NHL Best Bets

Tonight, the Florida Panthers look to be the first team to punch their ticket to the Eastern Conference Finals. In the West, the Edmonton Oilers are looking to prevent dropping two straight games at home in the hopes of avoiding being down 3-1 in the series with it heading back to Vancouver for a Game Five. Let’s get into the NHL best bets.

Boston at Florida (-218, 5.5)

The Florida Panthers have won three straight games in this series after dropping Game 1 on home ice in embarrassing fashion. Tonight, they look to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second year in a row. It won’t be easy, but the Panthers can feel this one in the palm of their hands. Florida has been the better team in this series, completely dominating the Bruins, but they will have to find ways to continue to beat Jeremy Swayman. 


Swayman has been the reason why Boston has gotten to this point. He boasts a .930 save percentage with a 2.28 goals against average and a playoff-best +11.6 goals saved above expected. That said, tonight will be a massive challenge for him. The Florida Panthers are generating 34.0 shots on goal per game, which is the second most of any team in the playoffs, while the Bruins are surrendering 32.8 shots against per contest. 

The Panthers are going to throw everything at Swayman. In this series alone, the Panthers have had at least 33+ shots on goal in every game, in their last game they put up 41. 

Swayman isn’t the confirmed starter, but Linus Ullmark hasn’t gotten a nod since Game Two of round one, and Swayman has gotten his team this far, so the feeling is that it will be him in goal. Whether Jim Montgomery goes with Swayman or Ullmark, in my opinion, it doesn’t matter. Florida is going to come out guns blazing. 

NHL Best Bet(s): Florida Panthers to win in regulation -125 (play to -135) Aleksander Barkov over 2.5 shots on goal -120 (play to -130) | Vladimir Tarasenko over 1.5 shots on goal -145 (play to -155) 

Vancouver at Edmonton (-205, 6.5)

There has been a plethora of goal-scoring in the series between the Edmonton Oilers and the Vancouver Canucks. The Over has hit in all three games thus far, and tonight, we will see a different look for the Oilers in goal.

Calvin Pickard is likely to make his first career postseason start and even if he had a solid season as the Oilers backup, the playoffs are a whole different animal. Pickard had 20 starts in the regular season and skated to a 12-7-1 record with a .909 save percentage and a 2.45 goals against average. Solid numbers I would say. 

Arturs Silovs will be back in between the pipes for the Canucks, and he has been the biggest surprise of the postseason thus far. Originally the Canucks third-string goalie, Silovs is now 4-2 in the playoffs with a .908 save percentage and a 2.65 goals against average as well as a +3.2 goals saved above expected. 

That said, this isn’t necessarily a goaltending duel. If anything, it might be the opposite. These two teams can score goals. We have seen it with Edmonton all year, and we’re seeing it happen in this series with the Canucks. Connor McDavid (18 points) and Leon Draisaitl (17 points), to no surprise, are leading the playoffs in scoring, but Brock Boeser and J.T. Miller, who each have 11 points, have been just as effective. 

The Oilers will need to do a better job finding 5-on-5 offensive production because they seem to be relying a little too much on their power play, which is at 46.4%. 

I’m not sure what to expect from Pickard, but I imagine the Oilers’ goaltending struggles will not be solved overnight, so their offense should continue to carry them. 

Getting the over at even money seems like a steal. 

NHL Best Bet: Over 6.5 +100 (play to -110)

May Record: 20-10 (+9.50 units)

2023-24 record: 173–161 (-19.19 units)