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NHL picks and NHL predictions for every game of the 2020/21 NHL season. We crunch the numbers, analyze the data, and provide free NHL expert picks each and every day of the regular season and in the NHL Playoffs and Stanley Cup Finals.
The Pittsburgh Penguins dominated the New York Rangers on Sunday night in a 5-1 win. They have now won four out of their five meetings against the Rangers this season. New York was able to get off to a 1-0 lead before Pittsburgh countered with three goals in the span of 61 seconds in the first period. The Rangers were without their starting goaltender, Igor Shesterkin, due to a groin injury and the Penguins took full advantage. They scored five goals on only 24 shots against New York’s two backup goaltenders. Kasperi Kapanen came up big for the Penguins as he assisted on two goals and found the back of the net for one of his own. Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby were able to each chip in for a goal and proved that the Penguins offense was far too much for a backup goaltender to handle. With Shesterkin likely still being sidelined for their matchup on Tuesday, expect Pittsburgh to win back-to-back games against the Rangers.
The Rangers were on a three-game winning streak coming into their two-game series with the Penguins. However, their three wins came against the bottom two teams in the East Division and were unable to continue their hot streak against a much superior opponent. New York is still without their best player in Artemi Panarin due to personal reasons and there has been no report on when Panarin is expected to rejoin the team. There are just too many loose ends for New York right now, take the Penguins money line in this one.
Pittsburgh has been one of the best teams in the NHL at hitting the over this season with a record of 14-9-1 to the over. If they’re able to go up against Alexandar Georgiev again in the crease for New York, their offense should once again take advantage. Georgiev gave up three goals on only six shots in their matchup on Sunday to bring his season save percentage to .897. This allowed for Keith Kinkaid to take over as netminder for his first appearance on the year and he allowed two goals on just 18 shots. Pittsburgh ranks in the top fifteen of the NHL in average goals for per game and top ten in average goals against per game, which sets this game up to be a high scoring affair. Take the over six goals in this one.
The race in the Central Division is tight and the Florida Panthers sit right in the mix. The Panthers have two wins in their last three games and are 8-2-1 on the road as they head to Columbus to face the Blue Jackets on Tuesday night. Florida will start Sergei Bobrovsky, who has won three of his last four starts with a .920 save percentage and 2.70 goals against average over those games. The Panthers’ stars lead the team both on and off the ice and that has been clear in their games of late. Jonathan Huberdeau is playing inspired hockey with five points in his last three games, but not to be out done is Aleksander Barkov who has seven assists over his last five games as he is on a six-game point streak. These two will pick apart a Blue Jackets defense that is not buying into John Tortorella’s system.
Columbus has lost six of their last eight games and has a goals for average of only 2.62. Players can tell this is a sinking ship and are looking at the possibility of being traded. Seth Jones is minus 11 on the year and looks to be battling an injury while Max Domi has not fit into Columbus as he is minus 13 and can’t be trusted in the defensive zone. But the big trade that was supposed to boost the Blue Jackets has not worked out as Patrik Laine is minus seven on the year and has no points in his last six games. Even captain Nick Foligno has no goals over his last 13 games and this Columbus team will be easy pickings for the Panthers.
Take the Panthers.
Florida is a fast team that is always looking to take the puck to the net and they sit first in shots per game at 34.1. The team is averaging 3.29 goals per game which is led by their top forwards, but don’t forget about stud defenseman Aaron Ekblad who has six points over his last three games and is the leader on the power play which is at 24.7%. In order for this game to go over the total number the Panthers will have to do the majority of the heavy lifting but it is a perfect fit against Columbus who gives up an average of 31 shots per game and 3.19 goals against per game. The Panthers last three games have gone over the total number as they look to stay sharp against the teams at the bottom of the division in order to catch the teams at the top.
Take the Over.
The Boston Bruins will travel to Long Island to try and slow down the red-hot New York Islanders, who are riding an eight-game point streak. The Islanders have won seven of those eight games to launch them into first place in the East Division. New York is a perfect 3-0 vs the Bruins this year including a 7-2 win in their most recent game. The Islanders are nearly unbeatable on home ice as their 10-0-2 record is hands down the most impressive in the league. The Bruins are coming off a very disappointing loss on Sunday as they were shutout by New Jersey, who was playing their backup goalie and coming off a back-to-back. Boston has flexed their muscle vs the majority of the East Division this year, but they are a shocking 1-6 vs the Devils and the Islanders.
