NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Frozen Frenzy Best Bets for 16-Game Slate (Tuesday, October 24)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Frozen Frenzy Best Bets for 16-Game Slate (Tuesday, October 24) article feature image

Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Gritty of the Philadelphia Flyers

Welcome to Frozen Frenzy. One night, 16 games, 32 teams. And nonstop NHL action with puck drops all night from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN+.

For the first time in hockey history, every NHL franchise will be in action – with staggered starts and new games kicking off every 15 minutes. It's a 16-course feast of hockey.

And for sports bettors, it could be one of the most exciting nights imaginable. That's one reason ESPN, which is airing a tripleheader with additional games on ESPN+, will also have a wrap-around show. They're calling it "NFL Red Zone for hockey," which is available on both ESPN+ (7 p.m. ET) and ESPN2 (8 p.m. ET).

With so much hockey viewing and betting options, where's a hockey bettor to start?

Let the Action Network's hockey experts preview tonight's NHL games with their Frozen Frenzy best bets below.

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NHL Best Bets

The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our NHL betting staff is targeting from today's slate of games. Click on the team logos for any of the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.

GameTime (ET)Pick
6 p.m.
6 p.m.
6:30 p.m.
7 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
8:15 p.m.
8:30 p.m.
9 p.m.
9:15 p.m.
10:30 p.m. ET
11 p.m.
Specific betting recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our NHL Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.

Maple Leafs vs. Capitals

Tuesday, Oct. 24
6 p.m. ET
Capitals (+155)

By Tony Sartori

The Washington Capitals are not playing as poorly as their 1-2-1 record indicates, and returning to home ice for the first time in eight nights presents a good bounce-back opportunity following Saturday's 3-2 overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

Yeah, the Toronto Maple Leafs are obviously a very talented team and will possess a big offensive advantage in this contest. However, there are a few things going against them.

First, this team has already shown it is capable of laying a dud, evidenced by its 4-1 loss at home against the rebuilding Chicago Blackhawks. Secondly, Toronto's blue line remains full of question marks, ranking 25th in the league in expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60) at 5 on 5, which is worse than Washington.

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Bringing over John Klingberg as a free agent this past offseason, a defenseman notorious for struggling at the defensive aspect of playing defenseman, only exacerbated this issue. The McCabe-Klingberg pairing has struggled mightily, generating a whopping 5.45 xGA/60.

Goaltender Joseph Woll can't continue to bail this defense out at the rate he has. This is not a knock on Woll, who I believe is quite good, but his .949 SV% and 1.68 GAA are unsustainable.

Meanwhile, in opposite fashion, goaltender Darcy Kuemper is due for some positive regression for the Caps. He is 1-1-1 with a .887 SV% and 3.55 GAA through three starts, which is well below what we expect from a Cup-winning guy with a career-.916 SV%.

Over his past seven appearances in net against the Leafs, Kuemper is 3-2 with a .910 SV% and 2.70 GAA.

Pick: Capitals (+155 at bet365)

Maple Leafs vs. Capitals

Tuesday, Oct. 24
6 p.m. ET
Alex Ovechkin Anytime Goal (+140)

By Ryan Dadoun

For most players, starting the season with two assists in four games would be OK, but Alex Ovechkin’s lack of goals is eyebrow-raising.

Sure, he’s 38, but those predicting his age would catch up to him have been consistently wrong. He had 42 goals last year, making it his 13th 40-plus-goal campaign of his career.

Ovechkin is never contained for very long, and Tuesday’s contest against Toronto seems like a logical time for him to get going.

The Maple Leafs are a strong team, but the Leafs have had defensive issues, allowing 3.80 goals per game. Ovechkin also has traditionally done well against the Maple Leafs, scoring 41 goals and 74 points in 56 career outings.

Washington as a whole has struggled offensively this year, averaging just 1.25 goals per game.

That’s unsustainably bad, and Ovechkin should be the one to right the ship.

Pick: Alex Ovechkin Anytime Goal (+140 at Caesars) | Play to: +125

Ducks vs. Blue Jackets

Tuesday, Oct. 24
6:30 p.m. ET
Ducks (+135)

By Tony Sartori

The Anaheim Ducks bring a three-game losing skid into Columbus against the Blue Jackets, a team that is hardly any better than Anaheim despite the difference in records in this early portion of the campaign.

