NHL

NHL Betting Picks and Player Props to Target: Saturday 4/6/24

Austin Swaim
Austin SwaimASwaim3
NHL Betting Picks and Player Props to Target: Saturday 4/6/24

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

St. Louis Blues at San Jose Sharks

Sharks +1.5 (-134)

The St. Louis Blues sniffed around the playoff picture, but they're far closer to the San Jose Sharks than their more competitive record would indicate.

In terms of expected goals (xG%), St. Louis' 46.5 xG% is seventh-worst in the NHL. Of course, the Sharks (41.0 xG%) bring up the rear in that department, but the numbers are close enough to expect a tight game in Silicon Valley today.

After all, the Blues' playoff hopes were dashed by these Sharks last week in a 4-0 defeat at home. Assuming two points, they got zero. While there's an argument for bad blood, top analytical models want to back the Sharks at home today.

numberFire gives San Jose a 70.2% chance to cover a one-goal margin in this afternoon's game, and Massey Ratings similarly believes they cover 65.4% of the time. These odds imply a 57.3% likelihood.

Toronto Maple Leafs at Montreal Canadiens

William Nylander 4+ Shots on Goal (-120)

Some of these teams -- like the Montreal Canadiens -- have completely folded in a season waning toward its conclusion, but if we get a competitive affair tonight, William Nylander has a great shot to exceed this prop.

Nylander has done so four times in his last six games, but the frightening part of this prop is recording just a lone shot on goal in each of the two exceptions. It's seemingly been feast or famine recently for the Toronto Maple Leafs winger, who remains in his familiar role on the second even-strength line and lead power-play unit.

Montreal is one of the best matchups in the league for snipers, too. They've allowed the third-most shots on goal per game this season (32.5) to opposing clubs.

FanDuel Research's NHL projections are expecting 3.95 shots from #88 on Saturday, but we'd only need a projection of 3.56 to start showing value against these 54.5% implied odds.

Philadelphia Flyers at Columbus Blue Jackets

Blue Jackets ML (+132)

The Philadelphia Flyers operate in such small margins that I'm not sure they should be laying -162 on the road against anybody.

Searching around various power rankings, you'll see Philly pretty far down the list. numberFire believes they're the 26th-best team in the NHL, and both Massey (23rd) and DRatings (23rd) also place them in the league's bottom 10. While the Columbus Blue Jackets are behind them on each list, they've got home ice tonight in this Metro Division rivalry.

Columbus is also 22-17 against the spread (ATS) at home this season, proving to be a quality wager when at Nationwide Arena. They did just topple the Colorado Avalanche there on Monday.

The aforementioned models love Columbus as a bet to win this game. nF's projected win rate for the Jackets tonight is 53.0%, and Massey (52.0%) and DRatings (47.4%) also show value against this 42.4% implied chance.

Ottawa Senators at New Jersey Devils

Over 6.5 (-128)
Brady Tkachuk Anytime Goal (+125)

We've seen at least seven goals in each of the first two track meets between the Ottawa Senators and New Jersey Devils. It's hard to forecast a change of pace in the third.

In terms of xG per 60 minutes, these are both top-10 clubs. New Jersey (3.32) ranks 6th, and Ottawa (2.93) ranks 10th. These two teams also allow openings for their opponents in different ways.

The Devils' skaters are to blame, ceding the ninth-most xG per 60 minutes themselves (3.19). The Sens can point the finger at their goaltenders with Anton Forsberg (-4.84 goals saved above expectation), Mads Sogaard (-9.36 GSAx), and Joonas Korpisalo (-17.74 GSAx) among the bottom 15 netminders this season.

numberFire projects 7.34 median goals in this game -- a sentiment that DRatings (6.78) and Massey (7.0) echo. If there's heightened scoring, expect Brady Tkachuk to contribute one.

The Senators' captain fires 4.41 shots on goal per game, and he's scored 33 times in 74 games this season entering a friendly matchup. Tkachuk hasn't scored in April on 13 shots despite a 10.1% shooting percentage this season.

FanDuel Research expects 0.60 median goals from Tkachuk on Saturday, which would translate to -150 odds. Plus chicken is a solid proposition.

Nashville Predators at New York Islanders

Game to Go to Overtime (+330)
Bo Horvat 3+ Shots on Goal (-118)

I haven't seen a game so tight among consensus models all season, so why not take a dart we need extra hockey to settle a winner?

Since Patrick Roy was inaugurated as the New York Islanders coach on January 20th, it doesn't really get closer than these two clubs. The Isles' 52.4 xG% is nearly identical to that of the Nashville Predators (52.1%).

The small step that New York might be ahead from their skaters (and being at home) might be erased in goal with Juuse Saros (9.58 GSAx) outperforming fellow former Vezina finalist Ilya Sorokin (5.53 GSAx) every so slightly this season.

numberFire has Nashville 51.9% likely to win, and Massey (54.0%) is slightly larger. DRatings has the game exactly 50-50. Rather than pick a winner, I'll take a small dart at +330 these two need OT to settle their dispute.

That would bode extremely well for our other prop here, too. Bo Horvat has an extremely low bar of shots to clear in a game forecasted to be ultra competitive when the first-line center in all ice conditions should get plenty of marquee chances with a man advantage or -- yes -- if the game went to overtime.

Horvat has posted 3.05 shots per game this season, so I'm not even sure he'd next extra time to reach his usual total. This line is just a bit low given, in a small sample, Bo has failed to meet this in five of his last nine games. Without a substantial role change, expect regression upward soon.

FDR expects 3.79 shots from Horvat on Saturday -- the fourth-most on tonight's docket of games. I'll happily take -118 odds to reach just three.


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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.