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Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates as we look at the best NHL player props and best bets for Thursday
Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates against the Chicago Blackhawks during the second period at the United Center on February 15, 2024 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images via AFP.

The NHL delivers 12 games on Thursday as we make our best NHL player props and best bets based on the top NHL odds from our best sports betting sites.

As we near the final month of the NHL regular season, there remains plenty on the line for contenders and playoff hopefuls alike. We've got our eyes on crucial Thursday matchups between the San Jose Sharks vs. Pittsburgh Penguins and Vegas Golden Knights vs. Calgary Flames matchups.

There's a ton of other action to feast your eyes on, offering tasty propositions across the board. We also look at Cole Caufield and Alex Lyon player prop bets, which offer excellent chances to increase your bankroll.

Here are our top NHL player props and best bets for Thursday (NHL picks based on odds via our best NHL betting sites; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Thursday's NHL best bets

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Thursday's NHL schedule and odds

(Odds via BetMGM)

Thursday's NHL player props

Cole Caufield Over 3.5 shots on goal vs. Bruins (-140 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Cole Caufield is a one-person shooting gallery. He’s gone Over 3.5 shots on goal in six straight games and 15 of 16 contests since the All-Star break. Caufield has at least four shots in 19 of his last 21 games since Jan. 18, including a game in Boston.

The Bruins held the St. Louis Blues to 21 shots earlier this week, but that’s 10 fewer than their season average of 31.3, which ranks 10th-most in the league.

Caufield should be shooting plenty against one of his team's biggest rivals. He’s averaged six shot attempts per game in his last 20 contests, with 4.4 shots on goal per game.

Odds of -140 imply a 58.33% probability. Caufield has hit at precisely that rate this season and has enjoyed a recent uptick. Take a chance with a $14 bet to win a $10 profit.

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Alex Lyon Over 2.5 goals against vs. Coyotes (-130 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Alex Lyon was influential in pushing the Detroit Red Wings into a playoff spot earlier this season, but he's faltered lately, along with the rest of the team. They've lost six games in a row and are now outside the playoff picture.

The Red Wings have allowed 32 goals during their six-game losing skid, with Lyon allowing 21 goals in five starts. That includes a 4-0 loss to the Arizona Coyotes last week.

Lyon has allowed Over 2.5 goals in 22 of 33 games this season. The -130 odds imply a 56.52% probability, which is more than reasonable.

Furthermore, the Coyotes team total of Over 2.5 goals is at -150. While the third might be an empty-netter, Arizona should find a way to score at least three times against a floundering Red Wings team.

Thursday's NHL game picks

Sharks +1.5 vs. Penguins (+104 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐

The Penguins should not be close to -300 favorites against anyone right now, even the worst team in the league. Pittsburgh has scored just two goals in its last four games and has one goal or fewer in six of its past eight contests.

On the flip side, San Jose has been dangerous lately. Sure, the Sharks only have one win in their last 11 games, but they pushed the Philadelphia Flyers to the wire in a 3-2 loss on Tuesday night and recently forced overtime twice against the Dallas Stars, with a one-goal loss to the Minnesota Wild mixed in.

Both teams are in the bottom seven in expected goals share at 5-on-5 in the last 10 games. To top it all off, the Penguins are 13-24 against the spread as a favorite this season. 

The Sharks should be able to keep this game close, and they are also worth a sprinkle on the moneyline as huge underdogs.

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Golden Knights vs. Flames Over 6.5 (-120 via Caesar) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Golden Knights and Flames both have goalies who were once in the Vezina Trophy odds conversation, but neither Adin Hill nor Jacob Markstrom has been playing like that lately.

Hill has allowed 20 goals on 155 shots (.871 SV%) in his last five games. Markstrom, who may be out on Thursday due to injury, has allowed 12 goals in his previous three games, including five against the Florida Panthers last time out.

Both of these teams can also put the puck in the back of the net. Vegas scored five goals in its last two games, and Calgary also saw a scoring barrage before a recent dry spell against top teams.

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NHL best bets made Thursday at noon ET.

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