NHL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Flames vs. Stars Total, Anytime Scorer Props, More Playoff Plays For Friday

NHL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Flames vs. Stars Total, Anytime Scorer Props, More Playoff Plays For Friday article feature image

Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Stars goaltender Jakob Oettinger (right)

  • NHL betting analyst Nick Martin breaks down his top four picks and predictions for Friday night's Stanley Cup Playoffs slate.
  • Find out how he's betting the Flames-Stars total, a pair of anytime scorer props, and more below.

NHL Odds, Picks, Predictions

Evan Rodrigues Over 2.5 (-125)

Rangers at Penguins, 7 p.m. ET

With Sidney Crosby out for Game 6, the Penguins will need others to step up with big performances. One guy I will be looking toward is Evan Rodrigues.

Rodrigues took the morning skate centering the second line and has been elevated to the top powerplay unit. When the Penguins faced early-season absences, Rodrigues was a monster, which was a big part of his 19-goal breakout campaign.

He's had a very solid series so far, and is in turn a very logical candidate for the elevated role. He's already averaged four shots per game in this series, including five in Game 5, with seven attempts on the net.

The extra minutes he should garner will give us a big edge on a number that already would be reasonable should he have remained in his regular spot playing further down the lineup.

Bet to: -140

John Carlson Anytime Goalscorer (+390)

Panthers at Capitals, 7:30 p.m. ET

The Panthers have been cheating towards Alexander Ovechkin's side while shorthanded, which seems like a perfectly reasonable strategy. However, the Capitals have clicked at 30% on the powerplay in the series, which is markedly better than their regular season output.

We often hear people question how teams can still let Ovechkin fire his one-timers open from the top of the left circle, when everybody knows it's coming. Well, this is a perfect synopsis of why it's not that simple, and how a powerplay truly works. With sound puck movement, if you're going to have your killer's overplay that side, it's going to leave gaps elsewhere on the ice.

That has often meant great looks from the top for John Carlson in this series. He has been getting his one-timers through from the top of the 1-3-1 setup, and he has rang the crossbar twice in the series and scored once, while seeing T.J. Oshie deflect his shot in twice.

He had eight attempts on goal in Game 5, and has had a fair share high-quality looks all series long. He's very capable of scoring at 5-on-5 as well, and will be relied on heavily should the Caps need scoring late in this elimination game.

Obviously we're making a small play at this number, but this is a longshot with value given how the games are going.

Bet to: +360

T.J Oshie Anytime Goalscorer (+210)

Panthers at Capitals, 7:30 p.m. ET

For many of the same reasons as Carlson, Oshie holds value to score in this massive do-or-die contest. He's been left open at times on the bumper spot higher up in the slot on the powerplay, but has also been found out-front for redirections for three of his five goals in this series.

Oshie has regularly come up massive in elimination games historically and certainly has a knack for scoring the big goals, on top of his red-hot play offensively in this series already.

He scored a gigantic goal when the Capitals faced elimination in Game 6 against the Lightning during the 2018 Stanley Cup run, and same story the year prior, when the Capitals faced elimination in Game 6 against the Penguins.

Bet to: +200

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Flames-Stars Under 5.5 (-135)

9:30 p.m. ET

This series has been alarmingly low scoring with just 19 combined goals through five games. That's good for a 3.6 average, even including the empty-netter still hitting in 4/5 games, and those results are no anomaly with how how the games have been contested.

It's absolutely no surprise to see Rick Bowness' Stars embracing this playoff style of hockey after what they offered during the 2020 Stanley Cup Final run, and Darryl Sutter's Flames are every bit here for the tight checking battles themselves.

Both goalies have been very strong as well, particularly Jakob Oettinger, who has been fantastic. This definitely seems a worthy play to keep riding on Friday night. Should there be a Game 7, a total of 5.5 would be an auto-play for me.

Bet to: -145

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