This article is part of our NHL Picks series.
We've got a triple-header of NHL playoff action on this fine Sunday! Let's take a look at the best NHL bets for today.
Best NHL Bets Today
Hurricanes vs Devils
This series hasn't even been close through its first two games. The Hurricanes have won both contests by a combined score of 11-1, eerily reminiscent of the Devils' first-round matchup against the Rangers where they lost both Games 1 & 2 by 5-1 tallies. The Canes have dominated play at all ends of the ice, and have chased Devils netminder Akira Schmid in both games. The best part is, they're beating the Devils at their own game. The Devils are supposed to be a fast-skating, tightly-structured, win-with-depth kind of team. But the Canes are all of that and are just doing it better. Way better. Captain Jordan Staal has one goal and two assists and a +4 rating while shutting down Jack Hughes and company. Hughes, Jesper Bratt, Nico Hischier, and Ondrej Palat have all been held scoreless through two games. Will things change now that the series shifts back to New Jersey? It did in the first round for the Devils, even though they lost Games 1 & 2 on home ice before winning Games 3 & 4 on the road. I don't think the Devils get swept, and I don't think they lose three straight, so I'm riding them tonight in what is essentially a must-win game.
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook
Devils ML -135
Nico Hischier (NJ) over 0.5 points -165
Timo Meier (NJ) over 3.5 shots on goal +105
Maple Leafs vs Panthers
These Panthers, though… Are they going to pull a 2014 Kings, barely sneaking into the playoffs as the eighth seed, steamrolling their conference opponents on the way to a Cup win? There's a major argument to be made for that. Matthew Tkachuk is having a Conn Smythe performance. Sam Bennett is a one-man wrecking crew a la Dustin Brown of the Kings' past. Brandon Montour is playing at an elite level on the back end. And Sergei Bobrovsky has surged in net. A 2-0 series lead for them is strong, but a 3-0 series lead would all but seal it, so this is a must-win for the Leafs. But the Leafs were buzzing in Game 2 and even jumped out to a 2-0 lead before surrendering three unanswered goals to lose. They've been surprisingly bad on home ice in these playoffs, too, but managed to win three games on the road against the Lightning in the first round. Road teams in these playoffs have been exceptional overall, so home-ice advantage may not be what it once was. I am taking the road team in this one.
Maple Leafs ML -130
Ryan O'Reilly (TOR) over 0.5 points -135
Auston Matthews (TOR) over 4.5 shots on goal -130
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Stars vs Kraken
This series is knotted up at 1-1, with the Kraken winning Game 1 in overtime and the Stars winning 4-2 in Game 2. The Kraken pounced on the Stars in Game 1 with a four-goal first period, with three of those coming all in one minute late in the frame. Joe Pavelski's return to the lineup has been a major boost for the Stars, as he already has five goals in these two games. It'll be interesting to see who scores first in this one. Dallas is the only team to spend more time leading games than Seattle has, so getting out in front is a major indicator for either team's success. This matchup also pits two hot goaltenders against one another with Philipp Grubauer and Jake Oettinger. Both teams fire a lot of pucks on net, so who can steal a game tonight? I think Grubauer does on home ice.
Kraken ML +120
Oliver Bjorkstrand (SEA) over 2.5 shots on goal -130
Jaden Schwartz (SEA) over 0.5 points +100