NHL

NHL Single-Game Betting Picks and Player Props for Sunday 3/31/24: Ducks at Canucks

Austin Swaim
Austin SwaimASwaim3
NHL Single-Game Betting Picks and Player Props for Sunday 3/31/24: Ducks at Canucks

Easter Sunday features just one NHL matchup. The lowly Anaheim Ducks are making the trek to British Columbia to battle the Vancouver Canucks.

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.

Anaheim Ducks vs. Vancouver Canucks Best Bet

Ducks +2.5 (-118)

In an island game, oddsmakers are doing their best to take the Canucks off the board.

Vancouver's -520 moneyline is prohibitive -- similar to that of the St. Louis Blues' -330 mark yesterday for a game they ended up losing 4-0 at home. Hockey can be random, so I'll absolutely take two scores with Anaheim.

The Ducks are a decent 36-38 against the spread (ATS) despite their putrid 24-46-4 record. Of course, a loss ATS came yesterday in a 6-1 drubbing from the Edmonton Oilers. However, Edmonton's 56.7 expected-goals-for rate (xGF%) leads the NHL; Vancouver's (52.1 xGF%) is just 10th-best.

The goaltending likely makes a difference here, too. Casey DeSmith (3.54 goals saved above expectation) is an entirely different animal than Vezina contender Thatcher Demko (24.79 GSAx) when power rating the 'Nucks.

numberFire is showing value on the Ducks' standard puckline (+1.5 at +152), and their 20.5% win probability is even lower than DRatings' (23.9%) and Massey Ratings' (21.0%) for Anaheim. Massey projects the Mighties to cover a three-goal margin 56.0% of the time.

Most key models agree this line -- an alternate puckline on FanDuel -- has drifted too far.

Anaheim Ducks vs. Vancouver Canucks Player Props to Target

Brock Boeser 3+ Shots on Goal (-130)
Brock Boeser Anytime Goal (+135)

If we get a remotely competitive game, I love these props for Vancouver's top right wing.

Brock Boeser is now on that top unit in all ice conditions next to All-Star Elias Pettersson, and their production potential together might be a bit muted based on recent schedule. Looking at combos of goalies and defenses, 6 of their 11 March contests have come against teams that rank in the top 12 of goals allowed per 60 minutes.

Anaheim -- obviously -- is not. They're allowing the second-most expected goals (3.46) as a skating unit, and Lukas Dostal (0.89 GSAx) hasn't made a huge imprint for or against those numbers. Plus, the Ducks allow the third-most shots on goal per 60 (32.6) in the NHL.

This shots line is wonky using a lazier prop methodology. Boeser hasn't met or cleared three shots in seven straight games, yet it sits at -130? He also has just one goal in his last five games. A downgrade in competition could easily explain why we're expecting better today.

FanDuel Research's NHL projections expect 0.59 goals and 2.85 shots from Brock at a median in today's game. That means they'd set the odds for a goal at -144, and his odds for three-plus shots on goal would be -567.


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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.