NHL Picks: Stanley Cup Playoff Bets and Player Props for April 23, 2024

NHL Picks: Stanley Cup Playoff Bets and Player Props for April 23, 2024

This article is part of our NHL Picks series.

Best NHL Bets Tonight: Expert NHL Picks for Tuesday's Stanley Cup Playoffs

The first round of the NHL Playoffs are in full swing and we've got a bunch of Game 2s on the board tonight. The home team, and thus the higher-seeded team, won each game in these four respective series in Game 1. 

We've got an absolute barn burner on our hands in the Winnipeg-Colorado series. The Florida-Tampa series is a slugfest already. The quality on the ice was not too exciting in the Rangers-Capitals and Canucks-Predators Game 1s, but the arena atmospheres in New York and Vancouver were electric. There's a lot to love about the slate, so let's sink our teeth into the best NHL bets and player props tonight!

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NHL Best Bets Tonight

Avalanche, Jets over 6.5 (+102 on DraftKings)

Was Game 1 a fluke? 6 total goals were scored in the first period alone, and the game ended in a 7-6 win for Winnipeg. Alexandar Georgiev is looking real shaky in net for Colorado. He's given up 4+ in seven of his last nine overall and has given up 6+ in three of those games. 

The Jets have now scored seven goals in each of their last two meetings with the Avs dating back to an April 13 matchup late in the regular season that ended 7-0. The Jets owned the Avs in the regular season, scoring 17 total goals in their three tilts. 

The Avs have all the potential to get hot though, as you can never count out Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar, and Mikko Rantanen. This one should easily be another high-scoring affair, since I expect the Avs to be peeved off with their Game 1 performance and come out guns blazing, but the Jets will definitely be there to counterpunch.

Lightning, Panthers under 5.5 (+108 on FanDuel)

Andrei Vasilevskiy versus Sergei Bobrovsky. Need I say more? These are two of the best Russian goaltenders of all time. They're impeccable playoff performers. Vasy was basically unbeatable while the Bolts marched to back-to-back Cups, and he only gave up two goals in regulation in Game 1 of this series. Bobrovsky is playing like his former Vezina-winning self, and with the heavy style of play this series is featuring, I think another 2-1 scoreboard is likely late in this one. 

The Lightning didn't even get 20 shots on goal in Game 1 and if it weren't for a super late Steven Stamkos goal they would've only mustered one goal for the game. I don't think either club finds much separation tonight.

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Best NHL Player Props Tonight

Nathan MacKinnon over 4.5 shots on goal (-135 on DraftKings)

A ticked-off MacKinnon is the best MacKinnon. He had 11 shot attempts in Game 1 but only got 4 recorded on target. He's one of the most intense competitors in the league, and it's gotta be irking him that his team scored six goals and still lost. 

I love all of his props tonight, but we'll start with the shots on goal play since Nate should be a major driver of offense for the Avs tonight. He loves playing in the playoffs too. He's averaging nearly six shots on goal in his last 28 playoff contests and has cleared 4.5 shots in 20 of those games. 

J.T. Miller over 0.5 assists (-105 on DraftKings)

Not much stood out for either team in Game 1, but Miller was one of the bright spots in an otherwise sleepy game. He had one assist and was +2. He has 15 assists in his last 20 games, recording at least one assist in 11 of those 20. 

Now that Game 1's feeling-out process is over, I think the scoring opens up for both teams tonight and Miller should definitely be a factor for Vancouver. He gets top-line minutes at even strength and on the power play, and I expect him to be buzzing again in this one.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Grant Leonard
Former Junior B ice hockey player, and current believer that the Washington Capitals' aging core still has another Cup run left in the tank. Writing about hockey and sports betting for RotoWire since 2022.
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