NHL Betting Picks for Wednesday 4/3/24: Will the Rangers Take Care of Business?

Scott Edwards Jr.
Scott Edwards Jr.@ScottEdwardsJr

It's a unique Wednesday night in the NHL, giving us a strong five-game slate to pick from.

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

New Jersey Devils at New York Rangers

Rangers ML (-205)

As the New York Rangers continue their push for the Presidents' Trophy, they should be able to make easy work of the New Jersey Devils tonight.

New York has been at the top of the NHL for the majority of the season. New Jersey, on the other hand, has never been able to get out of their own way and will be watching the playoffs from the comfort of their homes. It's a big reason to ride with the Rangers moneyline in this one. They continue to play for something, and with the Presidents' Trophy lead currently theirs by one point -- every win is essential.

The difference between these two teams all season has been goaltending.

The tandem of Igor Shesterkin and Jonathan Quick has led the Rangers to a 2.74 goals against per 60 minutes (GA/60) average, ranking seventh in the NHL. It's all on those goalies considering that the Rangers actually have an expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60) average of 3.04.

New York's goaltenders have been the opposite of New Jersey. The Devils have had an ongoing rotation, one that has brought them to 3.40 GA/60, which ranks 27th in the league.

In terms of goalscoring, these teams aren't too far off. The Rangers are 7th with 3.38 goals for per 60 minutes (GF/60), and the Devils rank 10th with 3.26 GF/60. These two teams can light up the scoreboard, but it's the Rangers are the side more likely to slow the other tonight.

While the -205 odds aren't very fun, there's some value here. numberFire's model has the Rangers at a 73.77% likelihood to get the win tonight -- a good margin better than the 67.2% implied probability from the -205 odds.

Tampa Bay Lightning at Toronto Maple Leafs

Over 6.5 Goals (-114)

The way these two teams are going as of late, Over 6.5 Goals is the bet to consider for tonight.

The Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs are both rolling as we head into the final few weeks of the regular season. Tampa Bay is 8-1-1 in their last 10 games while the Maple Leafs aren't too far behind, coming in at 6-3-1 -- which includes three straight victories.

The reason for each team's success has been -- unsurprisingly -- scoring a lot of goals. No team has scored as much as the Maple Leafs over these last 10 games. They're averaging 4.36 GF/60 in that span. With that said, the Lightning haven't been too far off that clip. Tampa Bay is in third in that time with 4.19 GF/60.

In terms of preventing goals, the Lightning are the third-best in the last 10 games with 2.19 GA/60. Toronto ranks 13th in the split with 2.88 GA/60. Both are good defensively, but with the firepower of these two offenses, I think we'll still see a lot of goals.

Seattle Kraken at Los Angeles Kings

Under 5.5 Goals (-118)

On the flip side of what the Lightning and Maple Leafs may do tonight, I'm taking Under 5.5 Goals for the tilt between the Seattle Kraken and Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Kraken have been one of the worst goal-scoring teams this season -- as shown by their overall 2.58 GF/60 and 2.83 xGF/60. Their GF/60 ranks 29th in the league. The Kings haven't been at an elite standard, averaging just 3.03 GF/60, which checks in 13th in the NHL. The good news for them, if there's any, is that they rank 12th with 3.17 xGF/60.

But if you look at the last 10 games for each of these teams, the Kraken somehow get worse. Over the last 10, the Kraken are scoring just 1.89 GF/60. Brutal, but that's what we're banking on tonight.

These two teams do keep the puck out of their net fairly well, both ranking top 10 in the NHL in GA/60. The Kings are fourth on the season with 2.56 GA/60, and the Kraken sit in eighth (2.78). Both teams are expected to have their top goalies in net as Joey Daccord and Cam Talbot will get the nods. The goalies are neck and neck with their stats. Daccord has posted a 2.42 goals against average (GAA) and .918 save percentage (SV%) this season. Talbot has been right there with a 2.48 GAA and .915 SV%.

With two quality goalies in net and the way these two teams perform on offense, I'll take the under -- even at the low 5.5-goal mark.

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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.