronto is 0-11 in series-clinching games, so it’s safe to say the Leafs are quite vulnerable here. The series currently stands at 3-2 in Toronto’s favor, but tonight, Game 6 is played in Tampa Bay.
The Tampa Bay Lightning, as we all know, have been a dynasty for the past three years – with three straight Stanley Cup appearances, including back-to-back wins. However, the one factor that has made them so dominant is starting to fade. Andrei Vasilevskiy is a top-three goaltender in this league, and his resume speaks for itself. But, in these five games, he hasn’t looked great. He’s posting an uncharacteristic .870 SV% and a -3.3 GSAx, which is far from what we’re used to seeing from him.
It’s time to put up or shut up from the Leafs. They know what is at stake here, and they know the talent they have. Mitch Marner, Auston Matthews and William Nylander all averaged over a point per game and have been dominant this series. The team’s five-on-five numbers aren’t great, playing to a 49 xGF%, but the power play has clicked on all cylinders, scoring at a 31.6% clip.
Sure, Vasilevskiy played great in Game 5, but I don’t like the trend I’m seeing. All things must come to an end, and I can see the Maple Leafs advancing in enemy territory. If not, this team will look a lot different come next season.
I’m backing the Leafs moneyline at a solid -110 value.
Pick: Toronto Maple Leafs (-110)
Maple Leafs vs. Lightning Player Prop
Nicholas Martin: The Maple Leafs’ horrific recent postseason results have led to a ton of hate toward their four core offensive superstars. That hate has not been as warranted for Nylander.
Over the last three playoffs, he has generated at an elite rate with 22 points in 19 games.
Nylander has looked dynamic in the opening five matchups of this series in particular and has been a handful for Lightning defenders to keep in check. He has generated 20 shots on goal from 30 shot attempts in the series.
His lowest single-game shot-attempt total in the series came in Toronto’s blowout Game 2 win. It seems unlikely that either side runs away with this one early, though.
What we should mainly see are game scripts that call for a ton of minutes to Toronto’s stars, which increases the chances of us winning here.
The -105 line is a solid price for Nylander to continue his strong play and pepper Tampa’s goal.
Devils vs. Rangers Moneyline
Tony Sartori: After winning the past three games in this series, the New Jersey Devils have the opportunity to advance to the next round with a win in Game 6 against the New York Rangers.
The Rangers continue to rely on goaltending and special teams, which is typically a recipe for failure down the stretch if the team is not as competent at even strength, and is the primary reason they have struggled over the past three games.
At five-on-five since the Christmas break, New York ranks just 22nd in expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60) and 23rd in expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60). New York’s underwhelming play at even strength has continued into the postseason, with roughly half of its goals coming at five-on-five over the first five games.
Meanwhile, New Jersey ranked third in xGF/60 and ninth in xGA/60 at five-on-five during the regular season, ranking 19 and six spots ahead of the Rangers in those categories, respectively. The switch to rookie goaltender Akira Schmid seemed to be exactly the kickstart this team needed after falling behind 2-0 in the series, and the Devils have now rattled off three straight wins.
Over that stretch, Schmid boasts a ridiculous .976 save percentage (SV%) and 0.63 goals against average (GAA). While those results are unsustainable, ride the hot hand and back the Devils to win their fourth straight game and send the Rangers to the golf course.
Oilers vs. Kings Player Prop
Ryan Dadoun: Connor McDavid has been predictably productive in the first round, providing eight points in five contests. But one area in which he hasn’t been quite as good as expected is in terms of goals. Despite launching a team-high 24 shots, he’s been limited to two markers.
McDavid’s 8.3% shooting percentage is well below his regular-season average of 18.2%, along with his career postseason average of 15.5%. He went through a similar stretch in the 2022 playoffs, being held to one goal over the opening four contests of Edmonton’s first-round match against the Kings before finding the back of the net in each of the final three games of that series.
After setting a career-high with 64 tallies in the regular season, McDavid has been unable to score in six of his last
seven appearances, which is one of his coldest stretches of the 2022-23 campaign and playoffs in that category. Given that he’s
continuing to fire the puck at a high rate, though, the Oilers’ star forward should break through.
Pick: Connor McDavid anytime goalscorer (-120)
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