NHL Odds, Best Bets Today: Expert Betting Picks for 10-Game Slate on Monday, April 10
Steph Chambers/Getty Images. Pictured: Arizona Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelk
- Monday's NHL schedule features 10 games as the regular season winds down this week.
- Our NHL experts have targeted four games for their best bets today.
- Check out their picks, including a play on the puck line as well as a big +200 underdog, and all of their analysis below.
Check out our NHL best bets from our crew of hockey experts for Monday, April 10.
With just five days remaining in the NHL regular schedule, a few playoff races are coming down to the wire.
Check out our hockey crew’s top picks, including moneyline bets and a total, for today’s 10-game lineup, which will be a crucial one on the ice.
Capitals vs. Islanders Total
Tony Sartori: To kick off Monday’s NHL slate, there is a Metropolitan Division tilt with the sixth-place Washington Capitals hosting the fourth-place New York Islanders. This season is over for the Capitals, who have shown absolutely no motivation offensively since getting eliminated from the playoff race.
They have not scored more than two goals in any of their last five games, averaging just 1.6 goals scored over that stretch. To make matters worse, both T.J. Oshie and Alex Ovechkin were absent from morning skate on Monday, indicating that they will likely be shut down for the remainder of the campaign.
Even worse, this short-handed and uninspired offense is now tasked with going against all-world goaltender Ilya Sorokin. Putting together yet another Vezina-worthy season, Sorokin is 30-21-7 with a .925 save percentage (SV%) and 2.33 goals against average (GAA).
The reason we are going to take the game under instead of just Washington’s team total under is that the Islanders’ offense is also terrible. At five-on-five this season, both teams rank in the bottom half of the league in expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60).
Across the ice from Sorokin, goaltender Darcy Kuemper is projected to get the nod between the pipes. Also putting together another strong season, Kuemper boasts a .908 SV% and 2.84 GAA through 54 starts.
With two strong goaltenders, two below-average offenses, and an uninspired Capitals lineup missing its two best goal-scorers, under 5.5 (-108) is the play to make in this contest.
Pick: Capitals vs. Islanders under 5.5
Maple Leafs vs. Panthers Moneyline
Ryan Dadoun: It’s rare to see the Maple Leafs as the oddsmakers’ underdog this season, but I can understand why. On top of the contest being played in Florida, the Panthers are riding a six-game winning streak and are still fighting for a wild-card spot. So, an easy argument can be made that Florida will have an edge in both momentum and motivation, given that Toronto is locked into the second seed in the Atlantic Division.
I think it’s a mistake to dismiss Toronto, though. The Maple Leafs still have an amazing roster, and the reality is that they’ve been
pretty much settled into the second seed for a while now, so even though it’s a mathematical certainty now, this game might not feel that different to the Toronto players.
Some Maple Leafs forwards also have individual milestones to fight for. Mitch Marner is just two points away from 100, Auston Matthews is
a goal away from 40, and William Nylander is two markers away from 40. This also might be Matthew Knies’ NHL debut after scoring 21 goals and
42 points in 40 NCAA games with the University of Minnesota, so he’ll have plenty of motivation, and that could rub off on his teammates.
With all that in mind, I like the idea of betting on the Maple Leafs at +130 while the potential payout is unusually good.
Kraken vs. Coyotes Moneyline
Nicholas Martin: Seattle is garnering a ton of market respect and being priced as -240 favorites, but this matchup could be a great time to sell high on the Kraken as they take on a scrappy Coyotes side in a potential letdown spot.
Arizona has played to a 21-14-4 record at Mullett Arena and has continually been undervalued by oddsmakers en route to a 35.2% ROI this season. Much of the reason why is likely the preseason expectations that the Coyotes would be comically bad based upon the talent level of the roster, but the team has consistently played a very detailed and hard-working game under coach Andre Tourigny.
Teams with elite goaltending also tend to overachieve oddsmakers’ expectations, and the Coyotes have gotten exactly that from Karel Vejmelka and his +13.3 GSAx rating. Vejmelka will offer a steady edge over Philipp Grubauer, who has been respectable with a -1.3 GSAx and .893 save % but is certainly still a volatile starting option.
The +200 number is a great one to back the Coyotes in this matchup, where it will hold a goaltending edge and could hold a surprising amount of the play.
Canucks vs. Kings Puck Line
Greg Liodice: The Los Angeles Kings and the Vancouver Canucks face off in Southern California. The Kings are getting ready for the playoffs but have not played well in the month of April, losing three in a row. They’ve also had a hard time driving play. Over their past 10 games, they’ve played to a 24th-ranked 47.54 xGF% (expected goals). However, they’ve been among the better defensive teams this past week with a 2.21 xGA/60.
Vancouver, on the other hand, has won two in a row, but the Canucks come in as the heavy underdogs, struggling all year. But they’ve played a bit better, going 5-3-2 in their last 10 games while playing to a decent (by their standards) 47.66 xGF%.
While the Canucks have played better, there’s still a massive hole here, and it’s goaltending. Thatcher Demko hasn’t played up to snuff since returning from injury, and Collin Delia hasn’t been a great help either. With players such as Anze Kopitar and Adrian Kempe looming, it could spell trouble.
For the Kings, it’s a great opportunity to break out of their slump. It’s clear that the absence of Kevin Fiala has created a large hole, which is probably why Los Angeles at -1.5 is at a +135 price. Fiala is listed as day-to-day and missed his last two games.
Although Joonas Korpisalo has not played very well as of late, I can see a return to his old ways. He stifled the Canucks last week, and I expect him to start again tonight. Betting the Kings on the puck line at +135 odds can give you the best bang for your buck.
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