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NHL best bets
NHL best bets

A pair of NHL playoff games are the perfect segway into the weekend, and Friday’s Game 5 bouts are sure to continue the trend of exciting action on the ice. Sportsbook Review betting analyst Neil Parker shares his top picks and predictions for the two games based on the NHL odds from our best sports betting apps.

The hot-button Toronto Maple Leafs need to top the visiting Florida Panthers to stay alive on Friday, while the Vegas Golden Knights host the Edmonton Oilers with their series tied 2-2.

Toronto eked out a 2-1 win in Game 4 to avoid elimination, but the Maple Leafs still need to roll off three consecutive victories to advance to the Eastern Conference Final. Florida remains the betting favorite to win the series. So while the Panthers are an underdog in Game 5, things might just be heating up between the Atlantic Division foes. 

Speaking of heating up, the Golden Knights-Oilers series has already boiled over on multiple occasions. A key defenseman from each club will miss Game 5, with Edmonton’s Darnell Nurse and Vegas’ Alex Pietrangelo both serving a one-game suspension.

Here are our best NHL picks for Friday (odds via DraftKings and FanDuel sportsbooks; Pick confidence is based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Check out our Stanley Cup odds and Conn Smythe Trophy odds.

Friday’s NHL schedule and odds

(odds via DraftKings)

  • Florida Panthers (+145) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (-170)
  • Edmonton Oilers (-130) vs. Vegas Golden Knights (+110)

Friday’s NHL best bets

  • Player prop: Mark Stone Under 0.5 points (+138 via FanDuel)
  • Player prop: Jonathan Marchessault Over 3.5 shots (+116 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐
  • Regulation win: Oilers (+120 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐

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Friday’s NHL player prop picks

Player prop: Mark Stone Under 0.5 points (+138 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐

I’m going right back to this prop after Stone failed to register a point during Game 4 on Wednesday, and the handicap remains the same.

He was on the ice for just 0.24 expected goals at five-on-five Wednesday. Stone also again spent the bulk of his ice time matched up against either Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl.

Additionally, I’m not convinced Stone is playing at full health, and the postseason wear and tear will be even more taxing on him as this series continues. It’s impossible to quantify, but we’re talking about a 30-year-old vet who missed the final four months of the regular season following back surgery.

DraftKingsFanDuelBetMGMCaesarsPointsBet
+135+138 🔥+130N/A+130

Statistical correction has already started, with Stone missing the score sheet in consecutive games, though his role on the No. 1 power-play unit offers additional upside for him to register a point Friday. Still, his five-on-five numbers against the Oilers aren't moving the needle, and matching up against the one-two punch of McDavid and Draisaitl remains a nightmare assignment.

I'm grading this as a two-star bet because there also isn’t a huge odds edge available across our best sports betting apps.  

Player prop: Jonathan Marchessault Over 3.5 shots (+116 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐

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I’m not a trends chaser, so Marchessault cruising Over this shot total in all four Round 2 games actually decreases my confidence in the winger registering four-plus shots again Friday.

His shot volume is set to see a statistical decline, but that’s baked into the plus-money odds, and there’s room for both negative regression and the Over hitting.

While Marchessault’s 19.8 shots and 25.8 attempts per 60 minutes in Round 2 are unsustainable, it’s also clear he’s the go-to shooter on the top line while flanking center Jack Eichel, and on the No. 1 power-play unit.

Edmonton is also allowing the fourth-highest shots per 60 minutes on the road during the postseason, so I’m not expecting a steep enough decline in Marchessault’s shot volume to threaten this Over.

DraftKingsFanDuelBetMGMCaesarsPointsBet
+115+116 🔥+115+106+100 ❄️

The +116 odds through FanDuel provide a sneaky edge compared to the +100 number PointsBet is hanging. That leads to a positive expected value of 8%, and an extra $1.16 of profit on a winning $10 ticket.

Friday’s NHL game picks

Regulation win: Oilers (+120 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐

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Game 4 was the turning point in this series for me. Edmonton drove five-on-five possession with a 58.7 Corsi For percentage, and the Oilers generated 68.0% of the expected goals for.

Winning without McDavid and Draisaitl marking the score sheet made the headlines, but the Oil also held the Golden Knights in check for the first time during the series. And Vegas still has statistically correction coming ahead of its postseason-high 11.5 team shooting percentage at five-on-five.

I also don’t hold any confidence in the Golden Knights' goaltending. 

The Golden Knights have produced the second-highest save percentage at five-on-five (.920) during Round 2, including a second-ranked .864 mark on high-danger shots. Those numbers are coming from journeymen backups, and water is going to find its level – regardless of who starts Game 5. 

Add in that Pietrangelo isn’t jumping the boards to match up against McDavid and/or Draisaitl, and there’s a disaster in the making for Vegas. 

DraftKingsFanDuelBetMGMCaesarsPointsBet
+120 🔥+115+110+103 ❄️+105

The best price for Edmonton's moneyline is -128 through FanDuel, and I also recommend that bet too. It’s just my preference to target the 60-minute market to land plus-money odds.

Price shopping across our best NHL betting sites also leads to a nice edge. Backing the +120 through DraftKings presents a positive expected value of 8% and an extra $1.70 return on a winning $10 ticket compared to the +103 odds Caesars is offering.

I’ve graded this as a three-star play, and I'd add a star if opting to play the Oilers' moneyline.

NHL best bets made 5/12/2023 at 9:30 a.m. ET.

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