NHL Predictions & Picks

Top NHL Picks and Predictions Today (Best Bets for Day 9 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs)

Iain MacMillan
The Maple Leafs will host the Lightning in Game 5 of their Stanley Cup Playoff series.
The Maple Leafs will host the Lightning in Game 5 of their Stanley Cup Playoff series. / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages
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We had another profitable night in the NHL Playoffs on Monday, going 3-1 with the only miss being on the Panthers puck line.

That brings my playoff record to 19-13 (+5.68 units) based on the odds included in my Betstamp profile.

Let's pray to Gamblor the Gambling God for another profitable night tonight. Here are my top picks, with the odds being courtesy of WynnBET Sportsbook.

Boston Bruins vs. Carolina Hurricanes Prediction and Pick

I have bet on the Hurricanes in all four games so far this series, but I no longer have enough faith in them to back them at -145. Sure, they have home ice advantage again, but the analytics show this series has turned into the coin flip that oddsmakers expected.

The two teams rank eighth and ninth in CORSI%. The Bruins outrank the 'Canes in most other advanced analytics like expected goals, but Carolina has performed better in the simple areas like save percentage and shooting percentage.

For that reason, instead of picking a side, I'm going to go with the UNDER 6 at -120. The OVER has been trending for both teams, but it's time to fade it. Amongst the 16 playoff teams, the Bruins rank 11th in high danger scoring chances this postseason with 10.5 per game, and the Hurricanes rank 13th at 9.5 per game.

Despite there being a ton of goals in each of the first four games, there haven't been enough quality scoring chances to expect that to continue. Not to mention both team rank in the top eighth in UNDER percentage this season.

Pick: UNDER 6 (-120)

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Prediction and Pick

The powerplay has been the story of the series so far, with the Lightning racking up a total of 36:40 of ice time with a man advantage, the most amongst all playoff teams. The good news for the Leafs is that the series is tied 2-2 with home ice advantage despite spending so much time in the box. The bad news is, they're still getting outplayed when it's 5-on-5.

During 5-on-5 play, the Lightning have a CORSI% of 55.59%. They've also been getting plenty more high danger scoring chances, averaging 14.31, compared to the Maple Leafs averaging a measly 8.9.

Jack Campbell, who has kept the Leafs in this series, stumbled in Game 4 and was eventually pulled. Unless he can pull things together and re-gain his confidence ahead of tonight's Game 5, Toronto might be doomed.

Tampa Bay is in a fantastic spot as an underdog tonight.

Pick: Lightning +110

St. Louis Blues vs. Minnesota Wild Prediction and Pick

Despite the series being tied at two, the Wild have been largely outplaying the Blues. If you take a look at expected goals per 60 minutes, Minnesota outranks St. Louis, 3.55 to 2.87.

The Wild have also had more high danger scoring chances. They're averaging 11.75 high danger scoring chances per game, compared to the Blues at 9.00.

The Blues biggest advantage heading into the postseason was their shooting percentage, but they've struggled in that area in that series. They have a shooting percentage of 9.30, which ranks ninth amongst all postseason teams.

I see no reason to stop backing the Wild now.

Pick: Wild -135

Los Angeles Kings vs. Edmonton Oilers Prediction and Pick

The Oilers and Kings series has been the most wide-open, offensive series of the NHL Playoffs thus far. Sure, there have been two games that have had shutouts due to stellar goaltending, but I expect an onslaught of goals today.

The Oilers rank second in the playoffs in high danger scoring chances, averaging 18.25 per 60 minutes of ice time. The Kings are right behind them, ranking fifth in high danger scoring chances in the postseason, averaging 14.5 per 60 minutes.

If you combine their expected goals per 60 minutes, we're looking at a total of 7.59 per game (Oilers 4.04, Kings 3.65). That makes the OVER 6.5 tonight look like a fantastic bet to make.

Pick: OVER 6.5 (-110)


You can track Iain's bets on Betstamp here.

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