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NHL Predictions Today

Last Updated: 2 days ago

I swept my NHL best bets last night as the Coyotes won what is likely to be their final game in Arizona, and the St. Louis Blues covered the puck line in a shootout loss to the Dallas Stars.

I’ll try to keep the momentum going as we head into the final day of the NHL regular season, which features a six-game slate of Western Conference matchups.

Here are my best NHL bets for April 18.

All NHL odds and lines are current as of 11 a.m. ET on Thursday, April 18.

NHL Best Bets Today

Avalanche -1.5 (+150) vs Oilers

bet365 Sportsbook • WAGER: 0.5 Units

After the Coyotes defeated the Oilers yesterday to cash us out on these same odds, let’s try to run it back.

Edmonton is in a brutal situational spot, playing the second night of a back-to-back at elevation against a high-octane Colorado squad. Meanwhile, the Avalanche haven’t played since Sunday.

These two teams split their two prior meetings, both in Edmonton, with the Oilers taking the most recent matchup 6-2 on April 5.

It wouldn’t surprise me if the Avs turn that around in their regular-season home final ahead of a first-round date with the Winnipeg Jets.

Give me Colorado to cover the puck line as my NHL bet of the day.

Kings -1.5 (-135) vs Blackhawks

bet365 Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

I have the Kings’ moneyline as one of the legs in my best NHL parlays today, but I think there’s every chance they win by two goals or more.

Los Angeles already has a pair of multi-goal victories against Chicago this season, winning 5-0 on the road and 6-2 at home.

The Blackhawks have also been the worst road team in the NHL this season. Chicago is 7-32-1 on its travels this year and is only marginally better on the puck line (12-28).

The Kings also still have something to play for, as they can move into third place in the Pacific Division with a win and a Golden Knights loss or a point and a Vegas regulation defeat.

Best NHL Betting Odds Today

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

DraftKings

The DraftKings Online Sportsbook is an official sports-betting partner of the NHL, which makes it 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

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

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.

bet365

The No. 1 sports betting option globally, bet365 is a superb option for hockey betting due to its wide availability in Canada. It has an exceptional interface and offers great odds that are often worth taking advantage of.

Plus, with bet365, players can get an Early Win payout for every NHL team. If you place a moneyline bet, and your team builds a three-goal lead, bet365 will grade your bet as a win no matter how the game ends.

FanDuel

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.

How to Pick the Best NHL Betting Sites

Odds

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. Pick the one you find more tolerable, depending on the matchup and odds. Winning is better than getting super-risky, especially in hockey, where things seem random.

Interface

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 on to the less-good ones.

NHL Betting Promotions

Boosts

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

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

Spreads, also referred to 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

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. 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
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Nevada
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • 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 on 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.

Author

John Arlia

Before joining The Game Day, John served as the National Writer for the United Soccer League, where he primarily covered the USL Championship out of the league’s headquarters in Tampa, FL. A devout soccer fan, John attended the men’s World Cups in Brazil and Russia and can’t wait for the 2026 edition to come to North America. Having also written for Sporting News Canada since getting his master’s from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at ASU, John has acquired a diverse sporting background, but considers football, golf, and soccer his three strong suits.

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