This game presents a great opportunity to take a shot on the underdog as the Ducks are in a good buy-low spot while the Jackets are in a good sell-high spot.

After pulling off a big 6-3 upset over the Carolina Hurricanes, Anaheim remained competitive in all three of its losses (3-2 Dallas, 2-1 Arizona, and 3-1 Boston). Those are two Cup-contending teams and, well, Arizona is still Arizona.

With that said, the Ducks actually out-produced both the Yotes and the Bruins in expected goals in those two losses, which is a good indication of how snake-bitten they've been in the finishing department. As it typically does in the NHL, that differential will balance itself out as the season progresses, and perhaps in tonight's game against one of the worst blue lines in hockey.

At 5 on 5, Columbus once again ranks toward the bottom of the league (27th) in expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60). Not only do the Ducks rank higher than them in that key metric, but they also rank higher in expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60) at 5 on 5.

Anaheim's call-up of Leo Carlsson should also only benefit this club moving forward, and he was immediately impactful in both games against Dallas and Arizona.

He was scratched against Boston, but not for his play as GM Pat Verbeek has stated that he will be giving Carlsson frequent off-nights throughout the first half of the campaign as the 18-year-old gets acclimated with playing in the NHL.

Pick: Ducks (+135 at FanDuel)

Panthers vs. Lightning

Tuesday, Oct. 24
7 p.m. ET
Over 6.5 (-110)

By Ryan Dadoun

It wouldn’t be surprising if Carolina vs Tampa Bay not only exceeded the over of 6.5 goals, but also proved to be the highest-scoring game of the packed night.

First off, you have Tampa Bay, still trying to get by without Andrei Vasilevskiy (back).

Jonas Johansson, who was originally brought on to just give Vasilevskiy the occasional breather, has been woefully inadequate as the team’s starter, posting a 2-1-2 record, 3.58 GAA and .902 save percentage in five contests.

The Lightning could try their luck with Matt Tomkins instead, but he allowed four goals on 37 shots to Ottawa in his lone start this campaign, which was also the NHL debut for the 29-year-old netminder.

With that caliber of goaltending set to face the Hurricanes, and their red-hot offense – they've averaged 4.50 goals per game this year – it’s likely to be a miserable night for Tampa Bay’s defenders.

And yet, the Lightning might still come out with the win. While their goaltending has been poor, Tampa Bay’s forward core is as good as ever.

Nikita Kucherov has six goals and nine points in six contests while four other players – Brayden Point, Brandon Hagel, Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman – have each chipped in at least six points.

Not only that, but Carolina has goaltending issues of its own.

Pyotr Kochetkov has struggled mightily in his two contests, posting a 5.11 GAA and an .822 save percentage. Antti Raanta hasn’t been much better with a 4.41 GAA and an .818 save percentage in three outings.

Frederik Andersen is day-to-day with an upper-body injury, so it’s not clear if he’ll be an option Tuesday, but even if he can play, he might not be the answer after recording a 4.15 GAA and an .855 save percentage in three appearances this year.

To be fair to these two teams goaltenders, Carolina ranks 20th in 5v5 expected goals against with 10.81 while Tampa Bay is dead last at 14.73. What that means is it’s not just netminding, but the defense in front of them that’s been the issue.

The end result is the same though, and it makes the over a very appealing bet.

Pick: Over 6.5 (-110 at FanDuel) | Play to: -120

Stars vs. Penguins

Tuesday, Oct. 24
7:30 p.m. ET
Stars (-117)

By Carol Schram

After getting outscored 10-5 on the road in their last two games against Detroit and St. Louis, the 2-3-0 Pittsburgh Penguins face another tough task when they open a four-game homestand by facing the 3-0-1 Dallas Stars on Tuesday.

The Stars haven’t been blowing anybody out of the rink; three of their four games so far have been decided in overtime or a shootout, and the fourth was a one-goal win in Anaheim.

But Dallas’ 5-on-5 possession game is strong, the penalty kill is a perfect 12 for 12, and Jake Oettinger, who is expected to start, has given up five goals in three games and is up to 2.8 goals saved above expected.

None of that is good news for a Penguins team that is playing fundamentally decent hockey but is in the middle of the pack offensively and has scored with the man advantage in just one game so far this year. And with a save percentage of .892 and minus 1.6 goals saved above expected so far, Tristan Jarry will have a hard time besting Oettinger in this goaltending battle.

