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Best NHL Prop Bets Today: Expect a High Level of Defensive Play

Written by: Kody Malstrom
Published May 17, 2024
10 min read
Best NHL Prop Bets 2024 05 17 Jeremy Swayman

An argument can be made that Friday’s slate features four of the best teams remaining in the NHL Playoffs with both the Florida Panthers and Dallas Stars sitting at the top of the odds board to win the Stanley Cup depending which sportsbook you look at. Both teams have a chance to end their series and move on to the next round yet need to do so as the visiting team. Expect a high level of defensive play as the theme for Friday’s NHL Prop Bets as players tighten up when the pressure to win increases.

As for where to wager on NHL Prop Bets, DraftKings sportsbook has been the pioneer for the league as they offer a vast abundance of markets for us to groom through. If you have not signed up yet with DraftKings sportsbook, you can claim $200 instantly in bonus bets for simply signing up as well as receive a free NBA SGP for every day of the NBA Playoffs. Don’t just limit yourself to DraftKings though as it is vital to shop around between multiple sportsbooks as player prop odds can drastically vary between books as it is a very volatile market.

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Dallas Stars vs. Colorado Avalanche - Game 6 Prop Bets (10:00 PM, EST)

Jake Oettinger Under 2.5 Goals Against (+124) at DraftKings

The Colorado Avalanche may have won 5-2 in game five, but don’t let the inflated total of Avs goals fool you. This game was much tighter than it appeared after digging into the quality of shots as advanced stats site MoneyPuck indicates that the Avs actually only finished with an Expected Goals of 3.37. To make matters even worse for the Stars, they actually finished with a higher total with an xG of 3.76.

That spells out potential positive regression for Jake Oettinger and the Dallas Stars defense, especially since he has played as one of the best goalies since the start of the NHL Playoffs. Even with his underwhelming game five performance, Oettinger still currently ranks top-3 in Save Percentage and Goals Against per Game for goalies still remaining in the Playoffs.

The Avs lack of depth was also on full display as a majority of their dominance came from their top line. That limits the quantity of high quality scoring chances that the Avs can generate over the majority of the contest, playing into the under’s favor. Expect a bounce back performance from Oettinger, walling off the low quality shot opportunities and keeping the game tight with the support of one of the best defenses in the league.

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Florida Panthers vs. Boston Bruins - Game 6 Prop Bets (7:00 PM, EST)

Jeremy Swayman Over 29.5 Saves (-115) at DraftKings

After a rough start to the series that featured an abundance of goals from the Panthers relentless offensive attack, Swayman rounded back into form and held them to just one in a 2-1 victory in game five while increasing their chances to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals. Not necessarily a fluke performance either as the Panthers Expected Goals finished at 2.24 to the Bruins xG of 2.43.

Swayman is one of the few goalies who have performed better than the previously mentioned Jake Oettinger, ranking first in Save Percentage at 0.933 and second in Goals Against per Game at 2.16 for goalies still active in the NHL Playoffs. He has taken full command of goalie duties after reigning Vezina award winner Linus Ullmark has started to show fatigue and played at an alarmingly bad rate.

Even with Swayman in net, it’s a tough ask for him to limit the Panthers scoring after they have generated one of the highest average scoring opportunities since the start of the Playoffs. That pivots me to take his over in number of Saves knowing he gets the nod to remain in net over the full course of the game as well as get the opportunity to wall off a potential Panthers offensive bounce back performance with an uptick in shot attempts. Swayman has averaged 32.8 Saves per Game in his series against the Panthers, yet only 28 in their previous outing against an underwhelming Panthers offensive performance.

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Kody Malstrom

146 Articles

Kody Malstrom is a sports betting journalist with six years of writing experience in the industry. He covers an abundance of sports, including College Football, NFL, College Basketball, NBA, and more. Born and raised in Michigan, Kody is a devoted Detroit Sports fan and spends his Sundays rooting for the Detroit Lions while telling himself this year is the year they win it all. When not staring at betting markets, Kody spends his free time at the beach in the summer or snowboarding in the winter.

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