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Best NHL Bets Today | NHL Picks, April 01

Written by: Michael Hanich
Published April 1, 2024
8 min read
Best NHL Bets Today April 01 2024

This week in the NHL starts off with a multitude of great games that are going to be significantly impactful for the rest of the season. Teams are going to finish locking down playoff spots or getting eliminated from the playoffs in these few remaining weeks. Tonight’s games have incredible value that casual fans and sports bettors should definitely take advantage of.

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Florida Panthers vs. Toronto Maples

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My Pick: Florida Panthers (FLA)

One of the biggest games of the night is set to impact the Eastern Conference Playoffs and the betting value as the Florida Panthers (47-22-5n) go on the road to take on the Toronto Maple Leafs (42-22-9). The Panthers have already secured their playoff spot as the second current team in a tough Atlantic Division. The Maple Leafs are one of the two next teams to clinch a spot into the postseason. They are looking to avoid falling out of the third-place spot of the division and becoming a Wild Card team.

This game tonight will be the third matchup of the season between two Eastern Conference elites as both teams have claimed one game. The Panthers took an early season 3-1 home win on October 19 despite the Maple Leafs taking more shot attempts. Toronto would get revenge a little over a month later on November 28 with a 2-1 win in a shootout.

This is a game that features a surprisingly tight, defensive matchup. Since that game, Toronto’s offense has been one of the most productive units in the league as they have been averaging 3.62 goals per game. Their defense hasn’t held them back too much for allowing 3.08 goals per game (17th in the league).

Not a lot of teams were playing better than the Panthers for the first month past the NHL All-Star Break. The Panthers have been on cruise control since the middle of March by only winning two of the last eight games against a brutal schedule. The Panthers are looking to rebound in a big way. They possess the top defense in the league (2.43 goals allowed per game), but their offense needs to get their rhythm back from earlier in the second half of the season.

Colorado Avalanche vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

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My Pick: Avalanche -1.5 Puck Line

Among the several games that look to be excellent matchups that are playoff caliber, there are also some that are expected to be huge lopsided games. One of those games will be the Colorado Avalanche, one of the most elite teams in the league going on the road to face the Columbus Blue Jackets, easily one of the worst teams in the league.

This game tonight will be the second and final matchup of the season between these two teams. The last time Columbus and Colorado met on the ice, the Avalanche dominated the Blue Jackets at home with a 6-1 score on March 22. The Big Three for the Avalanche in center Nathan McKinnon, Forward Mikko Rantanen and defender Cale Makar all accounted for at least two points. Rantanen accounted for two goals and one assist in the win.

The Avalanche are coming into this huge favorites thanks to their elite offense that ranks first in the league in goals per game (3.74). Most of the impact is their big three stars, but the roster is full of impact players, which makes them the toughest team to face. 

The Blue Jackets, on the other hand, are huge disappointments due to their lack of efficiency on the defensive side of the ice. Columbus is the second to worst team in the league in scoring defense as they allow an average of 3.65 goals per game.

This game has a chance to ugly and turn into a blowout and it could happen early just in the previous matchup just over a week ago.

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Michael Hanich

458 Articles

Michael Hanich is a sports journalist/analyst with a wide variety of experience in the newspaper and digital field. He has a love for all sports. The leagues that he covers are College Football, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, College Basketball (men’s and women’s), the MLB, Lacrosse, Volleyball, and the WNBA.

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