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Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates against the New York Rangers as we make our best NHL prop picks for Thursday, April 4.
Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on April 01, 2024 in New York City. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images/AFP

On Thursday, the Pittsburgh Penguins are focused on extending their winning run, while Sidney Crosby and Brayden Point look to pad their stats as we delve into the best NHL prop picks and bets based on the most competitive NHL odds from our best sports betting apps.

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals battle in the nation's capital, with the former rolling and the latter sputtering. Washington has the 15th-ranked home record since Jan. 1, while Pittsburgh has won four of the last five in enemy rinks. 

The Pens can thank Sidney Crosby for placing the flock on his sturdy, indefatigable shoulders. Crosby netted four goals in the last two games and is doing everything possible to drag his team into the playoffs. Meanwhile, Brayden Point always saves his best hockey for the spring, and nobody should expect otherwise as he looks to continue his solid run in Montreal against the Canadiens. 

Here are our top NHL prop picks 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 DraftKings)

Thursday's NHL player props

Sidney Crosby Over 0.5 assists vs. Capitals (-105 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The thought of missing the playoffs for a second straight season must frighten Crosby like monsters lurking under beds scare children, as he is putting up points like it's 2006-07. Sid, the 36-year-old kid, has 15 points in his last six games and five in the previous two. 

His prolific output has the Pens back in the playoff race. He faces the Washington Capitals on Thursday, one of his oldest and most loathed foes. He has notched 59 points in 70 games against them, including four points (three goals) in three contests this season. 

At -105, DraftKings and BetMGM offer the best value across our best sports betting sites, which pays out $19.52 on a winning $10 bet. Those odds come with an implied probability of 51.22%. That's a bargain, considering Crosby has nine assists in the last six games. An alternative option is to back Crosby to score at least one goal, which DraftKings has at +140.

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Brayden Point Over 2.5 shots vs. Canadiens (-125 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Brayden Point is like a cheetah lurking in the savannah. He waits patiently for the opportune moment to pounce, which, for Point, is during early spring when the sweet and sour-like aroma of the playoffs permeates the air. Point has at least three shots in three of the last four games after a four-game stretch with two or fewer. 

He had four shots and a goal in Toronto on Wednesday night and notched at least three shots in all three of the previous matchups this season against the Montreal Canadiens. While the Lightning have a bunch of aging veterans whose legs may feel like lead balloons for the second game of a back-to-back, Point, 28, is still in his prime and should have more than enough youthful exuberance to fire at least three shots on goal. 

Of our best sports betting appsDraftKings offers the best value. Their -125 odds imply a probability of 55.56%, which, on a $10 winning wager, would pay out $18. 

Thursday's NHL game picks

Bruins vs. Hurricanes Under 5.5 goals (-105 via BetMGM) ⭐⭐⭐

The third-best (Hurricanes) and sixth-best (Bruins) defensive teams battle in Carolina, and the contest should closely resemble a playoff encounter. That's not great news for those who love free-flowing, high-scoring hockey. The 5.5 total can deter those looking to bet the Under. However, there is merit in the rock-bottom total, as the previous five Bruins games and four Hurricanes contests all went under 5.5 goals. 

The Bruins and Hurricanes only previous meeting this season, on Jan. 24, had five goals, with Carolina prevailing 3-2. Three of the last four head-to-head encounters dating back to last season also went under. In what could be a preview of the Eastern Conference Final, it's again time for these defensive stalwarts to do their best impression of the limbo and go under. 

Our best sports betting apps are closely aligned in their valuation, with BetMGMCaesars, and bet365 offering -105. FanDuel stands at -110, and DraftKings at -108. 

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Penguins ML vs. Capitals (-110 via bet365) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Like their current emotional states, the Pens and Capitals are trending in entirely opposite directions. Riding a tsunami of momentum, the Crosby-led Pens soar into Washington on the back of four wins in the last five games. Their fruitful run has them just three points behind the Capitals and Detroit Red Wings for the final wild-card berth. As if they require more fuel for the fire, the Pens were swatted aside 6-0 in Pittsburgh the last time these two teams met, which won't sit well with Mike Sullivan and his colony. 

After winning three in a row, the Caps are on a three-game losing streak and were outscored 14-5 during the slide. Looking sluggish and slow, especially against a penguin at full tilt, the Caps don't pass the eye test either. 

A consensus across our best sports betting sites has the Penguins at -110 on the moneyline. Those odds imply a 52.38% probability, while a $10 winning bet pays $19.09.  

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NHL best bets made Thursday at 10:50 a.m. ET.

Here are our best NHL betting sites:

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