NHL Betting Picks for Friday 3/15/24: Can the Kings Gain Momentum Against the Blackhawks?

Scott Edwards Jr.
Scott Edwards Jr.@ScottEdwardsJr
NHL Betting Picks for Friday 3/15/24: Can the Kings Gain Momentum Against the Blackhawks?

Two games are set for tonight's NHL slate as two top teams face off with bottom-of-the-league squads.

Whether it's moneylines or total goals, there are plenty of ways to bet on the NHL action all season. It's a long 82-game campaign, 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.

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 are from the NHL odds at FanDuel Sportsbook. All advanced statistics are used from MoneyPuck.com and NaturalStatTrick.com.

NHL Best Bets

Anaheim Ducks at Winnipeg Jets

Over 5.5 Goals (-120)

To kick off a day of what can only be called underwhelming games, the Anaheim Ducks will head north to Canada to face the Winnipeg Jets.

These two teams have been on the opposite ends of the standings since the very beginning of the season. It should come as no shock that the Jets are heavily favored. So, with that, it's only best to look towards taking Over 5.5 Goals in this game tonight. The main reason to go with this bet out of any from this game is simple -- Connor Hellebuyck will not be getting the start. Laurent Brossoit will get the nod instead. This isn't to say the backup netminder is necessarily an easy option to beat; he has a 2.11 goal against average (GAA) and .924 save percentage on the season, after all. But with such a low expected total, this is the time to strike.

On the other side of the ice, the Ducks will be rolling out Lukas Dostal. After a strong start to the season, his numbers have only inflated every since. The netminder has a 3.56 GAA and .900 save percentage on the season. He's also just two starts removed from allowing six goals in a single game.

Overall, these two offenses aren't huge scorers. The Jets average 3.02 goals per 60 minutes (GF/60) and 3.03 expected goals per 60 minutes (xGF/60). Those are fine numbers, especially for what we're looking for tonight. The Ducks haven't been as successful. They average just 2.53 GF/60 and 2.53 xGF/60, but allowing 3.55 goals against per 60 minutes (GA/60) (second-highest total in the league) is what should give Winnipeg scoring opportunities and help us get to the over tonight.

Los Angeles Kings at Chicago Blackhawks

Under 5.5 Goals (-102)

The other game's total is also set at 5.5 goals, but this time, let's run with the under.d

The Los Angeles Kings will take on the Chicago Blackhawks in a game that I don't expect to see much scoring. Despite the Kings being in a playoff spot if the season ended today, they're just not scoring a whole lot. This feels like a game they can gain momentum because of how poor the Blackhawks been at scoring. Each team is under 3.00 GF/60, with Los Angeles totaling 2.97 while Chicago comes in at a 2.17 clip -- worst in the NHL.

Now, keeping the puck out of the net hasn't been as simple for the Blackhawks. They're allowing 3.52 GA/60, which is well over their expected total of 3.25 goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60). The good news as I look for the under between these two teams; if the Kings are doing anything right, it's limiting their opponents in every way. Los Angeles ranks eighth in the NHL with a 2.90 xGA/60. They are outperforming that number, however, ranking third in hockey with a 2.56 GA/60. That only trails the Jets and Florida Panthers.

I'm leaning on the Kings to control this game. If they do, this should be a win for the bet. numberFire's model gives the game a 55.78% likelihood of hitting the under, a slight improvement over the 50.5% implied probability at -102.

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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.