This article is part of our NHL Picks series.
Huge night in the NHL playoffs tonight! Two close-out opportunities and one chance to take a 3-2 series lead. This will be a fun one. So let's look at the best NHL bets for tonight!
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
NHL Best Bets Tonight
Instead of my usual format where I break down each matchup game-by-game and pick a respective winner for each, I'm going to write this one a little differently.
Road teams are crushing it this year so far. The road underdog won both games last night, and the road teams are 23-14 overall across the entire bracket. The Rangers have won both of their games on the road against the Devils, and the road team has won every game of that series too. The Lightning took Game 1 in Toronto and the Jets took Game 1 in Vegas. All three of these teams are coming off disappointing losses. I think the Rangers are poised to rally tonight, especially since the Prudential Center will be packed with blue-clad Rangers fans anyway. The Lightning just dropped two consecutive overtime losses on home ice, and the Leafs haven't advanced out of the first round since 2004. The Bolts have the pedigree to make it difficult for the Leafs to get the job done, so I like their chances to push them to the brink again tonight. And the whole world is expecting the Jets to lose tonight, so let's fade the public and at least take them to cover the puck line as the underdog.
Rangers ML +100
Lightning PL -195
Jets PL -165
NHL Best Player Props Tonight
Now, who will march these road warriors into battle?
The Rangers need their big guns to fire tonight, and their biggest gun is none other than… Chris Kreider, who has scored more playoff goals than any other player in franchise history. I think Mika Zibanejad is due, so expect him to be buzzing tonight. And a Rangers win starts and ends in net with superstar goaltender Igor Shesterkin and the lockdown D corps in front of him. I wouldn't be surprised if there are several "IGOR IGOR" chants from Rangers fans in the building tonight, not just because he stonewalled the Devils, but also because his D-men barely let them near the crease.
Chris Kreider Over 0.5 points -130
Mika Zibanejad Over 2.5 -145
Igor Shesterkin Under 29.5 saves -135
What a game we have in Toronto tonight. Will the Leafs shake the demons and finally win a First Round series? That'll come down to a few things. First, can Andrei Vasilevskiy channel is normal playoff self and will his team to victory on the road in an elimination game? I think he can. Second, can Nikita Kucherov take over a game as he has in past playoff runs? I think he can. And third, will Steven Stamkos throw everything he's got at the net and pop a few past Ilya Samsonov? I like his chances.
Andrei Vasilevskiy Under 30.5 saves -140
Nikita Kucherov Over 1.5 points +140
Steven Stamkos Over 2.5 shots on goal -130
I almost feel bad for the Jets. They looked so good in their Game 1 win but a few heartbreaking losses later and they're on the brink of elimination. They'll also be without stars Josh Morrissey and Mark Scheifele tonight, but Nicolaj Ehlers may be able to return to give them a boost up front. The Golden Knights completely controlled most of the play in their Game 4 win in Winnipeg, so even though we're taking Jets PL just to take a flyer on the road underdog here, all of the player props are swinging toward Vegas. And we're going back to the core guys from their inaugural season Cup run.
Jonathan Marchessault Over 2.5 shots on goal -135
Reilly Smith Over 2.5 shots on goal +130
William Karlsson Over 0.5 points +100