NHL Predictions & Picks

Top NHL Picks and Predictions Today (Best Bets for Day 11 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs)

Iain MacMillan
The Maple Leafs and Lightning will face-off in a pivotal Game 6 on Thursday night.
The Maple Leafs and Lightning will face-off in a pivotal Game 6 on Thursday night. / Claus Andersen/GettyImages

We earned back what we lost on Tuesday last night, by going 2-1 with my three picks. My NHL Playoff record is now sitting at 22-16-1 (+5.68 units) based on the odds included in my Betstamp profile.

We have four Game 6's tonight, and it's likely going to be the last night of the playoffs that we'll have four different games to bet on, so let's take advantage.

Here are my top picks for tonight's slate. All odds listed are via WynnBET Sportsbook.

Hurricanes vs. Bruins Prediction and Pick

With the odds for the OVER 6 in this game being set at +105, that's where I'm going to go with my wager tonight.

Boston has played as strong defensively as I've expected from them this series, and neither has Carolina. They're both averaging over 10 high danger scoring chances per game, and the Hurricanes are also ranking second in shooting percentage in the postseason at 12.67.

If you look at expected goals per 60 minutes, the Bruins and Hurricanes are combining for 6.67, which puts us over the total of six tonight. I'll back on that happening game tonight, especially with it being at plus-money.

Pick: OVER 6 (+105)

Maple Leafs vs. Lightning Prediction and Pick

A series that has been defined by penalties is so tough to handicap. Who will spend more time in the box tonight? When will penalties happen in pivotal moments? It's impossible to tell.

What I can say, is that the Lightning have been the better team in 5-on-5 when you look at the analytics. They have a 5-on-5 CORSI% of 52.69% in the series, and their expected goals per 60 minutes during 5-on-5 play is 2.64 compared to the Maple Leafs at 2.61.

Tampa Bay has also been better at creating high-danger scoring chances, averaging 13.04 compared to the Leafs at 10.92.

Then, there's just the psychological factor of the game. I hate using that when handicapping, but there is something for it in this specific situation. The Maple Leafs have six-straight first round exits, and the Lightning are coming off back-to-back Stanley Cup wins. If there's one team that has the mental and experience edge tonight, it's Tampa Bay.

Pick: Lightning -130

Wild vs. Blues Prediction and Pick

I've been betting on the Wild this entire series, and I see no reason to stop wagering on them now despite being down 3-2. The analytics show that they've been out-performing the Blues, so I have no reason to sway my opinion.

For example, the Wild are averaging 3.34 expected goals per 60 minutes. That's better than the Blues, who are averaging 3.18. Minnesota is also averaging more high danger scoring chances, averaging 10.6 per game compared to St. Louis, who is averaging 9.2, the lowest mark amongst all playoff teams.

Minnesota wins tonight, and we'll see a Game 7 on Saturday.

Pick: Wild -105

Oilers vs. Kings Prediction and Pick

In my opinion, this is the easiest bet on the board tonight. Based on the analytics and statistics through the first five games, you have to expect plenty of goals tonight.

Amongst the 16 playoff teams, the Oilers and Kings are averaging the second and third most high danger scoring chances. The Oilers are averaging 17.13 per game, and the Kings are averaging 15.54. Only the Penguins (19.25) have been averaging more in the postseason.

The combined expected goals per 60 minutes for the two teams is at 7.57, a full goal above what the total is set at.

Let's root for a ton of goals in tonight's late-game.

Pick: OVER 6.5 (-105)

You can track Iain's bets on Betstamp here.

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