How Do We Generate Our Expert NHLPicks?
Our picks are generated via three central channels, starting with our NHL experts breaking down the key details and picks ahead of the big games across the league. The betting.com NHL coverage also leans on insights from experienced handicappers and AI-driven predictions.
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Moneyline NHL Picks
When it comes to moneyline betting, you are simply answering one question: which team will win the game? The margin of victory is not a factor. Here, a win is a win.
NHL Picks Against The Spread
Spread betting (or Puck Lines betting) focuses on the scoreline and margin of victory/defeat. The oddsmakers will set an over/under line based on the difference in quality and form between the two teams – but given the low-scoring nature of the NHL, the over/under line usually sits around 1.5. As a result, in many cases, you may just prefer to bet the moneyline.
Best NHL Picks For The Season
- Atlantic Division, Eastern Conference: Understandably, all eyes will be on the Tampa Bay Lightning this season after back-to-back Stanley Cup successes. With their biggest stars still under contract, there is every reason to expect the Lightning to make another deep playoff run. The sceptics will point to some of the depth they lost this offseason, but Tampa Bay are going to make plenty of noise as long as the Andrei Vasilevskiy-Victor Hedman-Nikita Kucherov trio is healthy. After another agonising postseason exit, the Toronto Maple Leafs are running out of time to fulfill their potential but their top-tier talent should spark another strong regular season. Make no mistake, the stakes are high for Auston Matthews, John Tavares and Mitch Marner this year. With age threatening to catch up with the Boston Bruins, the door is open for other contenders to emerge, including the Florida Panthers, who are primed for a big leap behind duo Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov, and even the Ottawa Senatorsif they can fast-track their rebuild. After a fairytale run to the Stanley Cup last season, the Montreal Canadiens are likely to crash back to earth this year, especially after losing Shea Weber to injury, while the Detroit Red Wings appear at least a year away from being a playoff threat despite acquiring highly-rated goalie Alex Nedeljkovic. The Buffalo Sabres are the favourites to prop up this division, just adding to the uncertainty around phenom Jack Eichel’s future. The pick: Lightning (+150)
- Metropolitan Division, Eastern Conference: The race for top spot in this division should go down to the wire, even if the New York Islanders seemingly start with a slight edge. The Islanders have enjoyed postseason success with their “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” approach. They welcome back Anders Lee from an ACL injury and will depend on the steady play of Matt Barzal. If all the pieces fall into place, the Islanders might be the biggest threat to the Lightning in the East. For the Carolina Hurricanes, one of last season’s success stories, much depends again on Sebastian Aho as the spark for a playoff run, but they have the talent to push the Islanders all the way if they stay healthy and there is optimism that their young core will be even more polished this year. Artemi Panarin and the New York Rangers are a trendy pick to exceed expectations this year but will need some time to gel after an action-packed offseason – and they may have a few more moves to make. The Washington Capitals have the veteran savvy to force their way into the Stanley Cup conversation, even if they save their best form for the postseason. Behind Alex Ovechkin, pencil in the Capitals as a playoff team. The Pittsburgh Penguins are banking on the same formula as Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin embark on another postseason push – but it remains to be seen whether that duo can manage the heavy lifting. Watch out for the Philadelphia Flyers this year after one of the NHL’s busier offseasons, headlined by the addition of defenseman Ryan Ellis. While the rebuilding Columbus Blue Jackets stand out as the weakest team in the Metropolitan, don’t sleep on the New Jersey Devils either as they try to transition from “rebuild” to “contention”. The pick: Islanders (+300)
- Central Division, Western Conference: Last season seemed to be shaping up perfectly for the Colorado Avalanche to reach the Stanley Cup before a Conference Semifinals setback. Fueled by the hunger to avenge that disappointment, the Avalanche are expected to go close again. Losing goalie Philipp Grubauer in free agency hurts, but the Nathan MacKinnon line is among the most prolific in the NHL. The Winnipeg Jets served notice of their blossoming talent in the 2021 playoffs and bring back a well balanced roster led by Mark Scheifele. They should get another crack at the postseason this year. The Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues stand out as veteran-laden teams itching for another playoff run. For the Stars, that depends on a huge season from Miro Heiskanen, while the Blues will lean on holdovers from their 2019 Stanley Cup run. The Minnesota Wild are rightly receiving some under-the-radar buzz as the division’s dark horse contender – and that status was boosted by re-signing Kirill Kaprizov. Do not be surprised if the Wild end up pushing the Avalanche close at the Central Division summit. The Chicago Blackhawks are heading for a crossroads but could exceed expectations if Seth Jones and Patrick Kane hit top form. The likelier scenario is that they slide towards the bottom of the division alongside the Nashville Predators (regression candidate) and Arizona Coyotes (eyeing future draft picks). The pick: Avalanche (-260)
