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
36-32 (52.9%) L68
Veteran hockey writer Adrian Dater covers NHL betting extensively for Bookies.com and has covered the league for nearly three decades.
TOP PICK
Moneyline
Canucks over Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche still don’t know if they’ll have one of their two regular goalies available for this game. For the past two games, the Avs have had to rely on two goalies who didn’t even start the season with the team. One night it worked out, the other, not so much. The Avs remain just too banged up physically to realistically be expected to go into a place like Vancouver and win. The Canucks ranked eighth in NHL goal-scoring entering Friday. Against what could be the Avs’ third- or fourth-string goalie, the Canucks have too much offense for Colorado, who still are missing two-thirds of their top line.
TOP PICK
Moneyline
Golden Knights over Flames
Two struggling teams meet in the second of a back-to-back for each. The Flames have lost two in a row, the Golden Knights four in a row. Hard to believe Vegas has been as average as it’s been. Coach Gerard Gallant sure is playing Malcolm Subban a lot lately to not-very-impressive results. Time for Gallant to play Marc-Andre Fleury more again and get back to winning ways. I think Vegas will stop their skid in this one against a Flames team that has goaltending problems of its own.
Moneyline
Oilers over Stars
Connor McDavid is coming off a career-high six points (three goals, three assists against Colorado) and Leon Draisaitl is coming off a career-high five-assist game. So, the Dallas Stars are coming in against two very hot star players on Saturday night in Edmonton. The Oilers entered Friday tied with St. Louis for most points in the West, while Dallas has won two in a row on their current road trip through Western Canada. I like McDavid to keep the home fires burning for the Oilers, though. When he’s feeling good, look out.
Moneyline
Blues over Ducks
The Anaheim Ducks got off to a surprisingly fast start but have thudded back to earth of late. Anaheim is 3-5-2 in the last 10 and are one of the league’s top-10 lowest-scoring teams. The defending Stanley Cup champion Blues have been a little off their game in the past week, but they still win much more often than not. Despite having played the night before, I think the Blues will keep adding to the Ducks’ recent woes.
Puck Line
Flames over Golden Knights
Calgary still has a lot of talent, even though the Flames haven’t shown it much of late. One guy who has been a massive disappointment for the Flames is forward Michael Frolik. A regular 30-40-point scorer most of his career, Frolik has just one goal and three points through his first 20 games. This would be a good time for him to get going, as I think the Flames will keep it close despite the loss.
Moneyline
Blackhawks over Sabres
The Chicago Blackhawks are hanging in there, entering as a .500 team. They’ll face a Buffalo Sabres squad that has come back down to earth after a great start. Blackhawks star Patrick Kane is starting to really heat up (at least one goal in his last four games), and he always likes to play against Buffalo, which is his hometown. I see a close game here (almost all of them are in the NHL), but one the Blackhawks should find a way to win at home.

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Adrian Dater for Bookies.com
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36-32 (52.9%) L68
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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.