Boston’s power-play has fallen into a bit of a slump and while they likely heat things up again soon it won’t be easy for them to do so vs the Islanders. The Islanders are killing off 83.3% of their penalties and are the third least penalized team in the league. The Bruins will miss Brandon Carlo who is a very underrated defensemen that the oddsmakers won’t account for enough for the value he brings to Boston. Jaroslav Halak gets the nod in net for the Bruins, who is a great backup but a step below Tuukka Rask. Take the Islanders to edge out a close game and skate away with the two points for their sixth straight win.
Expect the New York Islanders to try and replicate the same defensive minded game plan that has worked for them so well vs the Bruins this year. Boston doesn’t seem to matchup well vs the Islanders as they have scored just four times in the three games this year. Semyon Varlamov will get the start for the Islanders which is not good news for the Bruins. Varlamov is 11-4-3, has a 2.10 GAA, and a .926 SV% to go along with three shutouts. He has been a big reason why the Islanders have held opponents to 2.2 goals per game. The Bruins are not far behind the Islanders in terms of their defensive play. Boston has allowed the fourth least number of goals per game and owns the league’s best penalty kill which is 89.2% successful. Halak gets the start over Rask but his 2.24 GAA and .913 SV% are nothing to scoff at. Expect a playoff-like atmosphere in this one with the total staying under the number.
The Washington Capitals are coming off of a big win on the road over the weekend against the Philadelphia Flyers. They have now won five out of their last six games and are just two points behind the New York Islanders for first place in the East Division. Now they return home to take on the New Jersey Devils who sit in second to last place in the division standings. The Capitals have won all three previous meetings against the Devils this season by a combined margin of 12-7. Ilya Samsonov had an excellent game in the crease for the Capitals on Sunday, ending the game with 36 saves and a .973 save percentage. An elite goaltender makes Washington a very tough team to beat when paired with its electric offense that averages 3.21 goals per game. The Capitals have had no problems with the Devils so far this season and this one should be no different. Take the Capitals -1.5 at plus money in this one.
New Jersey was able to snap their five-game losing streak on Sunday with a 1-0 win over the Boston Bruins. Scott Wedgewood was tremendous in the crease for the Devils, recording his second shutout of the season in a 40 save win. New Jersey’s offense is ranked in the bottom five of the NHL in average goals with 2.43 per game and will struggle to keep up with the Capitals. Washington knows how important it is to pick up points against teams at the bottom of the division and won’t overlook the Devils. Take Washington to win and cover the -1.5 puck line on Tuesday night.
This matchup features two (likely but not officially announced) goaltenders that are coming off of outstanding performances in which they each finished with over 35 saves. The last meeting between these two teams went under six total goals and the same should be expected on Tuesday night. The Devils have improved their biggest flaw defensively; their penalty kill. New Jersey has killed off 86.7 percent of the penalties they’ve faced in the last six games, including two in their win over Boston. One thing that has stayed the same however has been their struggles on offense. They are among the worst in the league in average goals per game and also in power play percentage. They have only been able to convert on 12.9 percent of their power play opportunities this season and going up against Washington who has a top ten penalty kill unit in the NHL will not be a great matchup for the Devils. Take the under six goals in this one.
The Carolina Hurricanes will look to continue their dream season on Tuesday night as they host the Nashville Predators. The Hurricanes sit one point out of first in the Central Division after winning five in a row and extending their home record to 8-1-1. Carolina has a goals-against average of 2.67, which is showcasing its commitment to team first hockey and helping netminder James Reimer–who is 11-3 on the season and over his last four starts he has an amazing .920 save percentage and a goals-against average of 2.22. The Hurricanes might have one of the best trios up the middle with Sebastian Aho, Vincent Trocheck, and Jordan Staal. First-line center Aho has five points in his last four games, second-line center Trocheck has six points in his last five games, and third-line center Staal has five points in his last three games. The Hurricanes will be tough to beat this season with that kind of depth.
