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
82-61 (57.3%) L143
Veteran hockey writer Adrian Dater covers NHL betting extensively for Bookies.com and has covered the league for nearly three decades.
TOP PICK
Moneyline
Jets over Flyers
The Winnipeg Jets get a lot of these kinds of games: The second of a back-to-back for an opposing team that had to play the night before in Minnesota. Such is the case again here, as the Jets host the Flyers after Philadelphia played the Wild on Saturday night. The Flyers have been jolted with the news that Oskar Lindblom is out for the rest of the season after a cancer diagnosis. They also are missing top scorer Travis Konecny to a concussion. I think the Flyers might take this game to overtime, but I like the Jets to get the two points regardless. They have been playing pretty good hockey for a while.
TOP PICK
Moneyline
Blues over Avalanche
The Avalanche have won their last two games, but they had to hugely rely on goalie Pavel Francouz. I would have liked the Avs to win this game, but that was before news came down that rookie phenom Cale Makar will miss another game with an upper-body injury. With Makar and veteran D-man Erik Johnson still on the shelf, I just don’t think the Avs have the defensive lineup to beat the Blues. These two teams should fight down to the wire for the Central Division title and perhaps for the Western Conference title, but tonight St. Louis should get it done.
Over/Under
Wild-Blackhawks Under
With both teams having played the night before, I forecast a slower, more conservative game here. Usually, that leads to lower-scoring outcomes, so I’ll take the under. As of Saturday, games involving the Blackhawks had hit the under 58.1 percent of the time. Minnesota’s offense has been better of late, but they’ve played quite a bit of hockey in the last week. I think coach Bruce Boudreau will try to win a 2-1-style game here.
Moneyline
Golden Knights over Canucks
The Vegas Golden Knights got a big overtime victory Friday night in Dallas. Can they carry the momentum into this home tilt against Vancouver? I think they will, though Vegas has been an extremely tough team to get a handle on all season for bettors. At 8-6-3, Vegas hasn’t been the dominant home team of the past two seasons. Vancouver is a tough team to predict as well, but they have been mediocre on the road so far. I think the Golden Knights get the win in what could be another close one.
Puck Line
Senators over Panthers
The Panthers have lost three in a row, and continue to play in front of paltry crowds (Florida is averaging 13,085 fans per home game, which ranks 29th in the NHL). The team averaging the worst home attendance in the league - Ottawa - is the Panthers’ opponent on a Monday night. Translation: Good seats still available. The tape of this game probably won’t go straight to the Hockey Hall of Fame, but I think the Senators will stay within a goal of the Panthers here.
Moneyline
Oilers over Stars
The Oilers have been terrible of late, which is why I think they’ll win this game in Dallas. They have been properly chewed out the last few days by demanding coach Dave Tippett, and they have too much talent to go on a really long losing streak. Desperate teams - with talent, that is - usually come through. This feels like the kind of game the Stars might have a letdown, a home game on a Monday night. I think the Oilers get a “Let’s nip this thing in the bud right here”-kind of win in Big D.

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Adrian Dater for Bookies.com
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82-61 (57.3%) L143
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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.