NHL Predictions Today | Picks & Parlay Bets

Last Updated: 9 hours ago

It’s a lean night on the NHL schedule, with just four games on the docket tonight.

However, some interesting opportunities are available for our NHL Best Bets, including an Empire State showdown.

If you’re looking for the best NHL props bets, be sure to check out our Friday NHL props

Mike Thomsen’s NHL Betting Record: 2-7-0 (-5.0 Units)

All NHL gameday odds and lines are current as of Friday, March 31, at 2 p.m. ET, and courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.

Top NHL Odds Today

Best NHL Bets Today

Rangers Moneyline (-145) • Caesars Sportsbook

New York Rangers at Buffalo Sabres • Wager: 1 Unit

The Buffalo Sabres find themselves on the fringe of the Eastern Conference Wild Card race with nine games to go on their schedule.

The Sabres sit seven points back of the Penguins for the second wild-card slot but would need to run down Pittsburgh and jump both the Panthers and Senators to qualify for the postseason.

Buffalo may be without leading scorer Tage Thompson for a second straight game due to an upper-body injury. The Sabres also plan to start rookie goaltender Devon Levi, who recently signed with the team when his college season at Northeastern University ended.

That all adds up to a challenging task against the Rangers, who are 9-2-1 in their past 13 games and have scored 44 goals in that span.

This is just the second meeting between the two teams, and the Rangers won the first one 2-1 on March 11. I expect them to win again as my NHL bet of the day for Friday.

Over 6.5 Goals (-130) • Caesars Sportsbook

New York Rangers at Buffalo Sabres • Wager: 1 Unit

Levi may be a talented goaltender, but he is making his NHL debut in the middle of a playoff race.

The Rangers are playing the second of a back-to-back, and starter Igor Shesterkin was between the pipes in New Jersey on Thursday. Shesterkin played well, giving up just two goals on 31 shots in New York’s 2-1 loss to the Devils, which means backup Jaroslav Halak is expected to get the call in Buffalo on Friday.

Halak is a talented goalie, but he’s not Shesterkin, and the goalie duel, plus New York’s hot offense, and the fact Buffalo is third in the NHL in goals per game (3.56) makes it a night to take the Over in Buffalo.

Stars -1.5 (+115) • Caesars Sportsbook

Dallas Stars at Arizona Coyotes • Wager: 1 Unit

The Dallas Stars enter play Friday just three points back of the Minnesota Wild for first place in the Central Division, with two prime points available against the Arizona Coyotes, who have lost five in a row.

The Stars are 3-1-1 in their past five games and have the Coyotes’ number this season. In its three previous games against Arizona, Dallas has outscored Arizona 15-4, including a 4-2 win in their last meeting, March 1.

I expect that trend to continue tonight. That makes this an excellent opportunity to take the Stars to cover the puck-line as they try and track down the Wild and hold off the hard-charging Avalanche, with whom they are in a tie in second place in the Central.

How NHL Betting Works

NHL betting works just like wagering on any sport. You target the games and markets that are most enticing or the best value and place your wagers accordingly.

Each legal online U.S. sportsbook gives bettors odds for moneylines, puck lines and totals for each NHL game from the regular season through the Stanley Cup final.

Hockey betting is one of the most difficult sports to predict on a night-in, night-out basis, but there’s a method to it.

Best NHL Betting Sites


The DraftKings Online Sportsbook is an official sports-betting partner of the NHL, which makes one of the best options for betting on hockey. NHL fans can put down their money on all sorts of props, same-game parlays and of course moneylines/spreads/totals for every game every night.

DraftKings also enables easy live betting for those fans who enjoy putting their money on any team to rally.


Caesars is an elite option for hockey betting, especially for moneylines, spreads and totals. Caesars gives users significantly more favorable odds and numbers than some of its competition, including favorable futures odds for awards and championship betting.

Plus, every wager with Caesars gives bettors Caesars Rewards, the sportsbook’s VIP rewards program. Players can use those rewards for things like meals and hotel credits at Caesars properties.


BetMGM is one of my favorite sportsbooks, especially for betting on hockey due to its extremely user-friendly interface and easy-to-find NHL page.

Plus, BetMGM also has a terrific rewards program where bettors can get points that can be redeemed for bet credits and hotel stays at MGM’s properties nationwide.


FanDuel is the No. 1 sportsbook in America and is constantly innovating to make gaming more fun and lucrative. FanDuel gives users uniquely favorable odds — think -102 instead of -105 — and has a surplus of futures markets for players who prefer to place those wagers.

Plus, FanDuel opened the practice of same-game parlay betting when it rolled out the feature in 2018 and offers a robust number of game and player props for every NHL game each day.


PointsBet has two unique ways to bet on hockey, which makes it one of the most fascinating options in sports gaming. Players may wager with traditional fixed-odds betting but also its custom style known as PointsBetting where players are rewarded for being correct and punished for being wrong.

PointsBet is also an official partner of the NHL, which means it gives users loads of available betting markets for things like props as well as moneylines, puck lines and totals.

How To Pick the Best NHL Betting Sites


The best odds produce the best payouts. Sometimes it’s as simple as that.

The odds range for moneylines can vary drastically depending on game-type factors like each team’s matchup. The spread and total odds do not usually swing too dramatically but can have a stark-enough difference from sportsbook to sportsbook.

Make sure to have money in multiple accounts so you can odds shop and get the best payout.

Betting Numbers

Maybe one site has the over/under listed at 7 while one has it at 6.5. Or maybe another site has it at 6 vs 6.5. Pushes are OK, but I’ll always take the more favorable number for the market I like.

