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

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

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

Carolina Hurricanes at New York Rangers

Rangers ML (-106)
Igor Shesterkin 29+ Saves (+100)

Though this line is tight, most key analytical sources believe the New York Rangers should be favored here in Game 1 at home, so there's a bit of value on their moneyline.

It might be an overreaction to the Carolina Hurricanes' 56.8% expected-goals-for rate (xGF%) in the first round against the New York Islanders, who many presume to have been a stronger opponent than New York's. The Rags mustered just a 54.0 xGF% against the Washington Capitals.

At the end of the day, New York took two of three meetings from Carolina this season and had the better record overall, so we should see how these teams matchup before assuming that small sample is valid.

numberFire (52.9%), DRatings (50.8%), and Massey Ratings (51.0%) all have the Rangers slightly favored to win. It's not a ton of value, but this line is a bit off.

In that event, they'll likely need Igor Shesterkin to come up large in the crease. Carolina's shot volume is a consistent theme, posting the third-most shots on goal per 60 minutes in the league during the regular season (33.0) and now playoffs (31.6).

Shesterkin was incredibly strong in the first round, posting the fifth-most goals saved above expectation (3.16 GSAx) in the NHL. If he can keep the Canes under their implied team total (2.77), I like his chances to turn aside 30-plus pucks.

Vegas Golden Knights at Dallas Stars

Stars -1.5 (+180)
Roope Hintz to Record a Point (-120)

Taking a puckline the past few days has been a harrowing thought. Five of the last six completed games have fallen within a one-goal margin, but empty-net goals are swinging pucklines like never before. In a game I believe the Dallas Stars win comfortably, I'll take a chance the Vegas Golden Knights' netminder departs late to swing this line.

Dallas has crushed Vegas in this series with a 58.0 xGF% to Vegas' 42.0%. Logan Thompson and Adin Hill have stood on their heads in a small sample to compile 10.27 GSAx in the first round -- easily most of any team in the playoffs. Goaltending is fickle, and Dallas -- somehow -- has won just one game by multiple goals despite dominating.

All of our key models assign at least a 58.2% chance Dallas wins, so I prefer a sub-one-unit dart that they can bag an empty-netter late.

If they're ahead to do so, it's interesting Roope Hintz has his best odds to post a point since Game 1 when Dallas' implied team total (2.97) is its lowest of the series. I've been monitoring Hintz's line with the best role on the team, centering Jason Robertson and Joe Pavelski on the Stars' lead even-strength and power-play units.

Yet, miraculously, Hintz's lone point in this series was an empty-net goal in Game 5. That's absurdly off his pace of 0.81 points per game this season.

FanDuel Research's NHL projections expect 0.87 median points from Dallas' center in Game 7, which alone would translate to roughly -138 odds for one. There's value he gets off the schneid in this contest.

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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.