NHL on TNT Best Bets: Expert’s Top Expert Picks, Including Dylan Larkin (Wednesday, March 8)

NHL on TNT Best Bets: Expert’s Top Expert Picks, Including Dylan Larkin (Wednesday, March 8) article feature image

Derek Cain/Getty Images. Pictured: Dylan Larkin of the Detroit Red Wings

NHL on TNT is back on Wednesday night, and that means it's time for more NHL on TNT best bets and my expert top picks for Wednesday, March 8, featuring a handful of player props and a team total.

Tonight's NHL on TNT slate features:

  • 7:30 p.m. ET: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Detroit Red Wings
  • 10 p.m. ET: Anaheim Ducks vs. Vancouver Canucks

Let's get to the NHL on TNT best bets for Wednesday, March 8.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Detroit Red Wings

PickDylan Larkin Over 2.5 Shots (-155), Anytime Goalscorer (+172)
SportsbookDraftKings, FanDuel
Puck drop7:30 p.m. ET

Detroit was firmly dominated by the Senators last week in consecutive regulation losses, which realistically put the kibosh to any hopes of a surprising push toward the playoffs.

GM Steve Yzerman then made a sound decision to sell off Tyler Bertuzzi and Filip Hronek prior to the deadline. His side seemingly was a little deflated by this choice and proceeded to drop three more contests to the Kraken, Islanders and Flyers to make it six straight losses.

This looks like a good spot for the Red Wings and in particular captain Dylan Larkin to get right with a more competitive showing.  Larkin has proven to be a strong leader in his tenure as captain, and his play has clearly been off the mark since the loss of his good friend Bertuzzi.

He is going to be in excellent matchups all night long versus Chicago at home, and I expect that he will bounce back with a good performance and be very noticeable in this game.

Larkin has gone over 2.5 in 15 of his last 25 matchups (60%), which makes a price of -155 to go over seem just about right with a 60.8 implied probability at that number.

However, considering the matchup versus a Chicago side allowing 33.84 shots against and 3.71 xGA/60 per 60 over the last 10, I believe it's fair to say we then have an edge compared to a normal night.

A problem with backing superstars in matchups versus the easiest competition is potential blowouts, like for instance last night, when Nathan MacKinnon skated just 15 minutes versus San Jose in a 6-0 victory.

But this does not look to be a pure blowout spot considering the Red Wings' recent form, and I like the chances we see a game script where Larkin is used close to his regular time on ice.

+172 for Larkin to score anytime also projects to hold value, and I would play a half-unit there if Alex Stalock starts, and a 3/4 unit if it's Petr Mrazek in goal for Chicago, as Mrazek has been drastically worse.

Pick: Dylan Larkin Anytime Goalscorer (+172)

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PickTaylor Raddysh Over 1.5 Shots On Goal (-103)
Puck drop7:30 p.m. ET

With top forwards Patrick Kane and Max Domi shipped out at the deadline, Raddysh has fallen into a significantly better role in the lineup and is being used on the top powerplay and second offensive unit.

Raddysh, Cole Guttman, and Tyler Johnson have comprised a surprisingly strong second line which has looked particularly good together of late.

In 109.9 minutes together at even strength, the unit has controlled play to a 52.1% xG share, and more importantly for this prop generated a lot of looks on goal with a 3.00 xGoals for per 60.

-102 is a good number for Raddysh to record over 1.5 shots in a solid matchup versus Detroit, and I would play this down to -120.

Anaheim Ducks vs. Vancouver Canucks

PickAnaheim Ducks Team Total Under 2.5 (+100)
Puck drop10 p.m. ET

In three games since returning from injury, Thatcher Demko has been brilliant, stopping .936 % of shots faced with a +6.01 goals saved above expected rating.

In many instances, putting much weight on such a small sample size might be foolish, but Demko was one of the league's best goaltenders last season and claimed his surprising struggles earlier this season were in large due to a nagging injury.

That makes me believe this is just one of the league's better goalies finding his form, and that changes the outlook for the Canucks drastically.

Vancouver has received near league-worst goaltending all season long, although surely the fact that it creates one of the worst defensive environments for its goalies does not help.

A plethora of injuries on the blue-line combined with Luke Schenn being traded has forced a number of young bodies into the lineup for Rick Tocchet's Canucks side, and so far the results have been better.

The Canucks get an excellent matchup tonight versus Anaheim, which suffered a 5-2 loss last night in Seattle.

Anaheim has generated just 2.74 xG per 60 over the last 10 matchups and should be in tough to generate much in this back-to-back spot versus a Canucks side displaying more competent defensive play.

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