NHL Betting Picks for Thursday 2/29/24: Which Bets Stand Out on a Busy Slate?

Scott Edwards Jr.
Scott Edwards Jr.@ScottEdwardsJr
NHL Betting Picks for Thursday 2/29/24: Which Bets Stand Out on a Busy Slate?

With 12 games on the slate, there's lots of exciting matchups around the NHL to like tonight.

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 Boston Bruins

Golden Knights +1.5 (-188)

The Vegas Golden Knights may be without their top two offensive players, but with how the Boston Bruins have been playing, this game should be competitive until the very end.

Each team has been among the best this year, but woes at various points throughout the season have left them looking up in their respective divisions. The Golden Knights and Bruins are very similar in that they have outperformed their expected levels. Vegas has an expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60) of just 2.98 while Boston sits at 3.09.

When it comes to keeping the puck out of the net, they're similar in that way, too. The Bruins have a mark of 3.01 expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60), and the Golden Knights sit just a tick below at 2.95.

These two sides are also similar in that they have fallen on hard times of late. In their last 10 games, the Bruins are 3-2-5 and the Golden Knights are 4-5-1. Tonight will be a big game for both squads. It'll be an elite goaltending matchup, too, with Jeremy Swayman and Adin Hill expected to start.

Both goaltenders are in the top 10 in goals against average (GAA) and save percentage (SV%). Swayman ranks eighth with a 2.49 GAA and third with a .920 SV%. Hill has been a level above, ranking second with a 2.26 GAA and first with a .927 SV%.

It's going to be a fight between these two teams, and I like the Golden Knights to hang around, especially with the Bruins' recent track record of overtime games. numberFire's model agrees. It has Vegas covering the puckline 70.2% of the time. The implied odds at -188 are 65.3%.

New York Islanders at Detroit Red Wings

Red Wings Moneyline (-113)

The Detroit Red Wings have become one of the best teams in the NHL since the start of the new year. I'm ready to roll with them tonight against the New York Islanders.

Since January 1st, the Red Wings have put together a 16-4-2 record. In that time, their numbers are among the best in the sport. They've averaging 3.59 goals for per 60 minutes (GF/60) and holding opponents to just 2.6 goals against per 60 minutes (GA/60). Unbelievable numbers from a team that has found their footing at the right time.

The Islanders, on the other hand, have had the complete opposite results. They have scored to the rate of 2.7 GF/60 while allowing 3.47 GA/60. Not the numbers you want to see from a team -- unless you're betting against them.

Alex Lyon will start in net for the Red Wings. That's great news considering he's been a big reason why they've had the turnaround this season. Lyon comes in having won four straight starts, posting a 2.69 GAA and .914 SV% on the year. New York will roll out Ilya Sorokin, per usual. He's had a good season, which his .910 SV% shows, but with a 3.11 GAA, he can be beaten with the chances the Isles allow.

numberFire's model gives the Red Wings a 67.68% likelihood of getting the victory tonight. The implied odds at this -113 moneyline are just 53.0%

Arizona Coyotes at Toronto Maple Leafs

Maple Leafs -1.5 (-102)

Betting against the Arizona Coyotes right now isn't very bold. Tonight, they take on a Toronto Maple Leafs team that can be caught sleeping from time to time but has been on fire in their last 10.

The Coyotes have lost 13 straight games seemingly out of nowhere after looking like a potential Wild Card team in the Western Conference for much of the season.

After this 13-game stretch, Arizona has numbers fitting of bottom-tier team despite their early-season success, and they've just continued to sink. They're averaging 2.86 xGF/60 and 3.18 xGA/60. It'll be tough against the Maple Leafs, a team that has won 8 of 10 and looks like the team many believed they could be.

Overall, for the season, Toronto has a 3.37 xGF/60 while their defense hasn't always been the best. They're allowing their opponents to score, coming in at 3.12 GA/60 and an expected rate of 3.06 xGA/60. They should be able to hold up enough against a bad Coyotes team, one that can't figure out how to get out of its own way at the moment.

I am taking the Maple Leafs to cove as their elite scoring and home ice should be too much for the Coyotes to handle.

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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.