The Predators have quite a few injuries right now; they will be missing Matt Duchene, Ryan Ellis, Luke Kunin, and starting goalie Juuse Saros. Veteran backup Pekka Rinne will be in net, but he has lost four of his last five starts with a goals-against average over those five games of 4.05. Missing defenseman Ellis is a big hole that the Predators can’t fill, as they put Roman Josi and Dante Fabbro as the top pair. Josi is minus-5 over the last two games and Fabbro is minus-3 over the last three games. Carolina will likely expose the Predators’ defensemen, who have the fifth-highest goals-against per game at 3.28. The Hurricanes will probably win this game by a lot; take the -1.5 puck line.
The Predators will be playing their third game in four nights and are 4-7 on the road this season. They will be tired and can’t figure out how play special teams, as they sit in the bottom three of penalty killing at 70.2 percent. That won’t be good when facing the Hurricanes’ fourth-best powerplay at 29.5 percent. Carolina is scoring at will of late with a 3.38 goals per game average, which is spread out throughout their lineup. Carolina will look to create chances off of turnovers and use their speed to force odd-man rushes to increase scoring chances. The ‘Canes average 31.7 shots per game and their last three games have gone over the total number. Nashville always seems to be in high-scoring games as they try to play catch up after giving up the first goal. Their last four have gone over the total number and this game will likely be no different as both teams will trade chances. Take the over.
The Buffalo Sabres have been one of the biggest disappointments this season, especially after signing an MVP-caliber player in Taylor Hall during the offseason. Given that Buffalo has the worst record in the NHL, the Philadelphia Flyers should be able to get a win here. With all of the talent on the Sabres roster, it’s absolutely shocking they’ve performed as poorly as they have through their first 23 games of the season. They are on a seven-game losing streak and have had nothing to celebrate this year. They have a goal differential of minus-23, the third worst in the league; that can be attributed to their poor offensive performance from their elite level talent like Jack Eichel. Eichel was scoring 1.15 points per game last season, but he only has 18 points in 21 games this year. Although the supporting cast hasn’t shown any signs of life, his statistical dropoff is a key reason why Buffalo has struggled this season.
The Sabres are 4-7-1 on the road, so Philly should be able to capitalize. The Flyers are scoring the eighth-most goals per game at 3.23, while the Sabres have the third-worst average in the league by only scoring 2.17 per game. Additionally, Philadelphia has the second-best shooting percentage–scoring on 11.8 percent of shots. Buffalo has the third-worst average with only 7.6 percent finding the back of the net. The Flyers have also averaged the third best faceoff percentage, winning 53.4 percent of draws. If they can maintain possession against a struggling Sabres team, they should manage a routine victory. Take the puck line.
Although Buffalo has been struggling to generate offense, there are enough offensive threats in this game to consider the over. In their last three meetings against each other, Philly shut out the Sabres 3-0 three times in a row. In sports, especially hockey, it’s difficult to keep your opponent off the scoresheet in one game let alone four in a row. Expect Buffalo to come out swinging on Tuesday and they should improve on their previous three attempts. If the Flyers can maintain close to their season average of 3.23 goals per game or exceed it, this one should have a decent chance at hitting the over. Taking into consideration the Sabres’ season struggles, Philly might even manage more goals than expected. Go with the over.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are 8-3-2 on the road this season, so playing in Detroit against a poorly built Detroit Red Wings team should bode well for them. The Red Wings are currently on a three-game losing streak and are easily the worst team in their division with a minus-33 goal differential in 26 games played. The Lightning are 2-0 against Detroit this season, and in both instances they covered the spread. Comparing these teams is difficult because they are such polar opposites in terms of how they’re built and how they perform. Tampa is currently averaging the most goals per game with 3.61 and they are have the best shooting percentage at 11.9. On the flip side, Detroit is dead last in both of those statistics, only scoring an abysmal 2.08 goals per game and scoring on 7.3 percent of their shots. The Lightning have the fifth-best powerplay, capitalizing 28.7 percent of the time; the Wings have the second worst powerplay, only scoring 10.7 percent of the time with the man advantage.
Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy has established himself as the best goalie in the league; he is arguably leading the race for the Vezina Trophy (awarded to the league’s best goaltender). He is currently leading the league with 15 wins while posting an incredible 1.73 GAA and .939 SVP. Some nights he looks unstoppable, and he’s currently on a six-game winning streak. Vasilevskiy is already 2-0 against Detroit this season, stopping a combined 42 of 44 shots on goal. Frankly, he’s too good to bet against on any night; the fact that he’s facing the Red Wings should reassure all bettors to an even greater extent. Take the puck line here.