- Pacific Division, Western Conference: For the Vegas Golden Knights, the 2021 playoffs were a missed opportunity, falling to the Canadiens when they had the stronger team on paper. Still, they are well placed to get back to the NHL’s final four this year. This is an experienced, balanced roster and should move on seamlessly with Robin Lehner replacing Marc-Andre Fleury between the pipes. There is major pressure on the Edmonton Oilers after being swept out of the playoffs last season, but this could be the year that they put things together around superstar duo Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. The offseason addition of Zach Hyman will help. Anything short of the Conference Finals could prompt big changes in Edmonton. The Vancouver Canucks profile well as a bounceback team this season, with a solid core and the potential for Elias Pettersson to make another leap. If the Canucks falter, the LA Kings are another contender to crash the party near the top of the Pacific after retooling around Anze Kopitar. The Seattle Kraken should be NHL-ready defensively but the newcomers look short on offensive firepower, while the Calgary Flames are a popular pick for improvement in the win column if Johnny Gaudreau has a big year. The Anaheim Ducksare years away from competing for the playoffs and could end up with the NHL’s worst regular season record, and they could be joined at the bottom of the division by the San Jose Sharks, who are working their way through a reset of their own. The pick: Golden Knights (-200)
- Hart Memorial Trophy (Regular Season MVP) Connor McDavid won this award for the second time in 2021 but the Oilers’ playoff meltdown took some of the gloss off his terrific regular season. There are plenty of other contenders for this award, starting with McDavid’s Edmonton team-mate Leon Draisaitl (2020 winner) and the Maple Leafs’ goal-machine Auston Matthews. But we like the Nathan MacKinnon narrative this season if the Avalanche finish at the top of the Central Division and he maintains his electric form. The pick: MacKinnon (+600)
- Vezina Trophy (Best Goalie) Marc-Andre Fleury scooped this award last season, but Andrei Vasilevskiy provided a timely reminder in the playoffs that he is the top goalie in the NHL. Given that some felt Vasilevskiy was snubbed for the trophy in 2021, he is well placed to garner votes this year if he continues to post shutouts for the Lightning. The Winnipeg Jets’ Connor Hellebuyck is another interesting contender, but Vasilevskiy stands out as the pick here, even with short odds. The pick: Vasilevskiy (+350)
- Calder Memorial Trophy (Best Rookie) Cole Caufield grabbed the headlines with his 2021 postseason play and should have a slight edge in this award race. Caufield remains eligible having only played ten regular season games last year and seems to have the clearest path to the ice time needed to take home the Calder Trophy. Even if the Montreal Canadiens take a step back, Caufield’s production should remain steady. Trevor Zegras is in a similar position with the Anaheim Ducks – he got 20+ games under his belt last season and should feature prominently – but the Ducks’ overall struggles in the win/loss column could hold him back. Other (longer shot) contenders include Moritz Seider (Detroit Red Wings) and Jeremy Swayman (Boston Bruins). The pick: Caufield (+225)
- Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy (Top Goalscorer) This award, dominated by Ovechkin over the past decade but won by Matthews in 2021, should be a tight battle this season. Matthews’ short odds (+350) are less appealing than those for some of the NHL’s other elite scorers, from McDavid to Ovechkin to Draisaitl. With the Bruins leaning more on David Pastrnak than ever, look for the Boston superstar to muscle his way into the mix too. The pick: Pastrnak (+1100)
- Norris Trophy (Best Defenseman) Cale Makar ( Avalanche) is the favourite in this category, followed by last year’s winner Adam Fox (Rangers). But there is some solid value further down the list in a category that has the potential to be an open race. Morgan Rielly is worth a look if you like the Maple Leafs to dominate the Eastern Conference while Miro Heiskanen is a sneaky pick to take his play up another notch in Dallas, where he has been a consistent clutch performer. The pick: Heiskanen (+1600)
- Jack Adams Award (Best Coach) Jon Cooper (Lightning) and Joel Quenneville (Panthers) are co-favourites at around +650, and you can easily make the case for both. Cooper has a powerhouse, experienced core in Tampa Bay while Florida are set to emerge as a regular season force. But we expect a strong response from the Maple Leafs after an offseason of reflection and, setting aside postseason demons, a healthy roster has a shot to top the Atlantic Division, making Sheldon Keefe an appealing longer shot in this category. The pick: Keefe (+1200)
- Presidents’ Trophy (Best Regular Season Record) With this category, throw out any concerns about a team’s ability to get the job done in the playoffs. It is purely a regular season award. There are four main contenders here – the Avalanche, Lightning, Maple Leafs and Golden Knights, and it would be somewhat surprising to see this award bagged by a team outside that shortlist. We are leaning towards Colorado, given their hunger to make amends for last season and the lack of a proven threat in the Central Division. The pick: Avalanche (+250)
NHL Playoffs Picks
Eastern Conference Playoff Teams
Lightning, Islanders, Maple Leafs, Hurricanes, Panthers, Capitals, Flyers, Bruins
Lightning over Bruins, Islanders over Flyers, Maple Leafs over Capitals, Hurricanes over Panthers
Lightning over Hurricanes, Islanders over Maple Leafs
Lightning over Islanders
Western Conference Playoff Teams
Avalanche, Golden Knights, Oilers, Jets, Wild, Stars, Canucks, Kings
Avalanche over Kings, Golden Knights over Canucks, Oilers over Stars, Wild over Jets
Avalanche over Wild, Oilers over Golden Knights
Avalanche over Oilers
Stanley Cup Avalanche (+450) over Lightning
This clash of two elite teams with proven superstar leaders would have all the makings of a classic series. The toll of three straight Stanley Cup runs might finally catch up with the Lightning at this last step so we give the slight edge to MacKinnon and the Avalanche.
With an array of awards to wager on and a fascinating race for Stanley Cup glory, the NHL is set up for a rollercoaster season. From veteran teams chasing one last playoff run to up-and-coming rosters desperate to taste the latter rounds of the postseason, get ready for a competitive regular season and more all-time playoff moments.