We have only a handful of regular season games left before the playoffs begin. This Thursday still features a robust slate of 14 games with a couple of very key playoff matchups. There are plenty of teams on the slate with little to no motivation — and some with a ton of motivation — so ensuring you understand all of the lineup changes or goaltender moves that take place is key. As of now, there are six Moneyline favorites at -200 or better, with the New Jersey Devils being the biggest favorites on the slate at -390, who host the Columbus Blue Jackets at home and can still technically catch the Carolina Hurricanes for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division.
Golden Knights Moneyline -120
The Golden Knights head into this game having now gone 6-3-1 over their last 10 games. They’ve been solid down the stretch but are still in danger of getting caught by the freight train behind them in the Edmonton Oilers. Edmonton is now just one point back of Vegas making the game today for the Golden Knights massive for securing the top seed in the West. The good news is that they are potentially catching the Kings at the right time. Los Angeles is now just 3-7 in its last 10 games and has been somewhat brought back down to earth by Edmonton over the last two weeks, who have beaten them twice and held them to just one goal scored in those two games.
Further complicating things for the Kings are injuries, as they have three key players in Mikey Anderson, Kevin Fiala, and Gabriel Vilardi (who all missed the last game vs. the Oilers) all listed as day-to-day. This is going to be a tough spot for the the Kings as the Golden Knights have been resilient and great at home of late, going 8-2 in their last 10 home games. The under may also be a solid play, especially if the Kings roll with Jonas Korpisalo in net, but it certainly looks like the Golden Knights aren’t getting enough respect on the Moneyline, as the current odds have them as only very slight favorites. Vegas is worth taking in this spot with hopes of closing out Edmonton and securing the top spot in the Pacific Division.
Under 6.0 goals -110
Both the Bruins and Maple Leafs head into this game with little to play for, other than a little playoff momentum. Boston is secure in the top spot and has been for some time, while Toronto can do nothing to change its fortune of having to play Tampa Bay in the first round again. The Maple Leafs could get back Ryan O’Reilly but the Bruins may be without two top-six forwards in Taylor Hall and David Krejci.
This game certainly feels like it has a ton of underpotential, especially with the Bruins goaltending being so solid. Boston has been an under machine this season and has a 41-33-2 record towards the under to date. Toronto has been inconsistent of late and have failed to score over three goals now in five of its last six games. Look for a muted affair today and target the under 6.0 goals.
New York is in a great spot tonight to continue its offensive dominance. The Rangers have scored 11 times over their last two games alone and have now recorded four or more goals in four of their last six games. They’ll be playing a Blues team who have little to play for and have allowed four or more goals against in four of their last six games.
The Rangers also carry a significant advantage on special teams where their ninth-ranked power-play goes up against the Blues 27th ranked penalty-kill. St. Louis and New York also played earlier this season in December and the result was a wild 6-4 win for New York, where the Rangers’ skill players dominated and put up six goals on Jordan Binnington on just 24 shots. There is little reason to think the result will be much different this time around as the Rangers further improved their forward crew and should again have their way down low against the Blues’ depleted core.
Ladder betting on the Rangers team totals makes a ton of sense as you can balance out your unit exposure to take a shot at some bigger payouts if the Rangers hit five or more goals. Whatever your plan, it’s a good idea to get some exposure to the New York offense, which looks primed for another big night.
The Kraken can clinch a playoff spot today with a win so looking to play them for some props related to the goal markets against the Coyotes makes sense. Arizona remains one of the worst defensive teams in the league and also has just a 7-24-9 record on the road this season. The Kraken have really come on this week as they head towards locking up a playoff spot in just their second season. They’ve now scored 13 times over their last two games and crushed the Coyotes, 8-1 just two games ago. Seattle has shot well as a team of late and have created more chances when five-on-five. There is no harm in playing them to exceed four or even five goals in this spot and even ladder betting their total up to six or seven with the bigger odds makes sense.
On the player prop side, Jaden Schwartz still looks like good value in the anytime goal-scoring department at +190. The winger has been an integral part of the Kraken’s top six all season and has had four or more shots and a goal in three of his last five games. Schwartz is in his second season with Seattle and there is little doubt he’ll be motivated enough tonight to help his squad lock up a playoff spot. Considering how productive he’s been down the stretch, looking to Schwartz to grab a goal — at some very decent odds against a weak team — makes a ton of sense tonight.
All odds are provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds are subject to change.
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