NHL Betting Picks and Player Props to Target: Saturday 5/18/24

Austin Swaim
Austin SwaimASwaim3
NHL Betting Picks and Player Props to Target: Saturday 5/18/24

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

Vancouver Canucks at Edmonton Oilers

Oilers -1.5 (+130)
Zach Hyman Anytime Goal (-105)

This series feels surreal.

Despite outplaying the Vancouver Canucks for a vast majority of it, the Edmonton Oilers are on the brink of elimination and could have arguably already suffered that fate. Edmonton needed an overtime goal to win Game 2, and they ceded an equalizer with 1:41 left in the game in Game 4 before an improbable last-minute goal of their own.

By and large, the Oilers have still dominated this matchup with a 55.6 expected-goals-for rate (xGF%). That was even higher before a Game 5 in which they were outshot 35-23 on the road. Edmonton has gotten all they could ask for out of Calvin Pickard, who has posted 1.58 goals saved above expectation (GSAx) through three games in net. Their skaters just haven't held up their end of the bargain to turn chances into goals by bestingArturs Silovs (3.38 GSAx in the playoffs).

How long can Vancouver ride an AHL goaltender? I think it's unlikely on the road in Game 6. Edmonton has yet to cover a 1.5-goal spread despite dominating large parts of the series; I think it happens to set up a Game 7.

If that's the case, an offensive outburst could help Zach Hyman return to the scoresheet. Hyman scored 54 times in 80 games this season next to Connor McDavid, but he's gone four games without a tally in this Vancouver series. Silovs' overperformance has quite a bit to do with that.

Hyman is projected for 0.52 goals by our NHL projections on Saturday. If there was ever a skater truly due, it's #18.

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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.