NHL Odds, Best Bets Today: Expert Picks for 16-Game Slate on Saturday, April 8
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images. Pictured: Los Angeles Kings
- Saturday's packed NHL schedule features a full 16-game slate with puck drops all day long.
- Our hockey experts have put together their NHL best bets for today.
- Check out their picks, including props and a parlay, and all of their analysis below.
Check out our NHL best bets from our crew of hockey experts for Saturday, April 8.
It’s crunch time in the NHL, which enters the final week of regular season play with teams jockeying for postseason position and scraping for every point they can get.
Saturday’s NHL slate offers 16 games with action throughout the day. With puck drops from 12:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. ET, hockey bettors have no shortage of options. But where’s the value?
Check out our hockey crew’s best bets for today, which will be a busy day on the ice.
Penguins vs. Red Wings Player Prop
Greg Liodice: Sidney Crosby is on a seven-game goalless drought, which is his longest this season. It’s not like he hasn’t gotten the chances either. From the time he last scored, he’s generated a 50.37 SCF% (Scoring Chances For), and he’s fourth on the team in generating high danger chances.
He’s had another incredible season and is averaging more than a point per game with 31 goals. We all know Crosby, who’s approaching 550 career goals, has the scoring touch. He’s just a bit snakebitten at the moment.
Typically lined up with Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust, who have both been red hot, there should be ample opportunities for Crosby to light the lamp tonight. Not only that, but the Penguins are always a threat on the power play. While they’ve been fairly average all year, any team that has Crosby, Guentzel, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang always has a chance, especially against a mediocre penalty kill in Detroit.
At +240 for a Penguin win and a Crosby goal, I think that’s more than fair value. The Red Wings have been OK during this stretch, but they’ve proven to be inconsistent all year.
Pick: Crosby Anytime Goal & Penguins Win (+240)
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Oilers vs. Sharks Same Game Parlay
Ryan Dadoun: While the potential return isn’t the best on its own, I really like it when weighed against the risk for this pick.
The chances of the Oilers beating the lowly Sharks are very high. San Jose has nothing left to play for, is missing a helpful secondary scorer in Alexander Barabanov (lower body), and is dreadful defensively.
Meanwhile, Edmonton is still fighting for playoff positioning, Leon Draisaitl is red hot (22 points in his last 10 games), and Connor McDavid is tantalizingly close to 150 points.
Given the Oilers’ league-leading offense, I think adding the “over” of 5.5 goals on top of the condition that Edmonton wins is reasonable.
I did give some consideration to changing the second condition to an over of 6.5 goals, but Edmonton’s goaltending has been uncharacteristically dominant recently, allowing just two goals over the Oilers’ past four games. Combine that with the Sharks’ weak offense, and I felt it necessary to hedge my bet to 5.5 goals in the interest of finding the right balance between safety and possible payout.
Devils vs. Bruins Moneyline
Nicholas Martin: Analyzing the recent play from these teams, it might already be fair to say the Devils are playing at a high enough level where backing them at +120 to win this game is a fine bet.
Throw in that Boston is just skating out the season looking to remain healthy and sharp for the playoffs, and taking +120 becomes a pretty strong proposition.
New Jersey has played to a 59.95 xGF% over the past 10 games, which is a significantly better mark than Boston has put with a 51.03% over the same sample.
However, Boston has put together a far better record over that span at 9-1-0. That has been boosted by four victories in shootout and three-on-three, and its games versus top competition have clearly been extremely tight.
Boston’s defensive play is likely better than most models account for, and its goaltending has been incredible. However, it is still extremely hard to pass up on a +120 underdog that will likely generate more of the overall scoring chances.
Avalanche vs. Kings Total
Tony Sartori: There is a Western Conference tilt in Saturday’s NHL nightcap with the Pacific Division’s Los Angeles Kings hosting the Central Division’s Colorado Avalanche. Low-scoring affairs are typically in store when these clubs square off as six or fewer goals have been scored in eight of the past 11 meetings.
That trend is likely to continue in this contest, especially considering that there have been six or fewer goals scored in 12 of Los Angeles’ past 17 games. The Kings’ elite two-way play is the main driver of that trend, which is a product of a deep blue line and a forward group with multiple great back checkers.
Anze Kopitar, Phillip Danault and Trevor Moore all make life extremely difficult for opposing skaters. Suppressing high-danger scoring chances at an elite level, Los Angeles ranks third in the league in expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60) at 5-on-5.
Meanwhile, Colorado is nearly as dominant defensively, ranking fifth in xGA/60 at five-on-five. However, both offenses have been underwhelming this season, each ranking in the bottom half of the league in expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60) at five-on-five.
To make matters worse for the Kings, they are expected to be missing two talented offensive forwards as Kevin Fiala and Gabriel Vilardi both remain sidelined with injuries. Finally, the goaltending matchup is projected to see Alexandar Georgiev go against Pheonix Copley, two guys who rank in the top-10 among starting goaltenders in goals saved above expected per 60 minutes (GSAx/60) at five-on-five.
Pick: Avalanche vs. Kings under 6.5 (-134)
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