Combine Vasilevskiy’s season totals with Detroit’s offensive struggles and this one is likely an under. These two teams have combined for 10 goals in their two games against each other–eight of the goals coming from Tampa Bay. Tampa has the firepower to hit the over themselves on any given night, but their track record against Detroit this season has us looking at the under. The Lightning have held Detroit to only one goal against per game this season, and that trend is likely to continue. In their last 10 games, Tampa Bay has averaged 3.3 goals–not enough to warrant a lock one way or the other. Take the under here, but proceed with caution.
The Dallas Stars and Chicago Blackhawks will begin a two-game series in Dallas (the second leg is on Thursday) when they collide on Tuesday night. The Stars made a run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2019-20, but this season has been an unmitigated disaster so far. They have lost 13 of their 20 games and have had eight postponed because of Covid-19 issues. Things are especially bad at the moment, as Dallas has lost five of its last six and 13 of its last 17.
It is a much different story for the Blackhawks, who went into the 2021 campaign with low expectations but find themselves at 13-8-5 heading into this one. They are coming off a setback against defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay but have not lost two games in row since late January. Patrick Kane is up to his usual tricks with 11 goals and a whopping 27 assists. Chicago is 6-1 in its last seven on the road, 6-1 in its last seven against opponents with losing records, and 5-2 in the last seven meetings between the two teams. The Stars are 3-13 in their last 16 overall, 1-7 in their last eight at home, and 1-5 in their last six that are the fourth of a four games in six days situation. Go with the Blackhawks.
Something has to give here, because Chicago generally plays high-scoring affairs whereas Dallas has a terrible time lighting the lamp but can sometimes play decent defense. In seven of the Stars’ last eight outings, the losing team has not scored more than two goals (four have been shutouts). Dallas goalie Anton Khudobin is sporting a 2.60 goals-against average and .913 save percentage. Malcolm Subban has been just as effective for the ‘Hawks, with a 2.63 goals-against average and .918 save percentage. The under is 7-2 in the Blackhawks’ last nine on the road. It is also 5-1-2 in the Stars’ last eight overall and 2-0-2 in their last four playing on one day of rest. Additionally, the under is 5-0 in the last five meetings between the two teams and 5-0 in Chicago’s last five trips to Dallas. Lean toward the under.
NHL picks and NHL predictions for every game of the 2021 season. We crunch the numbers, analyze the data, and provide free NHL expert picks each and every day. The NHL is exciting to wager on and there are plenty of opportunities for wins with a rescheduled and reshaped 56-game season running from 13th January 2021 through to a last possible day of the Stanley Cup set for July 9th, 2021.
The Tampa Bay Lightning were crowned Stanley Cup Champions in September 2020 after defeating the Dallas Stars 4-2 in the Stanley Cup to win their second-ever title. Lots of hockey is to be played in 2021 before we find out who the next Stanley Cup champions will be, but it’s the Colorado Avalanche that is the pre-season favorite at +700.
Following a four-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the NHL chose to forgo the remaining regular-season games, instead, seeing 24 teams return to compete for the Stanley Cup. With the NHL season concluding on September 28th following Tampa Bay Lightning’s Stanley Cup victory.
With this in mind, the 2020-2021 NHL schedule has been disrupted and it now aiming to kick off on January 13th, 2021, with a last possible date for the conclusion of the Stanley Cup set for July 9th, 2021.
Here are the key dates for the 2021 NHL schedule. As with all sport in the current climate, these dates are assumptive and open to change following Covid-19 developments.
Unquestionably the biggest change to the 2021 NHL season schedule is the realignment of the divisions. The two leading factors for what was an expected realignment is the reduction of travel across the US and the fact the US/Canada border is currently closed and travel restricted due to the pandemic.
Resulting from this, the divisions were realigned which includes an all-Canadian division, title the North division. There are also three more realigned divisions named East, West, and Central, as their names will suggest, divisions, have been regionalized to reduce travel across the United States, as teams will only play against other teams in their division throughout the NHL regular-season schedule.
Teams in the West, Central, and East Divisions will face each of their seven opponents eight times while in the North Division, the teams will face their six divisional rivals either nine or 10 times.
