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NHL best bets
NHL best bets

Real hockey returns Monday to the National Hockey League, with six games on tap in the first action following the All-Star break. Read on for today’s NHL Best Bets based on the latest odds.

The Battle of Florida featuring the Tampa Bay Lightning visiting the Florida Panthers could be the top matchup, but it's not the only one involving a team on the playoff bubble. The Calgary Flames have their own battle for a playoff spot as they take on the Rangers in New York.

Now that the All-Star Game is done, teams that still have playoff hopes are going to have more pressure to squeeze into the postseason.

Here are our NHL Best Bets for Monday (odds via FanDuel Sportsbook, DraftKings Sportsbook, Caesars Sportsbook, BetMGM, and PointsBet; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Monday’s NHL schedule and odds

(odds via FanDuel Sportsbook)

  • Tampa Bay Lightning (-114) vs. Florida Panthers (-105)
  • New York Islanders (-137) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (+112)
  • Vancouver Canucks (+198) vs. New Jersey Devils (-245)
  • Calgary Flames (-108) vs. New York Rangers (-111)
  • Anaheim Ducks (+290) vs. Dallas Stars (-375)
  • Minnesota Wild (-250) vs. Arizona Coyotes (+202)

Monday’s NHL best bets

  • Moneyline: Panthers (+100 via DraftKings) vs. Lightning ⭐⭐⭐
  • Spread: Stars -1.5 (-145 via Caesars Sportsbooks) vs. Ducks ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Total: Flames-Rangers Over 5.5 (-120 via BetMGM) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Prop: Matt Boldy Over 3.5 Shots on Goal (+112 via Caesars Sportsbook) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Monday's NHL top picks

Moneyline: Panthers ML (+100 via DraftKings) vs. Lightning ⭐⭐

While the season as a whole has been disappointing for the Panthers, there are some reasons for optimism, too.

For one thing, the Panthers rank sixth with 54.2% of score-and-venue-adjusted expected goals during five-on-five play. Those underlying numbers tend to lead to better results than the Panthers have experienced.

Florida also has a 13-7-3 record on home ice, and that .630 points percentage ranks 10th. That matches up favorably with a Lightning squad that is dominant on home ice but has a mediocre 12-11 record away from Amalie Arena.

Most of the top-rated sportsbooks have the Panthers at +100, while FanDuel pulls an extra nickel at -105.

In a big rivalry game, I like the Panthers as home underdogs, though I make it a three-star selection because of my respect for the quality of the Lightning.

Spread: Stars -1.5 (-145 via Caesars) vs. Ducks ⭐⭐

When the Ducks lose on the road, they tend to lose big.

The Ducks have a 7-16-4 road record, but 15 of those 16 regulation losses have been by a margin of two or more goals. Anaheim allows 4.16 goals against per 60 minutes on the road, while scoring just 2.48 goals per 60.

Anaheim went into the All-Star break riding their first three-game winning streak of the season, but two of those three wins were against Arizona – not exactly a quality opponent. 

The Stars, meanwhile, have climbed to the top of the Central Division and have a 13-5-6 record at American Airlines Center. All but two of those victories have come by multiple goals, and the Stars rank fifth with 3.65 goals per 60 minutes on home ice.

Caesars and PointsBet have the Stars on the puck line at -1.5 (-145), while DraftKings and FanDuel are charging -150 to take the favored Stars. BetMGM has shifted the line to Dallas -2.5 (+115) and I am hesitant to count on any NHL team to win by a margin of three goals.

Check out our latest Norris Trophy odds!

Total: Flames-Rangers Over 5.5 (-120 via BetMGM⭐⭐

Both the Flames and Rangers have the ability to play grind out games, but with the Rangers going with their backup goaltender and Calgary’s net game inconsistent, the Over is the play.

The Flames have a 2.87 goals against average on the road, which ranks ninth, but Jacob Markstrom has an .895 save percentage away from the Saddledome.

Veteran goaltender Jaroslav Halak will get the start in goal for the Rangers. He has been a solid backup but has barely played on home ice, posting a .883 save percentage and 3.25 goals against average in four starts at Madison Square Garden.

I was already leaning toward the Over when the news came that Halak would get the start in goal ahead of Igor Shesterkin, so it pays to jump quickly to get that 5.5 before it shifts to six.

Most of the top-rated sportsbooks have priced the Over at -120 to -125, though DraftKings moved first to get the total to 6, with the Over at +100 and the Under at -120.

Check out our latest Stanley Cup odds!

Prop: Matt Boldy Over 3.5 Shots on Goal (+112 via Caesars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Boldy has turned into a consistent shooter. Sometimes those pucks are going in, too, but the shot generation is the concern here.

The second-year Wild winger has tallied 16 goals in 48 games, and has recorded at least four shots on goal in 13 of 24 road games. And he has been an even more consistent high-volume shooter of late, going for four or more shots in 10 of 12 games in 2023.

Putting that record against the Coyotes seems to be a favorable matchup. Arizona is allowing 35.8 shots on goal per 60 minutes on home ice, the second highest rate in the league.

I would take the Over to -130, so getting plus money for Boldy to hit this number is strong value.

Not all of the top-rated sportsbooks have a full complement of players for shots on goal, but Caesars has the best price on Boldy, at +112. DraftKings has the number at +105 and FanDuel at +104.

NHL Best Bet picks made 2/6/2023 at 11:45 a.m. ET.

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