NHL Betting Picks for Wednesday 4/17/24: Stars Looking to Lock Up Top Seed

Scott Edwards Jr.
Scott Edwards Jr.@ScottEdwardsJr
NHL Betting Picks for Wednesday 4/17/24: Stars Looking to Lock Up Top Seed

It's the second-to-last day of the 2023-24 NHL season, and while all the playoff seeds are locked up, repositioning your playoff seed is still possible for teams.

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

St. Louis Blues at Dallas Stars

Stars -1.5 (+106)

The Dallas Stars still have something to play for tonight as they welcome the St. Louis Blues to town.

Dallas currently sits in the top spot of the Western Conference with one game to go. They are in a situation where they need to get a point to clinch home ice advantage throughout the playoffs. If they lose against the Blues tonight, then the Vancouver Canucks can swoop in and take the top seed.

Something tells me that Dallas is going to keep up their strong play tonight. I expect them to take care of business against the Blues and cover.

The Stars have been dominant this season -- just look at their last 10 games. Dallas is averaging 3.60 goals for per 60 minutes (GF/60) in that span, which is actually lower than their 3.98 expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60). Ultimately, they're just dominating on the offensive end, and they should be even more. Good luck with that, St. Louis.

The Blues aren't doing as hot, which shouldn't be much of a surprise. They're scoring just 2.94 GF/60 heading into this game, leaving them outclassed by the conference-leading Stars.

When it comes to goals against per 60 minutes (GA/60), it isn't close. Dallas is holding their opponents to a low 1.90 GA/60, while the Blues are all the way up at 3.24.

The Stars are going to take care of business and then some to get their top spot tonight.

Edmonton Oilers at Arizona Coyotes

Oilers ML (-176)

The Edmonton Oilers will be fully equipped tonight as they face off with the Arizona Coyotes.

With two games left in the regular season, the Oilers still have room to earn more points and climb the Western Conference ladder, even if they're locked into the second seed in the Pacific Division. Their play has shown they are ready for the playoffs, and the return of Connor McDavid only added to that two nights ago when they scored nine goals in a winning effort over the San Jose Sharks.

Overall, Edmonton is sitting at 3.88 GF/60 and 3.73 xGF/60 in their last 10 games. The Oilers have been at the top of the NHL all season in the scoring department, so it's not too much of a surprise.

Arizona has been absurdly impressive in their last 10 games, as well, averaging an insane 4.36 GF/60. It's well over their expected total of 3.32 xGF/60.

It's when we turn to the defensive end that things drastically change between these two squads.

The Coyotes, while scoring at a spectacular rate, haven't been able to keep the puck out of their net. They're allowing opponents to score at a pace of 3.77 GA/60 -- which is going to be bad news for them with how the Oilers get going. Edmonton, on the other hand, is keeping opponents in check with a low 2.29 GA/60.

The differences are clear on defense, and the Oilers should handle the Coyotes in what I expect to be a win 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.