NHL Betting Picks and Player Props to Target: Sunday 4/28/24

Austin Swaim
Austin SwaimASwaim3
NHL Betting Picks and Player Props to Target: Sunday 4/28/24

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

Winnipeg Jets at Colorado Avalanche

Jets Over 2.5 Goals (-156)
Gabriel Vilardi to Record a Point (-113)

The Winnipeg Jets have been held to two goals in consecutive games, but those are also just two of three times that Alexandar Georgiev has held a team below four goals scored in his past nine outings. I like a bounce-back effort for the Jets' offense today.

Georgiev's been significantly helped out by the fact his own offense has spent so much free time away from his end in the past two games. Colorado has earned 10 two-minute power plays if you count a double minor in Game 3. That's 20 of 120 regulation minutes where he's not under attack, but at -0.21 goals saved above expectation (GSAx) this season, I can't trust it to keep going.

This is a line you'll definitely want to shop -- even coming in the form of Georgiev's own personal goals against elsewhere. However, when numberFire (2.87), DRatings (2.75), and Massey Ratings (3.16) are all comfortably ahead of the Jets' team total and recent efforts, I'm making this executive decision even if the value isn't amazing.

If we're expecting Winnipeg to pot at least three, there's a decent chance Gabriel Vilardi is involved. The winger joins Kyle Connor and Mark Scheifele atop the Jets' lead even-strength and power-play units, and he's contributed 9 points in their last 11 games.

Vilardi's TOI average (15:36) was way down in Game 3 since he doesn't kill penalties, but he'll likely return to a healthy night of work if the Planes can stay out of the box.

Vancouver Canucks at Nashville Predators

Predators ML (-134)

When the Vancouver Canucks lost Thatcher Demko to a knee injury, most chalked this series up in the Nashville Predators' direction heading home. They're now pressed against the wall to have a chance with a Game 4 win.

Nashville would hate to head back to Vancouver down 3-1, and it would be a huge letdown should it happen. These teams are the closest series by expected-goals-for rates (xGF%) in this round. Nashville's 50.3 xGF% barely edges outs Vancouver's 49.7% rate -- but they should have a huge edge in goal.

Former Vezina finalist Juuse Saros (7.51 GSAx) towered over the Canucks' backup, Casey DeSmith (0.48 GSAx), this season. DeSmith's heroic Game 3 effort aside, he's outside of his element in this setting.

numberFire (58.5%), DRatings (51.0%), and Massey (55.0%) all favor the Preds here to some degree, and this line is moving quickly.

New York Rangers at Washington Capitals

Rangers -1.5 (+138)
Chris Kreider 3+ Shots on Goal (-122)

How long can the Washington Capitals hang? I'll take my chances for a third empty-net puckline cover in four games for the New York Rangers in D.C.

Washington has largely outperformed expectations to just have a 46.5 xGF% in the series, but they're still losing. I'm not overly surprised when they scored the 10th-fewest expected goals (xG) per 60 minutes this season and allowed the 12th-most. Plus, New York's Igor Shesterkin (17.36 GSAx this season) is an entirely different problem even if decent chances make it to the net.

If not for a slightly missed empty net in Game 2, the Rags would have covered every game in the series. A sub-one-unit dart has to be on the table when New York's 19 empty-netters this season were the third-most in the league.

A Rangers win could involve a goal -- or at least shot volume -- from their top left wing, Chris Kreider. Kreider's disappearance -- not from the scoresheet -- in this series has been a bit odd. He has just six total shots on goal despite averaging 3.00 per game this season, and it's not like the Caps are a plus defense. He's just made up for it with a point in each game.

FanDuel Research's NHL projections expect 3.48 median shots from the big man on Sunday, which would imply roughly -208 odds for at least three of them.

Edmonton Oilers at Los Angeles Kings

Under 6.5 (-115)
Stuart Skinner Over 25.5 Saves (-130)

This is a bet where your process' fortitude is tested.

We've seen 9.0 goals per game in this series thus far, so laying a slight bit of juice with under 6.5 is terrifying. It still seems like the right call. In terms xG per 60 minutes, the Edmonton Oilers sit at 4.07 in the series, and Los Angeles Kings sits at 2.68, yet the two are scoring 5.60 actual ones per 60 each. There's drastic overperformance going on here.

One of the reasons has been goaltending. Cam Talbot's .856 save rate against Edmonton this season is awful -- and likely a reason he's not locked into goal for the Kings tonight over David Rittich. The other is Stuart Skinner, who I expect to improve. Skinner was 22nd in the NHL this season with 13.07 GSAx, but he's tumbled to -2.15 GSAx in this small playoff sample -- so far.

numberFire, DRatings, and Massey combined for an average median total of 6.06 goals in this game, which would imply roughly -148 odds we see fewer than seven of them.

Based on shot volume, an improved Skinner would be a good look in his save market, too. He's seen at least 26 shots on goal in every game so far. Los Angeles was ninth in shots on goal per game this season (31.6), so I'm not expecting that to slow down.

FDR has Skinner projected for 27.8 median saves tonight, which alone would imply roughly -151 odds he eclipses this mark.

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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.