NHL Betting Picks for Friday 3/22/24: Can the Avalanche Take Care of Business?

Scott Edwards Jr.
Scott Edwards Jr.@ScottEdwardsJr
NHL Betting Picks for Friday 3/22/24: Can the Avalanche Take Care of Business?

The week closes with a four-game slate tonight in the NHL.

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

Columbus Blue Jackets at Colorado Avalanche

Avalanche -1.5 (-154)

In a matchup this good, the Colorado Avalanche covering feels like a must on today's slate.

The Avs will face the Columbus Blue Jackets in what should be a one-sided battle all night long. Colorado has been at the top of the league all season while Columbus has been sitting in the basement of the standings.

Looking at each team's full season, they've been completely opposite. When it comes to goalscoring, no team is better than the Avalanche. They enter tonight first in the NHL with 3.67 goals for per 60 minutes (GF/60). That total is bit higher than their expected number of 3.22 -- which is still top 10 in the NHL. The Blue Jackets don't have the same success, placing 25th in the NHL with 2.86 GF/60 with their expected being just 2.96 xGF/60.

Columbus' biggest problem, however, is keeping the puck out of their own net. Only a few teams have been worse than them in that metric. They're letting up 3.55 goals against per 60 minutes (GA/60) -- good to tie for 30th in the league. The Blue Jackets also 29th in expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60) with 3.39, so their woes aren't going away in that regard. With 2.96 GA/60, the Avalanche are 14th in the league.

Elvis Merzlikins will be in net for the Blue Jackets and Alexandar Georgiev will for the Avs. Merzlikins is coming off a six-goal outing, which is good news for Colorado. Overall, he's got a 3.33 goals against average (GAA) and .900 save percentage (SV%). Georgiev has been better with a 2.83 GAA and .902 SV%.

The Avs can and should be able to cover tonight.

Pittsburgh Penguins at Dallas Stars

Stars -1.5 (+120)

Speaking of covering, the Dallas Stars are in a good spot to do so tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Penguins have had one major problem this season -- they can't score. And, well, that's not all too good when you're facing a team like the Stars, who score in bunches. The Penguins are averaging 2.87 GF/60 this season, ranking in the bottom 10 despite ranking among the best with 3.46 xGF/60. In their last 10 games, the struggles have only continued for Pittsburgh; they're scoring just 2.59 GF/60.

The Stars are the complete opposite. They're scoring at will with the second most GF/60 in the NHL with 3.57. Over the last 10 games, they've have remained consistent with 3.76 GF/60.

Being scored on hasn't always been a problem for the Penguins, but it sure has been in these last 10 games. They're allowing 4.38 GA/60, a brutal mark that isn't too shocking with their 3.61 xGA/60. That sets up the Stars for a good night. For what it's worth, the Stars are allowing 2.97 GA/60 in the same period but have a miniscule 2.13 xGA/60.

With the offensive onslaught of the Stars and the continued struggles of the Penguins, this is going to be all Dallas at home.

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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.