Maybe one site has the puck-line spread at -1.5 and another has it at -2.5. Depending on the matchup and odds, pick the one you find more tolerable. Winning is better than getting super-risky, especially in hockey where things seem random.


This is especially important when placing live bets. Can you log in quickly enough and find the betting market you’re interested in wagering in time before the odds change?

Odds will vary from day-to-day and hour-to-hour, especially when injury or goalie news comes out in the middle of the day. Certain sites are more conducive to fast betting than others, and those are worth your time.

Welcome Bonuses

Obviously, we want to play with money that isn’t ours before needing to part with our own hard-earned cash. The best welcome bonuses lengthen a bettor’s ability to play.

Be sure to take advantage of all the welcome bonuses since sportsbooks don’t just give their money away. But take advantage of the best ones first before moving onto the less-good ones.

NHL Betting Promotions


Most every sportsbook will give users odds boosts on outcomes that are likely to happen, and they do in hockey too. Many of the sportsbooks listed above will curate a boosted parlay each night or empower gamblers to create their own odds-boosted pick.

Some sites will also boost the odds of cross-sport parlays, especially regionally specific ones or ones that may be of interest to the public.

Best NHL Bets


Moneylines are simply which team will win. Odds will vary based on the likelihood of each team to win. favorites will have minus-money and underdogs will usually have plus-money.

Moneyline odds will fluctuate based on goaltending matchups — backups are less likely to win than starters — and any potential lineup factors along with which team is home and visiting. Some teams are better away from home and some are better away from home.


Spreads, also referred as the puck line, are another popular way to wager on hockey. Most games are decided by one goal, but every night there are multi-goal games, or underdogs that lose by just a goal, which is where the puck line becomes a favorable bet.

If you believe a favorite is drastically better than the underdog, wager on it to cover -1.5. If you like an underdog’s matchup but aren’t sure it can win, take it to cover +1.5 at the corresponding odds.

In a puck-line bet, a favorite usually needs to win by two or more. The underdog usually needs to win or only lose by a goal.


Totals, also known as the over/under, is a good way to wager when you feel strongly about each team’s offense or defense but aren’t sure which side will win. Over/unders are usually between 5.5 and 7, since most NHL games have between 5 and 7 goals.

If the game features two great goalies and solid defenses, bet the under, especially in the playoffs where the play gets tighter. If the goaltenders are less good, or the defenses are porous, take the over.

NHL Betting Strategy

I always recommend players do their homework instead of placing bets off the cuff. Maybe one team looks good on paper but is propped up my a smoldering-hot goalie. Maybe one team is elite on the road but so-so at home.

Dig into advanced metrics and seek out trends. But remember trends are only trends until they regress, so be sure to sniff out regression candidates ahead of time.

Also, I do not and will not ever recommend a wager -150 or shorter ($0.67 per dollar wagered) except as a parlay leg because the payout isn’t worth the stake you’re wagering.

But if you’re parlay betting, be sure to tease legs — like betting the over/under to 5.5 or 7.5 if it is listed at 6.5 — to make the legs more likely to hit.

Finally, you can take as much advice as you want, but the best bets are the ones we love. If you do your homework and follow your gut, you’re more likely to be successful.

Benefits of NHL Betting Online

Betting on hockey online is fun and much more convenient than visiting your local sportsbook. Apps enable users to peruse the betting options without intimidation or angst, and since every North American online sportsbook offers hockey odds, you can shop around for the best odds and markets that will ensure the largest payout for your winning bet.

Plus, online sportsbooks gives new users great welcome bonuses, which will lengthen their ability to place hockey bets. Brick-and-mortar sportsbooks don’t give users risk-free bets, deposit matches or bet-and-gets, which makes online betting a better bang for your buck.

How to Place an NHL Bet Online

To place an NHL bet online, please follow these steps:

  • Register at your preferred sportsbook or log into your sportsbook account
  • Deposit funds into your account
  • Consult any promotions or odds boosts
  • Use any welcome bonus funds or opt-in to take advantage of any promotions like risk-free bets or bet-and-gets
  • Click the NHL tab on each sportsbook and tap the game you are interested in wagering on.
  • Consult the odds then research trends to determine if they are good or bad bets to place
  • Choose your wager
  • Place your wager and root for it to hit

Where Can I Legally Place NHL Bets Online?

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut (no betting on in-state college teams)
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey (no betting on in-state college teams)
  • New York (no betting on in-state college teams)
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • Washington D.C.
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

Choose More Than One NHL Betting Site

Each legal sportsbook offers competing odds and unique boosts, so having funds in multiple sites and shopping for the best odds on the hockey bets you wish to make is the best way to ensure you’ll get the best bang for your buck.

If you live in a legal betting state, there are many options to choose from, and as stated above, you’ll want to take advantage of those lucrative new-player bonuses that give you the sportsbook’s best offer. Obviously, don’t stay in if the sportsbook doesn’t fit your playing style, but I’d recommend trying multiple books before settling on a preferred one.


Mike Thomsen

Mike Thomsen is a copy editor and staff writer for The Game Day with over 30 years of experience as a television and radio producer. He has won several national and state producing awards and has been nominated for 3 regional television Emmy awards. He co-hosts a nightly auto racing show, “Beyond The Bricks,” for WFNI-FM in Indianapolis as well as the station's pre-and-post race and qualifications coverage of the Indy 500. The co-Vice President of the National Indianapolis 500 Collectors Club, Mike has an extensive background in auto racing memorabilia and historical research.

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