NHL Betting Picks and Player Props to Target: Sunday 3/10/24

Austin Swaim
Austin SwaimASwaim3
NHL Betting Picks and Player Props to Target: Sunday 3/10/24

Sunday in the NHL is usually quiet, and today is no different with just five games. How can we find value amongst them?

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 Pittsburgh Penguins

Over 6.5 (-104)
Leon Draisaitl Anytime Goal (+135)

These prolific offenses were held to a combined three goals on Saturday. Will they break out on Sunday? It's certainly possible given the goaltending.

As a reminder, the Edmonton Oilers aren't bad at scoring goals overall. They're 7th in the past 30 days in expected goals (xG) per 60 minutes (3.41), and the host Pittsburgh Penguins aren't too far behind (3.21). Pittsburgh should suffer the loss of the Jake Guentzel trade overall, but Guentz had already been slipping amidst the rumors without a goal in March.

As mentioned, the goalies here will find it tough to keep these attacks off the scoresheet. Edmonton's backup, Calvin Pickard, has posted -0.77 goals saved above expectation (GSAx) in the past 30 days. As for the Pens, they saved primary 'keeper Tristan Jarry for today's game, but Jarry's -1.74 GSAx in the same period is even worse.

The price on a 6.5-goal total for either of these teams regularly requires laying extreme juice; -104 odds seem like a bit of an overreaction to yesterday's results.

I want to grab a piece of Leon Draisaitl to help contribute to it. If following historical trends, Draisaitl hasn't gone consecutive games without a goal since January 23rd and 25th, which is going to happen scoring 32 goals in 62 games. He didn't score yesterday in Buffalo.

FanDuel Research's NHL projections peg Draisaitl for 0.55 goals at a median today, which would otherwise imply -122 odds to score. These odds -- curiously short of Connor McDavid's -- might still be a value play.

Nashville Predators at Minnesota Wild

Predators ML (+114)

If I can get the better hockey team at plus money, I usually take it.

The Nashville Predators and Minnesota Wild were among the few teams that didn't play on Saturday, so on equal rest, I feel like I can back Nashville when they enter this one checking both boxes for success.

In the past month, Nashville's skaters have compiled a 53.2 expected-goals-for rate (xGF%), which sits directly above Minnesota (53.1%). That's not a wide gap that's arguably offset by home ice, but the goaltending is once again the story for me here.

Juuse Saros of the Preds has shaken off the early-season rust to post 4.16 GSAx over the past 30 days. (17th-most in NHL). While things could get a bit tighter if Minnesota turns to backup Marc-Andre Fleury (3.78 GSAx in same period), they're expected to start the struggling Filip Gustavsson (-4.96), giving a clear edge to Nashville.

I see this as a pick 'em where I get +114 with a side, so the Predators will make my Sunday betting card.

Calgary Flames at Carolina Hurricanes

Over 6.5 (+106)

This feels like a nearly identical handicap to Edmonton-Pittsburgh.

When excluding empty-net tallies from the Carolina Hurricanes, these teams combined for just three goals on Saturday. However, dropping to their backup goaltenders could prove costly to both defensive units even beyond tired legs.

The Calgary Flames are turning to Dan Vladar, which has been a downgrade all season. Though his 1.11 GSAx in the past 30 days isn't bad, it's a huge decline from Jacob Markstrom (3.74 GSAx in the same time). The Canes are turning away from Pyotr Kochetkov (6.37 GSAx in the past 30; seventh in NHL) in favor of Frederik Andersen, who will make just his second start since returning from injury.

Andersen's 2.96 GSAx this season has come in a miniscule sample, so I'll support variance with this over. After all, these are two of the top-six teams in posting xG over the past month.

Arizona Coyotes at Chicago Blackhawks

Over 5.5 (-128)
Nick Foligno to Record a Point (+100)

While I didn't try to get ambitious with overs today, this 5.5-goal total is the best of the three of them.

Though the Arizona Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks have had extreme offensive dry spells this season due to injuries or other factors, they're not really in one now -- by their standard. Over the past 30 days, Arizona is 19th in xG per 60 minutes, and Chicago is 24th.

Oddly enough, they're an inverse defensively. Chicago is 19th in xGA in the same period, and Arizona is 24th. The lean toward the over between relatively even sides once again comes from their netminders. In the past 30 days, neither Connor Ingram (-2.00 GSAx) nor Arvid Soderblom (-1.11 GSAx) has been particularly effective.

If we're expecting a bit more scoring than usual, I want to turn to Connor Bedard's winger for a potential piece of the pie. Nick Foligno has two points in four games this month, which is fitting for true coin-flip odds in this space. However, he's on the Blackhawks' first even-strength and power-play unit with their prolific prospect, and the 36-year-old has a stellar TOI average (18:03) this month.

FDR's projections are optimistic he can either score or assist tonight. He's projected for 0.65 points when 0.51 would have shown value at +100.

New York Islanders at Anaheim Ducks

Islanders -1.5 (+125)

I've played the contrarian spot for the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks all season, but I'm entirely out on Anaheim at the moment.

The Ducks' 36.2 xGF% in the past 30 days is worst in the NHL, and the third-worst team -- excluding the equally pathetic Sharks -- sits at 43.9%. They've been playing wretched hockey and have now shipped off veteran Adam Henrique. However, their results -- due to puck luck -- haven't slipped, covering the puckline in four of their last five games.

I'd love to see how the wizardry could continue against the resurgent New York Islanders. The Isles are fifth in the xGF% (54.6%) in the same period with a direct point where it turned around: Patrick Roy's promotion. At this point, it's 2022-23 Vezina finalist Ilya Sorokin who has held them back with -0.35 GSAx in the past month, but if his turnaround is all that's needed, I'll take it.

Anaheim lost 6-2 against another elite team in xGF%, the Dallas Stars, on Thursday. They figure to continue to get smacked by these superior teams when trotting out John Gibson (-5.62 GSAx in the past month).

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.