NHL

NHL Betting Picks and Player Props to Target: Saturday 3/23/24

Austin Swaim
Austin SwaimASwaim3
NHL Betting Picks and Player Props to Target: Saturday 3/23/24

Saturday usually means a busy night on the ice, and we've got 22 teams in action at some point today. With no shortage of options to choose from, there are some pretty tasty wagers sitting at FanDuel Sportsbook's proverbial kiosks.

Whether it's moneylines, total goals, or player props, there are plenty of ways to bet on the NHL action all season long. It's a long 82-game season, meaning that the best selections of each night can be very different based on backup goalies coming into play, injuries that add up, and if teams are due for positive or negative swings.

My favorite picks are on the way, but don't forget to check out FanDuel's Parlay Hub to see other trending bets in all sports -- including ice hockey.

Let's dive into the best bets for tonight.

Note: Lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. All NHL betting odds and totals come from FanDuel Sportsbook.

NHL Best Bets

Detroit Red Wings at Nashville Predators

Predators Team Total Over 3.5 Goals (-110) Filip Forsberg Anytime Goal (+120)

Leading the NHL's Wild Card race, the Nashville Predators should show no mercy at home today against a struggling Detroit Red Wings defense.

Nashville is tied for sixth overall in expected goals (xG) per 60 minutes this year (3.29) and is set to face a Red Wings defense that's xG allowed per 60 minutes (3.27) is roughly what the box score of actual goals allowed per 60 (3.32) implies.

To make matters worse for Detroit, they're sending Alex Lyon, who ranks 55th of 91 qualifying goaltenders in goals saved above expectation (1.29 GSAx), to the crease. James Reimer (6.58 GSAx) would have been a huge upgrade.

Massey Ratings believes Nashville meets or eclipses four goals 56.2% of the time in this spot compared to these 52.5% implied odds on FanDuel. numberFire's median projection of 3.63 goals follows suit.

If they are scoring, expect Filip Forsberg to be involved. He's posted nine goals in nine games this month, including a pair of multi-goal efforts. Forsberg's shots per game in this stretch (4.33) tower over any other Predator.

This price is steep to back the winger for a tally today, but FanDuel Research's NHL projections forecast a healthy median projection of 0.60 goals. Plus money seems reasonable.

Edmonton Oilers at Toronto Maple Leafs

Maple Leafs ML (+114)
Over 6.5 (-122)

The game of the day in the NHL is this showdown between the Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs north of the border. The home side might be the one to back here.

Edmonton's surge before the break has cooled; they've posted just a 53.5% expected-goals-for rate (xGF%) in the past month, so Toronto (51.3 xGF% in this time) isn't too far behind considering the significant advantage of home ice.

Top models are aligned across the board on the Leafs. Massey believes Toronto wins 52% of the time tonight, DRatings believes it happens 47.0% of the time, and numberFire is projecting the Leafs to win 46.9% of the time. All of those odds the 46.7% implied odds here.

Regardless, the scoring angle might be an even better look here. After all, these are two top-four offenses in terms of xG per 60 minutes for the whole season with up-and-down goaltending. The over is also 20-13 in Toronto home games this season.

Our analytical friends love the over here even more than a side. Massey expects seven-plus goals 55.4% of the time, and the median projections at DRatings (6.79) and numberFire (7.06) back up a high-scoring affair.

Ottawa Senators at New Jersey Devils

Over 6.5 (-122)
Nico Hischier to Record 1+ Assists (+114)

Here's another game to be expecting some scoring.

The New Jersey Devils are 5th in xG per 60 minutes, and the Ottawa Senators are 11th. However, the goaltending between these two clubs is also a lot weaker -- hence the identical betting line.

Ottawa continues to trot out Joonas Korpisalo, who is the worst goaltender in the league by GSAx (-18.33) this year. New Jersey's Jake Allen (5.80 GSAx with the team) is hot at the moment, but he hasn't topped 3.00 GSAx for a season in the past four years. He's not imposing by any means.

Massey projects this one to meet or exceed seven tallies 54.2% of the time, and DRatings' 6.88 median goal projection is the highest of any game today. numberFire also believes this is the highest-scoring game of the day at 7.09 median goals.

With offense in mind, I want to turn to the Devils' top center in all ice conditions in a prime matchup with Korpisalo. Nico Hischier has 9 assists in 11 games this month, pounding his highest TOI average for a month (20:33) this season in March. Usurping Jack Hughes will do that for you.

FDR's projections love Hischier's odds to contribute to the scoresheet today, pegging him at 0.55 goals and 0.58 assists in today's contest. I prefer to target his line for apples when his shot volume this season (2.66 per game) isn't very high despite the recent scoring binge.

Columbus Blue Jackets at Vegas Golden Knights

Blue Jackets +1.5 (+118)
Jonathan Marchessault 4+ Shots on Goal (-110)

After the Columbus Blue Jackets were drubbed 6-1 in Colorado last night, I totally understand no one backing them. It's hard to mentally let go of that and get to the window today, but I believe we should.

That largely has to do with the Vegas Golden Knights' underperformance this season. With just the league's 15th-best xGF% (50.5%), I'm not sure how they justify laying a -142 puckline to anybody.

Columbus isn't exactly a total bottom-feeder with the league's seventh-worst xGF% (46.3%). They're just normal bad in lieu of outlier-level bad, and their hotter goaltender, Daniil Tarasov, will draw this assignment on the back-to-back. Tarasov, 24, is a young player, so it could be meaningful that his small breakout in the past month (7.91 GSAx; third-best in the NHL) is the start of real improvement.

One of numberFire's favorite bets today is this puckline, expecting Columbus to cover 52.8% of the time at plus chicken. Massey also believes they cover 54.9% of the time.

A competitive affair would help the shot totals for Vegas when the Jackets, imperfect as mentioned, are allowing the second-most shots on goal per game this season (33.2). Enter the right wing on the top line in all ice conditions, Jonathan Marchessault. The high-volume scorer has posted 3.33 shots per game this year, and his TOI average in March (18:46) is the best of any month this season.

FanDuel Research's projections peg Marchessault for 4.16 shots at a median on Saturday -- likely correlating to its projection of a tight game. The over is the side to be on here.


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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.