NHL Betting Picks for Monday 4/22/24: Stars Open Series Against Golden Knights

Scott Edwards Jr.
Scott Edwards Jr.@ScottEdwardsJr
NHL Betting Picks for Monday 4/22/24: Stars Open Series Against Golden Knights

The first round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs is underway as the slate tonight marks the beginning of two more series and the Game 2 for two others.

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

Vegas Golden Knights at Dallas Stars

Stars ML (-142)

The Vegas Golden Knights are up to their old tricks with their entire team getting healthy, but I'm not going to cast doubt on the Dallas Stars in Game 1.

Dallas has been at the top of the NHL all season long -- arguably the steadiest team in hockey. They only took the top seed in the Western Conference toward the end of the year, but they were in the conversation from the start. They're a better team than the Golden Knights are right now. That's shown even when the Golden Knights were at full strength. These two teams are facing off in a Western Conference Finals rematch from last season, so the Stars will want to get ahead in the series of (hopeful) redemption.

The Stars were better than the Golden Knights in every important category this season. Dallas had a 63.84 Corsi for per 60 minutes (CF/60) compared to Vegas' 60.07 CF/60. The same goes on the defensive side with the Stars entering the playoff sporting a 57.08 Corsi against per 60 minutes (CA/60), which ranked 6th. The Golden Knights ranked 24th with a 63.04 CA/60.

For the playoffs, let's look at expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60), which the Stars lead over the Golden Knights, as well. Dallas ranks 7th in the NHL (3.32) as Vegas ranks 21st (2.96). They're much closer in expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60) rates with the Stars placing 2nd (2.63) and the Golden Knights placing 10th (2.88).

All advantages go to the Stars tonight. Add in that they're playing at home, and their moneyline is the bet to consider.

Los Angeles Kings at Edmonton Oilers

Oilers ML (-166)

I really like the Edmonton Oilers in their part of the bracket, and I expect them to start their playoff run the right way tonight against the Los Angeles Kings.

The Oilers are miles ahead of the Kings -- at least they were in the regular season. While some things get thrown out in the playoffs, Edmonton had Los Angeles' number this season. In head-to-head, the Oilers went 3-1-0 against the Kings.

If there's a reason that the Oilers feel like true contenders this season, it's the defense that they've developed under head coach Kris Knoblauch. It's well-documented this team took a 180 when Knoblauch took over, but they ranked third in CA/60 (53.85), fifth in shots against per 60 minutes (SA/60) (27.84), and fifth in xGA/60 (2.81). The Kings' best trait is defense, ranking fifth in CA/60 (56.57), fourth in SA/60 (27.70), and 6th in xGA/60 (2.84).

A major difference between these teams is the scoring where the Oilers are at an elite level as you'd expect. The Oilers ranked first in the NHL with 3.68 xGF/60 and third with a 64.89 CF/60. The Kings don't have the same luck, ranking 14th with 3.14 xGF/60 and 11th with a 62.63 CF/60.

Everything that can go the Oilers' way is tonight, and it's why. at the very least, they should be able to open their playoffs on the right track.

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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.