NHL

NHL Betting Picks for Thursday 4/4/24: Can Panthers Get Back on Track?

Scott Edwards Jr.
Scott Edwards Jr.@ScottEdwardsJr
NHL Betting Picks for Thursday 4/4/24: Can Panthers Get Back on Track?

A nine-game slate gives us plenty of betting options to consider in the NHL 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

Florida Panthers at Ottawa Senators

Panthers ML (-160)

Things haven't been going great for the Florida Panthers as of late, but a matchup with the Ottawa Senators should be able to help them get back on track.

Over their last 10 games, the Panthers have struggled to a 2-7-1 record. The Senators have managed to go 6-4-0, which is a real reverse from what has been a tough season for them. But when teams are this different in terms of their overall season success, the top team should be able to get the job done.

Overall on the season, the Panthers are second with a 67.71 Corsi for per 60 minutes (CF/60) and 53.52 Corsi against per 60 minutes (CA/60). Ottawa ranks 12th in CF/60 (62.62) and 14th in CA/60 (59.11). Those are decent numbers considering where they are in the standings -- but a big enough difference to what the Panthers bring to the table.

Now, their offensive onslaught will be missing Carter Verhaeghe, but Matthew Tkachuk should return after missing a game due to illness. If that's the case, his presence will be much needed to get his team back in the win column.

Sergei Bobrovsky should give the Panthers a much-needed edge tonight, as the Senators will start Joonas Korpisalo.

The Panthers' netminder has had another good season. He's posted a 2.46 goals against average (GAA) and .912 save percentage (SV%). On the other end is Korpisalo, who can't say the same success-wise. He has a 3.27 GAA and .890 SV%.

Even with the tough luck as of late, it's hard to bet against the Panthers tonight. They should be able to get back on track.

Colorado Avalanche at Minnesota Wild

Over 6.5 Goals (+102)

The Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild could be set up for some high scoring tonight.

Colorado is the top team in the NHL when it comes to scoring goals. They have an average of 3.67 goals for per 60 minutes (GF/60) on the season and have been in first place for the majority of the year.

Minnesota ranks lower in that respect, ranking 20th with 2.97 GF/60 and 3.00 expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60). But with how the Avs have allowed goals this season, hitting Over 6.5 Goals should be a real possibility.

The Avalanche allow 2.94 goals against per 60 minutes (GA/60). It's still a respectable number but not to a point where there needs to be a worry for the Wild's side of things. And with Minnesota, they are allowing 3.09 GA/60, which means Colorado should have their way tonight.

numberFire's model likes the over, coming in with a 55.76% likelihood -- an improvement over the 49.5% implied probability from the +102 odds.

Los Angeles Kings at San Jose Sharks

Kings -1.5 (-120)

A playoff-bound team taking on the San Jose Sharks? Give me the Los Angeles Kings to cover.

The Kings have this great trait -- keeping the puck out of their net. It's not like they have to worry about the Sharks scoring all too much, but it's not a bad trait to have when looking for them to cover. Through 75 games, the Kings are the third-best team in the NHL with 2.55 GA/60. The Sharks are tied for the worst GF/60 at a 2.19 clip.

When it comes to scoring for Los Angeles, they're 16th with 3.06 GF/60. While it doesn't jump off the page, San Jose is still easily allowing the most goals game in and game out with 3.92 GA/60. It all works in favor of the Kings covering tonight, even with their backup in net.

Los Angeles will start David Rittich, and San Jose will start Mackenzie Blackwood.

Rittich has arguably been the best backup in the NHL this year. He ranks 12th with 16.5 goals saved above expectation (GSAx), adding to his 2.26 GAA and .918 SV% in 22 games. Blackwood has done all he can with 12.8 GSAx, but he's still got a brutal 3.41 GAA and .900 SV%. It's another advantage for the Kings in this one.

I like Los Angeles to cover at -1.5 tonight.


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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.