Free NHL Expert Picks

Dig into the top betting lines every day in the NHL – from puck lines to over/unders to moneylines – with our expert picks.

Bookies Tipster Adrian Dater
Adrian Dater
187-138 (57.5%) 38-16 L54 (70.1%)
Veteran hockey writer Adrian Dater covers NHL betting extensively for Bookies.com and has covered the league for nearly three decades.
TOP PICK
Moneyline
Penguins over Maple Leafs
The Penguins get the reeling Maple Leafs again, this time on the road a couple nights after drubbing them at home. There is some mild-to-moderate panic in Toronto about its team, which wasn’t supposed to be in this big of a fight for a playoff spot. There’s still plenty of hockey to be played on the season, but Toronto’s defense and goaltending just haven’t been good enough much of the year and the Penguins are red hot.
TOP PICK
Puck Line
Blues over Stars
The defending Cup champs go into Dallas for the second of a back-to-back, but that’s OK. They often play very well in such situations. They will be up for this game, too as it is a matchup of the top two teams in the Central Division. At the least, I think the Blues keep it a one-goal game, and I definitely won’t be surprised if they win it outright, though Dallas is playing very well right now too.
Moneyline
Blue Jackets over Flyers
Columbus has definitely been hurt by the losses of Seth Jones and Cam Atkinson, with a 3-3-4 record in its previous 10 entering Wednesday. I think the Jackets find a way to beat the Flyers here, though. Philly just hasn’t been a very good road team all season, and Columbus is a tough barn when coach John Tortorella has the last change.
Moneyline
Blues over Coyotes
This should be a tight, likely low-scoring game. I like the Blues to win on the moneyline, even though Arizona has played a bit better of late. St. Louis looked like its old stingy defensive self the other night with a shutout win over New Jersey. The Blues are 19-6-5 at Enterprise Center this season. It’s just a tough place to win for a visitor.
Puck Line
Islanders over Red Wings
The New York Islanders are in a severe goal drought right now. The good news for them is the Detroit Red Wings are in town. I think the Isles take out their frustrations in a big way and beat the awful Wings by at least a couple goals on the puck line.
Moneyline
Avalanche over Ducks
The Honda Center has often been a house of horrors for the visiting Avalanche, but I think the Avs find a way to get two points here. Anaheim is just playing out the string now, while Colorado still very much wants to win the Central Division. The key here will be whether backup goalie Pavel Francouz can get the job done, with starter Philipp Grubauer still ailing. It probably will be a close game, but I think the Avs have it.

Featured NHL Stories

NHL Power Rankings & Stanley Cup 2020 Odds
Adrian Dater for Bookies.com
Adrian Dater
187-138 (57.5%) 38-16 L54 (70.1%)
More About Adrian Dater

NHL Power Rankings & Stanley Cup 2020 Odds

NHL All-Star Game 2020 Betting Guide & Top Wagers to Back
Adrian Dater for Bookies.com
Adrian Dater
187-138 (57.5%) 38-16 L54 (70.1%)
More About Adrian Dater

NHL All-Star Game 2020 Betting Guide & Top Wagers to Back

Why Should I Trust Bookies for NHL Expert Picks?

If you place a bet on a sporting event, you are already confident. You have just put your money where your mouth is, after all. You’ve done your homework, and you’re expecting success. With us, this is our business, so we’re even more confident. Our writers, with more than three decades of NHL experience, are always studying the game, paying close attention to past performance, trends, injuries, starting goalies and anything else that can help bettors make more informed decisions. You can never have too much information, and when that info comes from trusted sources dedicated to the game, it’s even more useful.

Are the Best Odds Always Shown for Each NHL Pick?

Yes. There are different odds given by different bookmakers. Usually, they are very close, but not always, and even a small difference in the odds can add up night after night. The good news at Bookies.com is that you can compare real-time odds from multiple sportsbooks that are all legal, licensed and regulated in the states they operate in. You’ll always know where the best value lies at any given moment, including the many NHL futures odds offered.

How Can I Do My Own Research For NHL Picks?

Doing your own research is still important, and one of the best ways is to follow some NHL beat writers’ Twitter accounts for the latest on the teams you are most likely to be betting on. A personnel change at the last minute might go unnoticed by others, but usually a beat writer will post it. 

Study sites where NHL goalies’ home and road records are posted. Maybe they’re a lock at home, but struggle on the road? Same with offensive skaters. Data is king when it comes to NHL betting.

Best of all, stay on top of Bookies.com’s news articles. They are always tailored toward how specific information will affect the potential outcome of a game’s puck line, moneyline or over-under.

How Do NHL Picks Using the Puck Line Work?

In hockey, the puck line is another term for “the spread.” And since most NHL games rarely exceed seven or eight goals total, the puck line is almost always minus 1.5 goals. If you’re going to “beat the spread” in NHL betting parlance, the team you bet on must win by two goals or more.

Payouts are always better on puck line wins when you bet -1.5. You don’t have to have a game decided by two or more goals to win on the puck line, though. If you bet on a team to win on the “reverse puck line,” that means you are getting 1.5 goals. As long as that team either wins outright or loses by ONLY ONE GOAL, you win the bet. However, the odds on reverse puck lines are not as good as moneyline or puck line bets.

Does Home-Ice Really Matter?

Compared to, say, the NBA, playing at home is not as much of an advantage to teams. Experienced hockey bettors already know this, but why is this the case? 

A lot of reasons, but in general:

  1. It’s just harder to score goals than put up points in basketball or football games. Teams rarely can race out to big leads and just pack it in the rest of the game.
  2. A hot goalie can always make for a tough night, even against the best of teams.
  3. Coaches are so good today at devising strategies to slow opponents, especially on the road. Visiting teams generally play a more conservative style, which often makes for closer games that they can steal in overtime or a shootout.

Home teams do get the “last change,” meaning they can pair the players they want against the road team’s players, and that can and does often matter. But in general, you have a better chance of winning road underdog bets in the NHL than you do other sports.

I’ve Made My NHL Pick, Now What?

You’ve made your decision after studying the trends, including Bookies.com’s NHL consensus tool, and have checked for late developments and evaluated the odds at Bookies.com. Your next step is to select the best odds, click on that moneyline, puck line or over-under and head to the sportsbook to lock in your selection.

For first-time bettors, remember that many sportsbooks provide promo codes for bonus offers/bets that will give you a little extra cash to throw around. After that, sit back, relax and cheer on your team.