NHL Best Bets

Tonight is not only a great NHL slate with 10 games across the league, but it is also the start of college hockey’s Frozen Four in Minnesota. There are several NHL best bet possibilities, but ne game that stands out is the Detroit Red Wings against the Pittsburgh Penguins. as both teams are still trying to scratch and claw their way into the playoffs. The Washington Capitals are taking on the Buffalo Sabres as they look to hang onto the second wild card spot in the East, while the Philadelphia Flyers travel to Manhattan for a dance with the Rangers as they hope to avoid losing their ninth straight game. And finally, the New York Islanders host the Montreal Canadiens, where they will try to create more separation for third place in the Metropolitan Division. 

Detroit at Pittsburgh (-148, 6)

The Pittsburgh Penguins have climbed out of the bottom of the Metropolitan Division over the past six weeks and are in a real spot to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They have gotten at least a point in nine straight games and have gone 6-1-3 in their last 10 games. 


Sidney Crosby has 17 points in the Penguins’ last 10 games and has single-handedly willed his team back into this position. 

The Detroit Red Wings have been a bit more inconsistent. They’re 4-4-2 in their last 10 games but have lost two out of their last three in critical contests. Alex Nedeljkovic has also been a big reason for the Penguins’ recent resurgence. Nedelkovic is 6-0-3 in his last nine starts, boasting a 2.51 goals against average and a .914 save percentage in that span. 

Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust have also been key contributors over this recent stretch. Malkin has tallied six goals with six assists, and Rust has added five goals with five assists. Over their last 10 games, the Penguins have been averaging 3.80 goals per game, while in the same span, the Red Wings are only averaging 2.44 goals per game but are allowing just 2.56 goals against. 

The Red Wings have struggled on the road this season. They’re skating to a 16-19-3 record as the away team, so to me, this game really favors the Penguins in most aspects, and wouldn’t it be amazing to see Crosby back in the playoffs?

NHL Best Bet: Pittsburgh Penguins ML -148 (play to -160)

Montreal at NY Islanders  (-225, 6)

The New York Islanders have quietly won five games in a row and are in a pretty good position to make the playoffs. They’re currently in third place in the Metropolitan Division. 

Even if it was ugly, the Islanders are coming off of a huge win at home against the New York Rangers. The group should be feeling pretty good about themselves because about a month ago, their playoff hopes did not seem very strong. Tonight, they take on a Montreal Canadiens team that is coming off of a pumping 9-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers, a game where former number one overall pick Juraj Slafkovsky recorded his first career hat trick. 

Montreal isn’t necessarily playing for much since they have been officially eliminated from the playoffs, but that doesn’t mean they won’t want to try and play spoiler. That said, the last time these two teams met, Montreal got the best of the Islanders in a 4-3 win, so New York wants its revenge. 

Semyon Varlamov should get the start again for the Islanders and it has become his net to lose. He is 5-1-0 in his last six starts, posting an incredible 2.16 goals against average with a .938 save percentage, and has had a shutout in that span as well. The Islanders definitely have the edge in goal tonight. They will need Mat Barzal and Bo Horvat to continue their offensive production. The two have combined for 11 points in the team’s last five games. 

This is a must-win game for the Islanders. I like them to stay hot. 

NHL Best Bet: New York Islanders to win in regulation -130 (play to -140)

April Record: 11-3 (+7.90 units)

2023-24 record: 140–135 (-21.41 units)