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Best NHL Bets Today | NHL Picks, March 18

Written by: Michael Hanich
Published March 18, 2024
8 min read
Best NHL Bets Today March 18

There are only two games played tonight in the NHL. It is going to be a soft day in the league compared to the rest of the week but there are still great betting opportunities to make in these two games played. They possess great value in certain areas, especially with all four teams attempting to make one final push for the postseason. Look for some of the best bets to make tonight through DraftKings.

For more betting opportunities, check out our best NHL betting bonuses and promo codes.

Washington Capitals vs. Calgary Flames

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook. Bet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets Immediately!

My Pick: Calgary Flames (CGY)

The race for the NHL postseason is critical with the race coming down to a month. Two teams that have no room for error and every game matters are the Washinton Capitals (32-25-9) and the Calgary Flames (33-29-5). The Capitals are just under the inconsistent Detroit Red Wings for the final Wild Card spot. The Flames are in a serious tight race for the Wild Card spot.

The Capitals and the Flames will meet on the ice this Monday night on the second this season. Both teams are coming into this night with two games winning streaks with some of them key games in the race for the playoffs.

The last time these two teams played, it was the third game of the fresh new 2023-2024 NHL Season. Calgary jumped out to a 2-0 start in the first period thanks to solid assists from defender Noah Hanifin (now with the Vegas Golden Knights) and a goal and assist from center Adam Ruzicka. The Capitals were stout after the first period as goalie Darcy Kuemper saved 38 goals. Evgeny Kuznetsov accounted for the lone goal in the shootout to take the win for Washington.

With just over a month left in the season, the Flames are starting to make a statement. They are playing much more efficiently on both sides of the ice. Calgary is averaging 3.15 goals per game (15th in the league) while their defense allows an average of 3.15 goals per game (20th in the NHL).

The Capitals, on the other hand, have been getting worse defensively as the season progresses. Their defense was among the top units in the league earlier in the season, but now allows an average of 3.06 goals per game (18th in the league). Their offense remains at 29th in the league (2.62 goals per game), much like it has since the start of the season.

The Flames are getting hot and are feeling confident in their ability to contend for the Western Conference Playoff spot. They will also have the home-court advantage in this matchup.

Buffalo Sabres vs. Seattle Kraken

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook. Score $150 in Bonus Bets with DraftKings when wagering just $5!

My Pick: Under 5.5 Goals (-102)

The final game of a light Monday night in the NHL is set as the Buffalo Sabres (33-31-5) go on the road to take on the Seattle Kraken (28-26-12). Both the Sabres and the Kraken are battling to continue hovering above the .500% mark of their schedule they have been fighting hard to get out of. It is going to be a tough position to push them into playoff talks, but this game tonight will be a solid mark towards it.

The only time that Seattle and Buffalo met on the ice was on January 9. The Kraken took the 5-2 road win despite only attempting 26 shots compared to the Sabres’ 38 shots and winning only 37.5% of the faceoffs. Kraken center Jaden Schwartz accounted for one goal and one assist while defender Will Borgen accounted for two assists.

This game tonight has the chance to be a low-scoring matchup as both the Kraken and the Sabres have been getting more elite on defense as the season progressed. Their offense, on the other hand, remains at the bottom of the league.

Seattle’s defense ranks eighth in the league in goals allowed per game (2.82) while the Sabres are allowing only an average of 2.96 goals per game (11th in the league). Their offenses, on the other hand, are among the most unproductive units in the league. Buffalo is averaging 2.93 goals per game (21st in the league), while Seattle is 28th in the league in goals per game (2.68).

The offenses for both the Kraken and the Sabres have not been getting better as the season progresses. This should be a serious indication that they are not ready to make the playoffs at the end of the season.

As far as tonight’s game, the best bet to make tonight regarding this cross-conference matchup is the over/under of great defenses versus bad offenses.

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Michael Hanich

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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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