The end of the NHL regular season is approaching in hectic fashion with 20 teams taking the ice. As has been the case for a while now, the Eastern Conference has its eight teams locked in as they jockey for seeding. The Western Conference, on the other hand, is quite different, as six teams are vying for the bottom four seeds with five or six games remaining. With so many games either meaning nothing or everything, it can make decisions even more difficult, as the care factor doesn’t have an excel column just yet. To help bypass that unknown and find the best NHL bets today, this article uses Awesemo’s OddsShopper for projections, expected ROI and win percentage, all in one spot. It should be another crazy night of hockey, so let’s find the best NHL picks today.
NHL Picks Today: Best Hockey Bets & Player Props
Kings vs. Ducks Over 5.5 (-120, DraftKings)
The Kings look to lock down a playoff spot as they head to Anaheim to face the Ducks. The Ducks’ season is all but over, which should bode well for the visiting Kings, who have just a 3-point cushion over the Golden Knights in the Pacific Division. Of course, to hit an over both teams usually need to cooperate, and each is far from defensively sound by any metric. Even though the Kings are currently locked in for a playoff spot, they are one of just two teams doing so with a negative goal differential (Dallas is the other). From a projection standpoint, this works two-fold, as the Kings are middle of the pack in overall goals allowed but carry the league’s worst PDO of just .981. That favors the regression side for their offense, which has the league’s worst shot success rate (6.72%).
This is a matchup of two young teams that can skate with anyone and create shots with that speed. Even with all of their shooting troubles, the Kings will continue to fire. Plus, with the Ducks goaltending being surprisingly bad this year, it’s more than plausible they will improve upon their lackluster 2.83 goals per game. In comparison to all NHL bets on the market, there is only one other over with a more favorable hold percentage (Boston – St. Louis) available on Awesemo’s OddsShopper.
Tomas Hertl Over 2.5 Shots on Goal (+132, FanDuel)
No team in the NHL allows more shots on goal than the Columbus Blue Jackets. Fortunately enough, that is exactly who Tomas Hertl and the Sharks face on Tuesday night in a game featuring two teams looking toward the offseason. Hertl has been a model of consistency with his shot production for years as one of the Sharks top pivots, with a career number well over two shots per game and 2.54 per game in 2021-22. Per the projections, Hertl is booked for three shots on target, which translates into a 60% win rate and the second-best expected ROI of any NHL prop bet on the night.
Plain and simple, the Blue Jackets allow teams to run over them with puck possession, as they rely heavily on their goaltending to prevent the opposition from scoring. If continually deploy that defensive tactic, then Hertl might have this locked up by the first intermission.