NHL Best Bets

Last night, the New York Rangers became the first team in the Stanley Cup Playoffs to punch their ticket to the Eastern Conference Finals. Tonight, the Florida Panthers and Dallas Stars look to do the same, but it will be very challenging. Let’s get into tonight’s NHL best bets.

Florida at Boston (+124, 5.5)

The Florida Panthers let the opportunity to put the Boston Bruins away slip and now they are forced to go on the road to try and steal one at TD Garden. The Bruins are hoping to get their captain, Brad Marchand, back in the lineup after missing the previous game due to an injury he received by the Panthers’ Sam Bennett. 


Marchand is currently a game-time decision to play tonight, but you have to imagine that the Bruins are going to be extra fired up at home. Jeremy Swayman has been their best and most important player all playoffs long. He boasts a .933 save percentage with a 2.16 goals against average and a playoff-best +12.9 goals saved above expected. 

While Florida has been the better team and deserves to win, Swayman has been that good. It’s tough to pick a side in this one, but to me, this has goaltending battle written all over it. 

As good as Swayman has been, Sergei Bobrovsky has been pretty damn good for Florida as well. The numbers aren’t as pretty for Bobrovsky because he doesn’t face as many shots as Swayman does, but he is skating to a 2.51 goals against average. 

This game should be as tightly played as the previous two games. I don’t think we’ll see a lot of goals.

NHL Best Bet(s): 1st Period under 1.5 -135 (play to -145) | Under 5.5 -125 (play to -135)

Dallas at Colorado (-120, 6.5)

If there was one thing to be concerned about when it comes to the Colorado Avalanche going into Game Five, it was their power play. That said, it’s no longer a concern after the Avalanche scored on two of their three man-advantage attempts in Game Five. Cale Makar took over the game, and he needed to. Makar had two goals, but Nathan MacKinnon also stepped up and added a goal with an assist. 

Colorado looked dead, but they woke up. This doesn’t mean that I am counting out the Dallas Stars, they have been one of, if not the best team in all of the playoffs, but I do not see the Colorado Avalanche losing three straight games at home. 

Dallas took Games Three and Four in pretty strong fashion, but this would be the first time since 2006 that the Avalanche have lost three straight home playoff games. 

With Makar, MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen finding their confidence and their strength at home, I really like Colorado’s chances. 

Jake Oettinger allowed five goals on 27 shots faced, and I wonder how that will affect his confidence. It’s tough to bet against Dallas, but I think Colorado is being overlooked because of their up-front talent. 

NHL Best Bet: Colorado Avalanche ML -120 (play to -130)

May Record: 24-17 (+6.32 units)

2023-24 record: 177–168 (-22.37 units)