The line for this matchup is closer than one might expect. At -117, the road dogs’ implied odds of winning are 53.9%, so there’s value here. The Stars should hand the host Penguins their third-straight loss more easily than that on Tuesday night.

Pick: Stars (-117 at BetRivers) | Play to: -130

Stars vs. Penguins

Tuesday, Oct. 24
7:30 p.m. ET
Under 6 (+100)

By Grant White

This wasn't the start the Pittsburgh Penguins envisioned.

The once-mighty Pens are 2-3-0 to begin the campaign, dropping one-sided losses to some underwhelming teams. Thankfully, they get to find their footing at home, playing four straight, starting with Tuesday's inter-conference battle against the Dallas Stars.

Pittsburgh has been much better than their record implies. The Pens rank top five in expected goals-for rating, posting game scores above 60.0% in three of their five outings. As usual, solid defensive play has been a part of their advantage, with Pittsburgh limiting opponents to an average of 8.6 high-danger chances per game.

That defensive prowess is contraindicated in their goals against, with Pens goalies allowing 16 goals while stopping just 88.7% of shots faced. That makes them natural progression candidates over the coming weeks.

Moreover, Dallas doesn't possess the skilled players upfront to take them over the edge. The Stars were held to seven goals through their first three games, breaking out against the lowly Flyers.

Unfortunately, that was the exception to an otherwise uninspired rule.

Pittsburgh's defensive structure remains on the elite end of the spectrum while the Stars have been unable to generate much scoring early this season. We're taking plus-money on the under, betting this one stays beneath six goals.

Pick: Under 6 (+100 at Caesars)

Kraken vs. Red Wings

Tuesday, Oct. 24
8:15 p.m. ET
Over 6.5 (+108)

By Greg Liodice

The Seattle Kraken start their four-game, East Coast road trip in Detroit against the Red Wings.

Seattle’s had a very rough start to its season after surprising everyone with a big playoff run last year.

A lot of it can be chalked up to that its stars haven’t shown up just yet. Matty Beniers and Jordan Eberle have been held goalless in six games, and Jared McCann hasn’t done much to live up to his 40-goal season from last year.

Want to know how bad it is? Well, Seattle has scored more than one goal only once this season. That is a daunting stat for a team that averaged more than 3.5 last year.

Their opponents in the Red Wings are red hot. The addition of Alex Debrincat has paid off dividends with eight goals already, including a hat trick on Sunday.

Along with Debrincat, six other players have two or more goals, so the wealth has been spread. Detroit also averages a league-leading 5.0 goals per game and play to a solid 51.9 xGF%.

The Kraken have had goaltending issues since its team’s inception, with Philipp Grubauer and Joey Daccord. With Detroit, Ville Husso has been inconsistent since arriving in the Motor City last season.

The total of this game is set to 6.5, and I think there’s a strong chance that it can break. Whether or not the Kraken break out of their slump or not, I expect them to get lit up by Detroit.

They’ve been fine in the defensive zone, but they allow an average of 3.5 goals per game. The Red Wings have to be licking their chops at that point.

While they allow only 2.3 goals per game, it’s the perfect opportunity for Seattle to break out of its slump. Detroit plays stout defense, but goaltending has not allowed it to be defensively dominant.

Pick: Over 6.5 (+108 at FanDuel)

Bruins vs. Blackhawks

Tuesday, Oct. 24
8:30 p.m. ET
Bruins -1.5 (+114)

By Carol Schram

In the betting world, it can be risky to base a future wager on what has happened in the recent past. Every streak ends eventually.

But Tuesday should not be that day for the 5-0-0 Boston Bruins, who have picked up where they left off after posting the best regular-season record in NHL history in 2023-24.

In their home opener at TD Garden on Oct. 11, the Bruins took down Connor Bedard’s Chicago Blackhawks by a 3-1 score. Since then, it has been more of the same: two-goal wins in four of their five games, a virtually impenetrable penalty kill, and a league-low 1.40 goals against per game with both Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman delivering the goods.

Behind the bench, Jim Montgomery is proving that he was a deserving winner of last season’s Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year, finding ways to guide his team to win after win.

