Kraken vs Wild Odds: NHL Preview, Prediction

Kraken vs Wild Odds: NHL Preview, Prediction article feature image

(Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images) Pictured: Marc-André Fleury.

  • Hockey expert Carol Schram digs into the Kraken vs Wild odds.
  • Then, she offers up a NHL preview and prediction for tonight's game.

Kraken vs. Wild Odds

Thursday, April 18
7 p.m. ET
Kraken Odds+125
Wild Odds-150
Over / Under
-110o / -110u
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about the Seattle Kraken vs. Minnesota Wild on Thursday, April 18 – our expert NHL prediction and pick.

The final day of the 2023-24 regular season has arrived, and the six-game, all-Western Conference slate will kick off with the Kraken and Wild at Xcel Energy Center.

The hosts hold an eight-point edge in the standings over their visitors, but both teams have made significant drops after hitting 100 points last season. Now it's all about draft lottery positioning and which players might be headed to the world championship.

But first, there's one more game to play. And with Marc-André Fleury now confirmed to be returning for one final year, expect him to be in the zone and help his team send the fans home happy for summer in the State of Hockey. Let's take a look at the best bet for this matchup in our Kraken vs. Wild preview and prediction.

Seattle Kraken

After the excitement of making their first-ever playoff appearance last season, the Kraken are limping to the finish line in year three. Heading into game 82, they've lost four straight, been outscored 14-6 over that stretch and sit 21 points below last year's total of 100 points.

Defensively, they put together their best year in franchise history, pulling their goals against per game down to a respectable 2.83. That was in the league's top 10 and boosted by a breakout campaign by 27-year-old goaltender Joey Daccord.

But that improvement wasn't enough to compensate for a dip in offense, as the team fell back to year-one levels with just 2.59 goals per game. Instead of six 20-goal scorers, they have just two this year, and while Jared McCann continues to lead the team, he's down to 29 goals this season after reaching 40 in 2022-23.

During a late-season call-up, Shane Wright chipped in nicely with four goals in eight games. But he was returned to the AHL last Friday before playing his ninth NHL game and, thus, burning the first year of his entry-level contract.

Seattle coach Dave Hakstol never reveals his starting goalie in advance. But he has been alternating his netminders over the last few games, and Philipp Grubauer took the loss in Winnipeg. That could set up Daccord to close out the season.

Minnesota Wild

After the disappointment of their first playoff miss in five years, the Wild delivered a positive message Wednesday with the announcement that the beloved 39-year-old Fleury has signed a new contract to come back for one more season.

Fleury is set to start against the Kraken, so the announcement will allow the team and the fans to process the game with a clear head, without wondering whether a farewell send-off is appropriate.

And while Fleury's save percentage dipped below .900 this year for the first time since 2005-06, he still delivered a winning record of 17-14-5 and a goals-against average of less than three, at 2.98.

The Wild closed out their recent Western road swing on a high note, following up a 6-2 win in Seattle with a disciplined 3-1 victory in Los Angeles. That put the Kings' hold on third place in the Pacific Division into jeopardy, but the only stakes for both teams Thursday are possible changes in draft-lottery position.

In that sense, fewer points is better. But John Hynes seems to have the Wild committed to finishing on the best possible foot.

Hynes could elect to go with seven defensemen against Seattle. Veteran forward Mats Zuccarello is expected to draw back in after missing the last three games of the road trip for personal reasons.

Even with a 95-point effort from Kirill Kaprizov and career-best years from Joel Eriksson Ek and Matt Boldy, the Wild didn't have enough offensive punch to sustain a push for a playoff spot. But their special teams have been excellent down the stretch, and their power play has chipped in at least one goal for the last seven straight games.

Kraken vs. Wild

Betting Pick & Prediction

The Wild skated out of Seattle with multi-goal wins in both of the earlier meetings this season — 3-0 in December and 5-2 in February — with Boldy scoring the winner both times. Since he's currently sitting at 29 goals on the year, maybe that sets up the 23-year-old to get to 30 for the second straight year Thursday.

Given that head-to-head edge — plus home-ice advantage and the Wild's edge in the standings — it's not surprising to see them open at -155 on the moneyline, with implied odds of winning of just over 60%.

Even if the impressive Daccord gets the start for Seattle, he might not have much left to give after carrying the heaviest workload of his pro career this season, to the tune of 49 games.

Look for the Wild to close out their year with a convincing win and send their fans home with some hope, with a full 82 games from Hynes behind the bench next season.

Pick: Wild -1.5 (+172 at FanDuel; Play down to +155)

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