NHL Betting Picks and Player Props to Target: Saturday 3/9/24

Austin Swaim
Austin SwaimASwaim3
NHL Betting Picks and Player Props to Target: Saturday 3/9/24

Saturday usually means a busy night on the ice, and we've got 26 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

Edmonton Oilers at Buffalo Sabres

Over 6.5 (+100)
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to Record an Assist (+112)

An Edmonton Oilers total at 6.5 for even money? Sign me up.

The Oil have hit a rough patch, and this isn't the best matchup on paper, but I love fading the public in this spot. In the past month, Edmonton is still scoring the fifth-most expected goals (xG) per 60 minutes in the NHL (3.49). I'm willing to lean into variance despite a Buffalo Sabres defense that has shined in the same period (2.70 xG allowed per 60) considering the trades Buffalo made yesterday.

The Sabres can contribute, too. Edmonton netminder Stuart Skinner's up-and-down year is currently in a "down" phase, posting -1.12 goals saved above expectation (GSAx) over the past month.

If expecting an over, I love targeting Ryan Nugent-Hopkins' assist prop here. First and foremost, RNH just doesn't give himself many chances to score rather than assist next to Connor McDavid on the Oilers' top line in all ice conditions. He's got three shots in four games this month.

Otherwise, Nugent-Hopkins has 39 assists in 60 games this season (65.0% rate). He shouldn't be plus money to dish one, and FanDuel Research's NHL projections agree, pegging RNH for 0.70 assists at a median today. That would translate to -233 odds for one.

Carolina Hurricanes at New Jersey Devils

Over 6.5 (+102)
Brent Burns to Record a Point (+114)

I'm taking the over in another morning contest, too.

The New Jersey Devils acquired a couple of goaltenders yesterday that could help in the future, but it'll still be Nico Daws today. Daws has posted -2.69 GSAx in the past month and is set to face a Carolina Hurricanes team that is scoring 3.28 xG per 60 (12th-best) in the same period.

As for Carolina, goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov (5.77 GSAx) has fared much better in the same period, but this relentless Devils attack has posted 3.88 xG per 60 minutes in the past 30 days -- the best mark in all of hockey.

If we're expecting some scoring, I still like Brent Burns' chances to be involved despite an improbable dryspell. Captaining the Canes' lead line in all ice conditions, Burns has posted just 5 points in his last 14 games. That's pretty absurd averaging over 22 minutes a night in this stretch.

FDR's projections are optimistic Burns can break out against Daws, projecting him for 0.77 total points today. We can take plus coin behind that.

Philadelphia Flyers at Tampa Bay Lightning

Over 6.5 (+100)

In lieu of a third straight over and scoring prop, I'll just take the game outcome here. The Philadelphia Flyers' lines are a mess, and the Tampa Bay Lightning are fairly overpriced in a tough matchup.

These two teams combined for eight goals on February 27th, and it's really no surprise given a look into the Tampa Bay net. Andrei Vasilevskiy's storied career has taken a turn for the worse in 2023-24. Over the past month, he's dead last in GSAx (-8.25).

If my concern for a modest total is the Bolts' scoring prowess, I like my chances. Tampa is still 16th in goals per 60 (3.01) over the past month, and they've tallied 4.0 per game against Philadelphia this season.

Tampa has posted at least three goals in 8 of their last 10 home games. I'm leaning on historical trends here in lieu of a stingy Flyers D (2.70 xG allowed per 60 in the past 30 days) on paper.

St. Louis Blues at New York Rangers

Blues +1.5 (-150)
Chris Kreider 4+ Shots on Goal (-104)

This isn't what New York Rangers fans want to hear, but the Rags and 32-28-3 St. Louis Blues are basically the same team on paper at the moment.

Both clubs sit bottom five in expected-goals-for percentage (xGF%) over the past 30 days with New York (45.9%) slightly edging St. Louis (44.5%).

In this same stretch, these clubs have leaned on their stellar goaltenders. N.Y.'s Igor Shesterkin leads all goalies in GSAx over the past month (12.21), but Jordan Binnington (8.20) isn't far behind.

Therefore, a palatable price for the Blues to just keep this within a marker makes zero sense to me. I nearly lept to Blues ML (+180) yet chose this line with respect to the Rangers' superior star power in an overtime setting.

If this game is close, I'm keen on Chris Kreider's shot prop, which otherwise is a bit odd. He hasn't hit four shots on goal in five of his past seven, but a matchup with St. Louis -- allowing the sixth-most per game in the past 30 days (33.1) -- could be the reason oddsmakers are optimistic.

FDR's projections are in line with that outlook, expecting 3.67 median shots from Kreider tonight. That would translate to -203 odds for at least four in this tilt.

Detroit Red Wings at Vegas Golden Knights

Red Wings Team Total Over 2.5 Goals (-116)
Patrick Kane Anytime Goal (+190)

When Adin Hill has done such a poor job minding the crease recently, I can't ignore a 2.5-goal line that's an ostensible pick 'em.

Hill has posted -4.79 GSAx for the Vegas Golden Knights over the past month, the sixth-worst mark in the NHL. Sometimes GSAx can be inflated due to an elite defense, but the Knights have also ceded the 11th-most xG per 60 minutes (3.26) in this same stretch.

Scoring just 2.66 xG per 60 minutes in the same time frame, it's not like the Detroit Red Wings are a juggernaut, but I think they can lean into their stars for three tallies in this one. That includes Patrick Kane, who is due in the month of March.

Kane posted 6 goals in 10 February contests, but he's yet to find the back of the net in March. This matchup could be just what the doctor ordered, and our projections are also pretty fond of this line for him to do so. They're awarding Kane 0.39 median goals tonight, which translate to +156 odds for a tally. FanDuel's +190 price for that outcome is tremendous value.

Dallas Stars at Los Angeles Kings

Kings ML (-118)

The nightcap in this write-up is also my favorite play.

The Dallas Stars played on Friday, defeating the Anaheim Ducks by a score of 5-2. Though they didn't have to work supremely hard for the win, their legs aren't at full strength compared to a Los Angeles Kings squad that last competed Thursday.

Dallas isn't the easiest fade at the moment, leading the NHL in xGF% (57.9%) over the past month. L.A. (50.6%) has a solid mark but otherwise can't match that. However, the goaltending here can make all the difference.

The Kings have rode Cam Talbot's roller coaster all season, and it just so happens to be at an apex right now. Talbot has posted 5.90 goals saved above expectation (GSAx) in the past 30 days -- eighth-most in the NHL. Dallas' Scott Wedgewood (0.26 GSAx) hasn't made near that impact.

numberFire's model expects the Kings to win 60.5% of the time tonight. This is actually one of its best value plays across Saturday's 13 contests.

Looking for more NHL betting opportunities? Check out all of the NHL odds at FanDuel Sportsbook.

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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.