Perhaps the 2-4-0 Blackhawks have been more competitive than some might have expected, but their 5-3 loss to Vegas in their home opener on Saturday is evidence that they’re not on the same level as hockey’s top teams. Top-line winger Taylor Hall is also now back on the shelf after aggravating his shoulder injury.

Expect the Bruins to take care of business while barely breaking a sweat as they wrap up their four-game Western swing on Tuesday. To find plus money, take the puck line and wait for another multi-goal margin of victory.


Pick: Bruins -1.5 (+114 at DraftKings)

Oilers vs. Wild

Tuesday, Oct. 24
9 p.m. ET

By Greg Liodice

(Editor's note: This bet is no longer available.)

Pick: n/a

Canucks vs. Predators

Tuesday, Oct. 24
9:15 p.m. ET
Canucks (+110)

By Mike Ianniello

Despite a fairly talented roster, the Vancouver Canucks underperformed over the last two seasons under Travis Green and Bruce Boudreau.

However, I loved the hire of Rick Tocchet, and you can already see a clear change in Vancouver’s play.

They finished last season 20-12-4 under Tocchet, and after a 3-2 start this year, only eight coaches have won more games since he was hired. Vancouver has been the fourth most profitable team to bet on since Tocchet was hired, behind only Vegas, Boston and Colorado.

Tocchet’s coaching style emphasizes a strong defensive structure, evident by their top-10 ranking in goals against this year. They are allowing too many high-danger chances, but both goalies have looked strong early, and I expect them to clean up things in their own zone.

While we expect Tocchet to maximize the defense, the offense has flourished. Elias Pettersson looks like one of the best players in the league with 10 points through five games, and J.T. Miller, Brock Boeser and Quinn Hughes are playing with a ton of confidence and look terrific.

Nashville has one of the game’s best goaltenders in Juuse Saros. He has started every game this season and has allowed just one goal in each of the last two games. But Nashville still has issues scoring, and the Predator's penalty kill has been a problem early.

Vancouver has the third-best power play early this season and has the star power on offense to solve Saros. Demko has a +2.9 GSAx and a .930 save percentage this year, both marks are better than Saros. If Demko can match his counterpart in net, the Canucks have more upside on offense. Back the better team on the road here at plus money.

Pick: Canucks (+110 at Caesars)

Coyotes vs. Kings

Tuesday, Oct. 24
10:30 p.m. ET ET
Coyotes (+170)

By Andy MacNeil

Although the Coyotes aren’t in the friendly confines of Mullett Arena, where they’ve gone 22-15-5, the Desert Dogs are live in Los Angeles on Tuesday. Now, it would be ideal if Karel Vejmelka were between the pipes, but even with Connor Ingram expected to start in goal, the Coyotes are a value bet.

Statistically, there’s not a lot separating these two teams right now. According to stats website Evolving Hockey, the Kings rank sixth in expected goals percentage at five-on-five while the Coyotes rank seventh.

Los Angeles does have more offensive firepower than the Coyotes, who have scored just 1.1 goals per 60 minutes at five-on-five so far this season, but if the Yotes’ offense can catch up to expectations, look out.

The Kings don’t have a bonafide starter, and their goaltending hasn’t been all that good, allowing 1.55 goals above expected on a per 60 minute basis. Bet the Coyotes on the moneyline.

Pick: Coyotes (+170 at DraftKings)

Flyers vs. Golden Knights

Tuesday, Oct. 24
11 p.m. ET
Flyers (+180)

By Nicholas Martin

The Flyers dominant form has been one of the most surprising stories early on this NHL season.

Not only do they own a strong record of 3-1-1, but they have earned that record with legitimate quality play.

Whether you want to talk about the "eye test" or a league-leading 60.17% expected goals rating, Philadelphia has played quality hockey in the opening five games.

Sean Couturier has returned from injury and has effectively centered the top line. Bobby Brink and Tyson Foerster bolster the forward depth. Suddenly this roster looks a fair bit better than a year ago when it was decimated by injuries.

The Knights are a tough opponent to be sure, but a 6-0-0 record does overrate how good they have actually been. In their two games against opponents that have actually looked respectable early on have been pure coin-flips while they have feasted elsewhere on soft competition.

The market has not caught up to what is going on in Philadelphia so far, as they are still the fourth-largest underdog of tonight's massive 16-game slate. They are fully capable of making this matchup competitive, and +180 is an excellent number as a result.

Pick: Flyers (+180 at DraftKings)

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