Tonight’s NHL schedule is the fullest of any day of the entire NHL season. An incredible 28 of the league’s 32 teams will take to the ice, and there are some huge matchups on tap.
Vegas and Vancouver will battle north of the border – the third meeting between these two clubs in the last nine days. The first two matchups were split, and the third one could go a long way towards deciding who gets the final Wild Card slot in the West.
St. Louis and Boston go head-to-head in a rematch of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, and while playoff implications aren’t exactly at stake between cross-conference foes, these teams still very much do not like each other. And in perhaps the biggest heavyweight bout of the night, Carolina will travel to Manhattan to take on the Rangers with first place on the line, and that’s not hyperbole. The winner will take possession of first place in the Metro and have the inside track to avoiding the Penguins in round one of the playoffs.
We’ll have bets on two of these high-profile matchups, so let’s get started.
Vegas Golden Knights ML (-120; FanDuel)
There was a time just a few weeks ago where the Knights were a heavy fade, and we cashed a few tickets by avoiding the Golden Knights tax the books normally assign to one of the public’s favorite teams. But now, the Knights look very “back” and they’re fighting for their playoff lives against a team that’s continually nipping at their heels.
Vegas will travel to Vancouver for the second time in just over a week, and they sit two points out of a playoff spot. Of course, goal number one for the Knights is to catch the Dallas Stars, and they’ll have a great opportunity to do so as Dallas plays Tampa Bay tonight. But while trying to catch Dallas, Vegas needs to do everything they can to hammer a few nails in the Canucks’ coffin in the process. Vancouver sits just four points behind Vegas, and with a regulation win, they can close the gap to just two points with eight games to go. Both teams are motivated, but I think there’s a clear edge on the visiting Knights.
— ESPN+ (@ESPNPlus) April 7, 2022
The Canucks have been a great story this year, ascending from the dead once they swapped Travis Green for Bruce Boudreau behind the bench. But I don’t think we’ll be hearing a ton of “Bruce, there it is” chants in British Columbia tonight. Vancouver has actually been a much more stout road team this year, and has a sub-.500 record on home ice. The Canucks are 15-14-6 at home on the year, so they’ve actually lost 20 of 35 games they’ve hosted. Their powerplay is close to two percentage points worse in Vancouver as is their penalty kill, and they’ve scored 19 fewer goals in three fewer games compared to playing on the road.
Another reason why I like Vegas in this game is because of the total. It’s currently 5.5 with a ton of juice to the over (-125 at most books). Obviously the goaltending edge in this matchup sits with Thatcher Demko and the Canucks, so if the market is telling us to expect goals, we’re going to lean with a Vegas team that’s buried five or more goals in six of their last 11 games.
Don’t be scared off by the Knights being the road team. They’ll want to avenge last week’s road loss to the Canucks, so play Vegas down to -130.
New York Rangers ML (+105; PointsBet)
The market is all over the place on this game, but New York opened up as home underdogs at multiple books and remain home underdogs at some. This line is clearly on the move and sucking value out of the Rangers by the minute, so if you’re a Blueshirts backer tonight, jump on them quickly.
The Rangers are 8-1 against the spread as home underdogs. Why the market continually undervalues a team with 100 points is beyond me, but we’ll be happy to take advantage. Igor Shesterkin hit a bit of a mid-to-late season skid, and it caused him to slip out of consideration for the Hart Trophy. Some blamed too much of a workload, and some just chalked it up to the ups and downs of an NHL season. But whatever the reason, the skid is over and the best goaltender in the world is back on his game. Shesterkin has won his last two starts against Pittsburgh and Ottawa, shutting the Penguins out and allowing just one goal to the Senators.
New York is also the much hotter team, and they’re the hunters in this matchup. Carolina is the hunted; they’re currently two points ahead in first place. But if the Rangers win in regulation, they’ll move into a first place tie and lead the division on tiebreakers. Both teams are motivated, but I have a hard time believing the momentum won’t gravitate towards the home team.
The Rangers are 7-1-1 in their last nine games and 9-2-1 in their last 12. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes have done everything they can to cough up first place over the past few weeks. They’re just 6-6-3 in the last month of hockey, including some losses that show a clear pattern – they’ve been unable to get the puck past quality goaltending. And they’re about to face the best quality the NHL has to offer.
Carolina lost to Pittsburgh who has All-Star Tristan Jarry in net, the lost to the Lightning who boast Andrei Vasilevskiy who has every right to stake his own claim for best netminder in the world, they fell to reigning Vezina-winner Marc-Andre Fleury and the Wild, and most recently were shut beaten by Ilya Sorokin and the Islanders. It seems obvious – good goaltenders steal games – but Carolina has the third-most points of any team in the league. They should be capable of stealing games right back, regardless of who is in net.
Right now, I don’t have faith in the Canes and I trust the Rangers at home. Play them down to -105.
Compare odds from all major sportsbooks for today’s games >>
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | RadioPublic | Breaker | Castbox | Pocket Casts
Whether you’re new to sports betting or a betting pro, our Sports Betting Strategy and Advice page is for you. You can get started with our 101 section — including 10 Sports Betting Tips for Beginners — or head to more advanced strategy — like Key Numbers When Betting Against the Spread — to learn more.
Mike Wagenman is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him on Twitter @mjwags23.
The post Top NHL Betting Picks For Tuesday, April 12 (2022) appeared first on BettingPros.