Top Shelf Picks: Best NHL Bets Tonight (Predators will be victorious on Leap Day)

Jan 25, 2024; Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Alexandre Carrier (45)
Jan 25, 2024; Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Alexandre Carrier (45) / Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Leap Day to all NHL fans and bettors out there. Let's celebrate by placing some wagers on tonight's hockey action.

We have a full slate of games on Thursday night with 12 across the board. That means we have plenty of options and can target in on some games that we feel good about. That's exactly what I've done as I have three bets locked in, including a play for tonight's Central Division showdown between the Minnesota Wild and Nashville Predators.

If you want to tail (or fade) these plays, be sure to take advantage of this promotion from BetMGM. If you click the link below to sign up for an account, you'll receive $150 in bonus bets when you place your first $5 wager!

NHL Best Bets Today

  • Islanders -105 vs. Red Wings
  • Predators -110 vs. Wild
  • Sharks +105 vs. Ducks

Islanders vs. Red Wings prediction

I'm going to continue to fade a Red Wings team that is defying all logic by being 17-6-2 in its last 25 games. They're somehow continuing to win games despite being 26th in CORSI% and 31st in 5-on-5 expected goal percentage over that same stretch of games. The Islanders outrank them by a wide margin in those areas so I'm going to stick to my strategy of fading the Red Wings.

Regression is coming sooner rather than later for Detroit.

Wild vs. Predators prediction

The Minnesota Wild and Nashville Predators are locked in a battle for a playoff spot in the Western Conference but I think it's the Preds who hold the betting value in today's game, especially at a pick'em as the home team.

The Wild have had some major goaltending issues of late, ranking 26th in team save percentage over their last 25 games. They haven't announced who will be starting in net for them tonight, but if it's Filip Gustavsson, it's worth noting he has allowed at least three goals in four of his last five starts.

In a game between two teams who have a lot of similar numbers, I'll back the home team with better goaltending.

Ducks vs. Sharks prediction

It's not exactly the most intriguing game on the slate in a battle between two of the worst teams in the league, but I think there's some great betting value on the home underdog. Neither team is good, ranking 31st and 32nd in expected goal percentage, but then that begs the question why the Ducks should be set as road favorites?

The answer, in my opinion, is that they shouldn't be. I set this game as a pick'em so with the Sharks being available at plus-money, they're in obvious bet in this battle of basement dwellers.

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

You can check out all of Iain's bets here!