NHL Betting Picks for Thursday 4/25/24: Panthers, Lightning Series Heads to Tampa

Scott Edwards Jr.
Scott Edwards Jr.@ScottEdwardsJr
NHL Betting Picks for Thursday 4/25/24: Panthers, Lightning Series Heads to Tampa

It's a two-game slate tonight for the Stanley Cup Playoffs with two teams trying to avoid going down 3-0 in their respective series.

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

Florida Panthers at Tampa Bay Lightning

Under 5.5 Goals (+116)

The Tampa Bay Lightning find themselves down 2-0 in the series against the Florida Panthers. As they try to get back into it, they're going to have to find the ability to outscore Florida after notching just two goals in two straight games. With both games ending 3-2, I like this game to remain under 5.5 goals tonight.

Both teams have the capability to light the lamp, but they also are good at keeping the puck out of their own nets with Sergei Bobrovsky and Andrei Vasilevskiy coming through.

The Panthers have some of the best expected rates in the league, as they dominated in the regular season with 2.72 expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60). Tampa Bay wasn't much worse, putting together 3.03 xGA/60.

Scoring-wise, Florida averaged just 3.20 goals for per 60 minutes (GF/60) even with 3.49 expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60). Tampa was the reverse, scoring 3.48 GF/60 despite their 3.09 xGF/60.

Adding the stakes of the playoffs and the personal play between these teams, these games are going to remain low-scoring and close until the very end of the series. It's how these two teams play against one another.

Roll with the under again with the Lightning hoping to get back into this series.

Carolina Hurricanes at New York Islanders

Hurricanes ML (-170)

There are some series where the favorites are just that much better than their opposition. That's exactly what we're seeing with the Carolina Hurricanes against the New York Islanders as they take a 2-0 series lead on the road.

Through two games, the Hurricanes are playing at the highest level of all teams in the playoffs. They lead the postseason with an insane 92.00 Corsi for per 60 minutes (CF/60) and the best Corsi against per 60 minutes (CA/60) at 42.5.

Notably, Carolina led the NHL in both metrics during the regular season, so it shouldn't come as a shock. It's given the Islanders little chance in this series, and a lot would have to change for the same result not to happen again tonight.

Carolina averaged 3.41 xGF/60 in the regular season, good for fourth in the NHL. The Islanders ranked 20th in that respect, finishing the season with 2.97 xGF/60.

It can also be said for xGA/60, where Carolina led the league with 2.60 xGA/60, and New York was 22nd with 3.19 xGA/60.

New York entered the playoffs as one of the worst teams to have made it, so the Hurricanes outclassing them is no surprise. It's just not close between these two.

Don't make it complicated -- the Hurricanes are arguably the best team in the league, and they're going to continue flexing that over the Islanders tonight. Take Carolina's moneyline on the road.

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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.