NHL Betting Picks and Player Props to Target: Saturday 3/30/24

Austin Swaim
Austin SwaimASwaim3
NHL Betting Picks and Player Props to Target: Saturday 3/30/24

Saturday usually means a busy night on the ice, and we've got 30 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

Vegas Golden Knights at Minnesota Wild

Over 5.5 (-124)
Joel Eriksson Ek to Record 4+ Shots on Goal (+148)

These Western Conference clubs need every point they can get, which should lead to a spirited effort from both sides in the Twin Cities.

The Vegas Golden Knights have met topped three goals in five of their last six games, so they seem ready to do their part toward this over against the Minnesota Wild. Iffy goaltending has plagued the Wild's season, and veteran Marc-Andre Fleury's .899 save percentage obviously isn't too intimidating.

However, expect the Wild to do their part, too. Minnesota is 35-33-2 to the over this season, and they've averaged 3.4 goals per game in their last five home contests.

Analytic models love this over today. numberFire has this game projected for 6.07 median goals today -- a sentiment that DRatings (6.04) echoes. Massey Ratings also agrees, expecting an over 58.0% of the time.

If offense is on tap, I am intrigued by Joel Eriksson Ek's shot prop. Eriksson Ek hasn't hit this mark in seven March contests, but a weird dive into the schedule could explain why. The Wild have faced the San Jose Sharks and Arizona Coyotes twice and defeated them in all four matchups with a +10 goal differential. His scoring services just weren't needed.

This came after a month of February where the center posted four-plus shots in 6 of his 11 contests. Forecasting a competitive affair today against a Vegas team allowing the 11th-most shots on goal per game, I'm bullish on a return to volume, and so are FanDuel Research's NHL projections. They're expecting 3.83 median shots from Eriksson Ek today, which would imply -488 odds for a fourth.

Nashville Predators at Colorado Avalanche

Avalanche ML (-176)

Unfortunately, the matchups on today's docket just aren't great. Plenty are projected blowouts, so this moneyline -- far more expensive than I usually like to write up -- will have to suffice.

Miraculously, the Colorado Avalanche have lost two in a row at home. The Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers handed them one-goal defeats, but the Avs are still 28-8 straight up (SU) and 21-15 against the spread (ATS) at Ball Arena. I think they bounce back today against the Nashville Predators.

Colorado's 53.9 expected-goals-for rate (xGF%) at home surpasses that of Nashville's admittedly impressive 52.2% road rate. In goal, Alexandar Georgiev (7.91 goals saved above expectation) has actually had an even better year than the more-credentialed Juuse Saros (6.54 GSAx) in Nashville's net.

Massey (59.0%) and DRatings (58.7%) aren't quite as high on the Avs winning as numberFire's model (68.2%), but -176 still seems like a friendly price for a team we know will bounce back. If you're wary about laying this much juice, wait for a second lofty moneyline to come as a potential parlay buddy.

New York Rangers at Arizona Coyotes

Over 5.5 (-134)
Chris Kreider Anytime Goal (+175)

The Coyotes are on a pretty wild streak of high-scoring affairs.

Their last five contests have totaled 36 goals (7.2 per game), and the over has hit in 20 of the Yotes' 37 home games overall. A 5.5-goal total seems odd.

The visiting New York Rangers might have something to do with that. They're allowing the fifth-fewest road goals per 60 minutes (2.70) this season but also score at the seventh-highest rate (3.24 per 60 minutes) themselves.

With these teams' historical trends in tandem, you won't find a total analytical models love more than this one today. DRatings (6.08), numberFire (6.67), and Massey Ratings (7.0) are all well above this projected total at a median, and -134 is the best price you'll find among major domestic sportsbooks.

If we're expecting scoring, I'll take the Rags' second-best sniper for a marker. Playing on Mika Zibanejad's wing, Chris Kreider has 34 goals in 71 games this year, but March has been a dry month for him. He's only posted 4 tallies in 15 contests.

Arizona, a team he scored on in these clubs' first matchup, could help turn that around. They're allowing the sixth-most expected goals (xG) per 60 minutes at home this year (3.17).

Kreider is projected for the highest median goal total on Saturday (0.69) of any player by FanDuel Research, and that projection would imply -223 odds to score.

Ottawa Senators at Winnipeg Jets

Jets ML (-196)

Here's the aforementioned moneyline that might be a good parlay partner for the Avs.

Similarly to Colorado, the Winnipeg Jets are looking to turn things around. They've lost five in a row after splashes at the trade deadline, and "puck luck" just hasn't bounced their way. They're extreme favorites at home today to end the skid -- and it's all due to the goaltending here.

Winnipeg's Connor Hellebuyck is in line to win his second Vezina Trophy, leading the NHL in GSAx (35.84) this season. On the flip, Ottawa's Joonas Korpisalo (-15.18 GSAx) or Anton Forsberg (-4.71 GSAx) can be pointed toward as the reason the Sens' season has slipped away.

Winnipeg is numberFire's favorite bet to win of the day, awarding them a 74.4% chance to do so. DRatings (62.7%) and Massey (62.0%) aren't quite as high on the Jets but would comfortably favor them tonight at home.

New York Islanders at Tampa Bay Lightning

Islanders Team Total Over 2.5 (-138)
Bo Horvat to Record 3+ Shots on Goal (-130)
Bo Horvat Anytime Goal (+195)

While respecting one of the league's best goaltenders in their own net, the New York Islanders should probably be forecasted to score today.

The Isles are an improved 16th in scoring (3.25 goals per 60 minutes) since Patrick Roy took over at head coach, and the host Tampa Bay Lightning have struggled to keep pucks out of their net more than we've seen in this era for the Bolts. They're allowing the 11th-most goals per 60 minutes (3.25) this season and former Vezina winner Andrei Vasilevskiy (-3.98 GSAx) has outright struggled.

Top models are aligned on additional scoring for the Long Islanders today; numberFire (3.03), Massey Ratings (3.0), and DRatings (2.61) are all optimistic relative to a 2.5-goal implied team total.

If that's the case, first-line center Bo Horvat could be a threat to end a five-game streak without a goal. Horvat has six goals in the first eight games of March prior down this downtick, and his per-game shot volume (3.07 per game) might also be a bit undervalued in betting markets as a result.

FanDuel Research is projecting 0.49 goals (+104 implied odds) and 3.51 shots from Horvat in Saturday's contest.

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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.