NHL Betting Picks for Tuesday 4/2/24: Can the Wild Make Final Playoff Push?

Scott Edwards Jr.
Scott Edwards Jr.@ScottEdwardsJr

As always with a Tuesday night slate in the NHL, there's plenty of games to make picks from 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

Pittsburgh Penguins at New Jersey Devils

Penguins +1.5 (-182)

Two teams that have underdelivered this season will face off tonight as the Pittsburgh Penguins and New Jersey Devils go head to head. I like the Penguins to cover +1.5 in this clash.

Pittsburgh has been lackluster for much of this year because of their struggles scoring. On the season, the Penguins rank third in the NHL with 3.42 expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60) but are only scoring 2.91 goals for per 60 minutes (GF/60). Otherwise, they've kept the puck out of their own net fairly well with 2.9 goals against per 60 minutes (GA/60). That's pretty good for a team not heading to the playoffs.

This is all to say that as of late, the Penguins are finally scoring. Over their last 10 games, the Penguins are averaging 3.86 GF/60, the fifth-best mark in that span. The Devils, who have averaged 3.27 GF/60 on the season, have been under their usual clip with just 3.20 GF/60 in the last 10 games. I like the odds tonight for the Penguins to cover with how things are going for these two teams.

The goaltending edge will go to Pittsburgh, as well, with Tristan Jarry expected to start. Jarry has a 2.90 goals against average (GAA) and .903 save percentage (SV%). New Jersey will be starting Jake Allen, who has 3.38 GAA and .900 SV%.

numberFire's model is all over the Penguins tonight, giving them a 75.66% likelihood of covering. The implied probability at this -182 moneyline is just 64.5%.

Ottawa Senators at Minnesota Wild

Wild ML (-146)

The Minnesota Wild pretty much have to win out if they want to make it to the playoffs, so it's a must-win tonight against the Ottawa Senators.

A desperate Wild team against a Sens team that has been long out of the playoffs. It's hard not to love the Wild in this one.

Minnesota hasn't been a big scoring team while Ottawa has. The Wild are averaging just 2.97 GF/60 on the campaign. The Senators have been better, sitting at 3.16 GF/60. Through the last 10 matches, these teams grew further apart in that regard. A team like the Wild needs scoring, but they're only at 2.43 GF/60 in the last 10. For Ottawa, they are at a 3.25 clip.

Where the Wild makes up for their lack of scoring is keeping the puck out of the net, something the Senators have been brutal at this year. Ottawa ranks 28th in the NHL with 3.43 GA/60. Minnesota sits 20th with 3.11 GA/60, but the last 10 games have seen them making a huge jump by allowing just 2.14 GA/60 with a 2.31 xGA/60. The Sens can't say the same, watching their opponents score 3.15 GA/60 in their past 10.

Defense gets the job done, and with Marc-Andre Fleury being an advantage in net over Joonas Korpisalo, goaltending will be the other advantage for the Wild tonight. They should be able to stall the Senators enough to walk out with the victory in this important tilt.

numberFire's model has the Wild in a good spot to win, giving them a 65.4% likelihood of notching the W.

Vancouver Canucks at Vegas Golden Knights

Golden Knights ML (-134)

The Vancouver Canucks and Vegas Golden Knights are two of the best teams in the NHL. Coming into this game, the Canucks are 6-3-1 in their last 10 while the Golden Knights are 7-2-1. It's as split as it can get, but with Thatcher Demko currently injured, the Vegas moneyline is looking like the best option for this headline matchup.

Vegas has had their ups and downs scoring-wise this year, but as they showed last season, it's just about getting to the playoffs. And with the run that Vegas has put together through their last 10 games, it's beginning to look like they're ready to go. Vegas is averaging 3.06 GF/60 in that timeframe. The Canucks are a step under with 2.90 GF/60, but they've been able to stop their opponents from scoring, posting 2.00 GA/60 in the split. The Golden Knights are sitting at 2.47 GA/60.

Often with two great teams, it can be about recent runs. But with each team so hot right now, I'm looking at the recent form of the goalies. There may not be a goalie right now who is playing better than Logan Thompson in his last few starts. Thompson has allowed only one goal in five straight starts, bringing his GAA down to 2.63 and his SV% to .911. He's won five straight starts as a result.

Casey DeSmith will be in net for the Canucks, and he's been a solid backup but doesn't have numbers as good as Thompson's. The Canucks' netminder has a 2.71 GAA but just a .901 SV%, losing back-to-back starts.

This is going to be a tough game to predict, but the Golden Knights have the edge and are difficult to beat at home (23-11-2 record). I like the moneyline for them 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.