The breakdown of each division and the teams in them can be found below.
Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, and Winnipeg Jets
Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, San Jose Sharks, St Louis Blues, and Vegas Golden Knights
Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators, and Tampa Bay Lightning
Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Washington Capitals
The 2020-21 NHL season will see the league break from its traditional wild-card format come the NHL playoffs. Instead, the top four teams from the four realigned divisions will progress into the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs to make up 16 playoff-bound teams.
From there, the top seed in each division will face the fourth seed within their division, while the second will face the third. The winners of each playoff series will face off in the second divisional round of the playoffs to determine a winner from each of the four divisions. Once the divisional bracketing is taken care of, the four remaining playoff teams will be re-seeded to play for a place in the Stanley Cup Finals.
As things currently stand, the NHL regular season is set to conclude on May 8th, 2021, and the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs are due to start just three days later on the 11th of May. The Playoffs will be played through the remainder of May and June, with the latest finish date set for July 9th to reduce the knock-on effect the season will have on next year’s campaign. Lots of hockey is to be played between now and the NHL playoffs and with the pandemic a moving, fluid situation for league officials to navigate, these days are provisional and much like other sports in 2020 and into 2021, disruptions are likely to occur.
NHL betting is most similar to that of the MLB. The most popular NHL wagering is done via the Moneyline (ML) where a bettor simply picks a winner or loser of the game finding value in the price. Just like an MLB pitcher, NHL game lines are determined largely in part by the goaltender matchup. You’re going to pay a premium price (-180 or more) for putting in an NHL free pick on a solid goaltender – but it’s one position that can literally win or lose the bet for you. Fatigue is also a factor in finding the best NHL free bets as Team A may be playing their first game in a week while Team B is in their 3rd contest in 5 nights.
We try to post our NHL predictions for today at least 24 hours in advance. However, due to the huge volume of games, this can sometimes be impossible if teams are playing back-to-back games. We want to get our picks up as close as possible to the opening lines so we can get on the early line value.
We provide insight into each game of all 31 teams’ seasons. This includes sides, puck lines, and totals based on trends, injuries, schedule, value, and more. There’s a lot of hockey being played on each and every night which is why our free expert NHL picks are so valuable.
NHL betting has a 1.5 goal spread known as the puck line (PL). Again just like baseball betting has the run line (-1.5). NHL wagers are exciting until the very last second of the game as teams often pull their goaltender near the end to get an extra skater on the ice. All of a sudden an empty-net goal pushes your NHL free pick to victory – or defeat. Betting on the puck line provides better payout odds and NHL picks against the spread can also be pushed to higher numbers such as -2.5 or 3.5 goals for an even better return on investment.
Most games are listed right around 5.5 goals in the NHL. The total number of goals is the total of combined goals by both teams and you can either select over or under the total. If the line is 5.5 and you wish to wager on the over then the total combined goals for the game must be 6 or more for you to cash your ticket.
NHL over/under betting is an interesting wager. A huge factor to take into consideration is the goaltenders as they have a huge part to play influencing the number of goals in the game. A goaltender’s Goals Against Average (GAA) is a key stat to measure the effectiveness of a goaltender.
If you’re tired of betting on the same NHL markets day in, day out then don’t worry. We have you covered.
NHL teasers aren’t really available because the puck line is already relatively low at -1.5 goals. If you were to combine multiple teams in a wager and get, say, 4 goals added to your side the price wouldn’t be worth the return.
NHL parlays are a very popular option on both Moneyline and puck line plays. The ‘grand salami’ is available to wager, where you bet on all teams at once – whether they all combine to score ‘over’ or ‘under’ a certain amount of goals.
NHL player props are a fun bet to make on NHL games. You can bet on a player to score a goal, a player to score a point, have an assist, first and last goalscorer. For goalie props, you can bet on over/under saves.
NHL live betting is becoming very popular with the rise of online sportsbooks. You can wager on each period line and watch the action happen live.
In addition to free NHL regular season picks, we also provide a detailed breakdown of every single matchup in the postseason. NHL postseason betting is thrilling because each game of a series is crucial and players leave it all on the ice – many times needing OT (or many OTs) to finally decide a winner.
We also specialize in every major North American sport including the following throughout their respective seasons so check out the links below for our top plays right now.
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