NHL

NHL Betting Picks and Player Props to Target: Saturday 5/11/24

Austin Swaim
Austin SwaimASwaim3
NHL Betting Picks and Player Props to Target: Saturday 5/11/24

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are some of the best postseason matchups you'll find anywhere in sports, and -- you guessed it -- they're a blast to bet on, as well.

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

New York Rangers at Carolina Hurricanes

Hurricanes to Win in Regulation (+100)
Adam Fox 2+ Shots on Goal (-113)

The New York Rangers have defied math to post a 7-0 playoff record to this point.

They're unbeaten despite just a 50.3 expected-goals-for rate (xGF%) in the postseason, which is leaving an absurd amount to chance with goaltending. It has been even worse (46.9 xGF%) in this series with the Carolina Hurricanes.

While Igor Shesterkin is -- by all accounts -- an elite goaltender, it's pretty wild the Canes are on the verge of getting swept so handily outskating the Rags. That's why I'm taking them to win today in this unique market. Like a -156 moneyline bet, this loses if the Hurricanes do, but it also loses if Carolina needs overtime to emerge victorious.

I just don't believe the gap in implied probability between a regulation win (50.0%) and any win (60.9%) should be this wide when an overtime, life-or-death situation heavily favors Shesterkin making huge individual stops.

The Rangers' winning ways are also likely responsible for Adam Fox's decline in shot volume. Some might speculate it's Fox's health, but that hasn't stopped him from logging a healthy 23:42 TOI average in the postseason. If coaches were truly worried about his health, he's probably not on New York's top pairing at even strength and 5-on-4, either.

I believe it's as simple as with the Rangers being ahead so often, Fox hasn't had to fire. He posted 1.90 shots per game in the regular season, which has dipped to 0.86 in the playoffs.

Expecting the Canes to lead, FanDuel Research's NHL projections expect 1.96 median shots from Fox in today's contest. That alone would imply roughly -140 odds for at least two.

Dallas Stars at Colorado Avalanche

Stars Moneyline (+112)
Jake Oettinger Over 27.5 Saves (-128)

The Colorado Avalanche are an intimidating team to bet against, but the Dallas Stars were favored to win this series and have played like it. Needing a win in Denver either Saturday or Monday to maintain home-ice advantage, I find it peculiar they're such a short underdog to snatch Game 3.

Dallas' 52.6 xGF% to this point in the series is quite superior, but we'll see if that maintains in Colorado. It was a pretty solid situation for both clubs; the Avs had a 24-17 against the spread (ATS) record at home this year, and Dallas' 21-20 mark on the road -- as an elite team -- means they travel well.

numberFire's model actually favors the Stars (51.8%) to win tonight, and DRatings' model (48.2%) is another that says the plus money is pretty attractive. With the public undoubtedly piling on the Avs, I wouldn't ignore those warnings of potential value.

If Big D is going to emerge victorious, though, it'll undoubtedly be from Jake Oettinger surviving an onslaught. The Avalanche have posted 37.5 shots on goal per 60 minutes at home in the playoffs -- the most in the NHL. Regression will be on their side tonight as the only reason Oettinger faced just 31 pucks in Game 2 was the fact that Dallas blocked 26 (!) of them as a skating unit. Even with that block volume, he still nearly topped this mark for a second straight game.

FDR's projections expect 29.0 saves from Oetter on Saturday, but I'm realistically expecting him to sail past 30 for the first time in the series.


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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.