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Last Update: 16/05/2022

NHLCompeting teams have been halved as we enter the second round of the playoffs. One NHL betting trend we have seen in the playoffs features high-scoring battles. Will that stay true as competition grows fierce?

Tampa Bay Lightning @ Florida Panthers

May 17 @ 7:00 P.M. (EST), FLA Live Arena

BetPicks Best BetsThe Panthers managed to win the regular season battle against the Lightning, but I am looking at total goals for Game 1 of this series. While the NHL playoffs have been high-scoring, I think the opening game of this series will see the under cash. Head-to-head (in the regular season) we saw a ton of scoring but the playoffs are completely different. I think this will be a low-scoring game with an extra emphasis on defense. One thing Florida and Tampa Bay do well is control the neutral zone. Pucks won’t easily be entered into the opposing zone, leaving few opportunities for scoring chances.

Pick: Total Goals Under 6.5 (+125)

St. Louis Blues @ Colorado Avalanche

May 17 @ 9:30 P.M. (EST), Ball Arena

BetPicks Best BetsA popular pick to win the Stanley Cup, the Avalanche turn their attention to St. Louis. Can the Blues upset Colorado’s bid to win Lord Stanley? For my free NHL prediction, I like the over for total goals. The regular season saw 23 goals in 3 games (7.6 goals per game) and with the playoffs leaning towards high-scoring games, I am confident in this pick. Colorado averaged 5.25 goals per game in round 1, while the Blues tallied 3.14 goals per game. However, the Blues had more games with 5 goals than 2 (or fewer) goals in the first round. Let’s lock in the over.

Pick: Total Goals Over 6.5 (-133)

Pittsburgh Penguins @ New York Rangers

May 15 @ 7:00 P.M. (EST), Madison Square Garden

BetPicks Best BetsUnable to close the series at home, the Penguins now return to Madison Square Garden against the Rangers. For this free NHL pick and series-deciding Game 7, I want to take a look at the Moneyline. Crosby is injured and there is belief he will miss time until the second round. It’s clear that the Penguins are a different team when he isn’t in the lineup. As well, the Rangers have all momentum in this series since being down 3-1. Pittsburgh’s offense has taken a high and their defense is struggling to keep the puck out of the net. We’re taking the New York Moneyline in this one!

Pick: New York Rangers Moneyline (-138)

Dallas Stars @ Calgary Flames

May 15 @ 9:30 P.M. (EST), Scotiabank Saddledome

BetPicks Best BetsDallas has sent this series to 7 and I think we’re going to see some more scoring in this game. Although Game 6 started out flat, scoring picked up throughout the game and I think that trend continues for this free NHL prediction. What leads me to believe that we’ll see the over for total goals is the desperation at the end of the game. If either team is losing in regulation, the goalie will be pulled, exposing the cage for more goal burials. Since Game 2, we’ve seen an average of 5.25 total goals per game so this bet is definitely worth the value pick. The season is on the line and both teams will need to bury the biscuit to survive.

Pick: Total Goals Over 5.5 (+115)

Boston Bruins @ Carolina Hurricanes

May 14 @ 4:30 P.M. (EST), PNC Arena

BetPicks Best BetsWith no more lifelines, both teams cannot afford to lose. While I think it would be fun to pick the winner straight up, I think your best bet and my free NHL pick will be to take the under for total goals. Other games have featured 7 or 6 goals but we need to remember that these two teams were two of the best defensive squads in the league all season long. One costly mistake could end the season for either team so they will be playing with caution. With no room for error, expect this game to be low-scoring.

Pick: Total Goals Under 5.5 (+105)

Tampa Bay Lightning @ Toronto Maple Leafs

May 14 @ 7:00 P.M. (EST), Scotiabank Arena

BetPicks Best BetsThe Lightning forced a game 7 in Toronto and this may the most-watched game of the season (so far). For this BetPicks NHL prediction, we’re looking at the first period. This has no doubt been a high-scoring series and I think that specific betting trend continues for this game. Betting on the over for first-period total goals offers the best value of the three regulation periods. In the previous 6 games, 3 of them have seen over 1.5 goals. I like this bet because in this crucial game 7, both teams will be looking to gain the first advantage.

Pick: First Period Total Goals Over 1.5 (-150)

Los Angeles Kings @ Edmonton Oilers

May 14 @ 10:00 P.M. (EST), Rogers Place

BetPicks Best BetsEdmonton has home-ice advantage after a crucial win against the Kings on the road. For this decisive game 7, our BetPicks expert is looking at total goals. Through the first 6 games of this series, 3 games featured 7 or more goals scored. One contest finished with Edmonton being shut out as well, so if they produced in that game then there may have been 4 games with 7 or more goals scored. Overall, I think neither team will be shut out for this free NHL pick. With the season on the line and both teams firing on all cylinders, we’re taking the over for game 7!

Pick: Total Goals Over 6.5 (+100)

New York Rangers @ Pittsburgh Penguins

May 13 @ 7:00 P.M. (EST), PPG Paints Arena

BetPicks Best BetsLeading the series and back at home, the Penguins look to close this out and I think they do. While the Rangers have been able to essentially score at will in the playoffs, they have not been able to stop the onslaught of Pittsburgh’s offense. The Penguins have averaged 6 goals per game throughout this series, so Hart trophy finalist Igor Shesterkin will need to clamp the Penguins to extend this series. With that being said, for this free NHL pick, I need to back the Penguins. Crosby may be dealing with injury but I think the high-hit from Trouba will light a spark under Pittsburgh, especially in front of their hometown crowd.

Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins Moneyline (+100)

Florida Panthers @ Washington Capitals

May 13 @ 7:30 P.M. (EST), Capital One Arena

BetPicks Best BetsAfter blowing a 3-goal lead, the Capitals now have to save their season with a victory in front of their hometown crowd. But for this free NHL pick, I am looking at the under for total goals instead of backing either team straight up. We’re well aware that the NHL playoffs have been high-scoring and this series has seen its fair share of high-scoring battles. But with that being said, I like the value of a low-scoring game. In this series, 66% of games have ended with 6 or fewer goals. The over is enticing but the numbers point to another (relatively) low-scoring battle.

Pick: Total Goals Under 6.5 (+105)

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The NHL is a fan-favorite for betters due to its high-flying speed, intense play and exhilarating action. Seeing players carve up a fresh sheet of ice is jaw-dropping and the rush of emotions after a game-winning goal is euphoric.

With each team playing an 82-game schedule, there are regular betting opportunities. Here at BetPicks, we’re dedicated to providing you with the best bets of the NHL every week from the start of the regular season to the night Lord Stanley is awarded.

With 32 teams and an intense regular-season schedule coupled with an extra four-rounds of playoff hockey (for those that reach the Final), you’ll never run out of wagers betting on the NHL.

2021 NHL Picks

The NHL season is popular among bettors due to the sheer volume of opportunities. With every team playing 82-games, there is always something to bet on when it comes to NHL action.

As one of the most-watched sports in Canada and the United States, hockey has captured a huge following in North America (and around the world). From betting options like total goals and Moneyline wagers to fun prop bets, there are daily opportunities for bettors to place a wager.

Here at BetPicks, we do all the research so you don’t have to! There are tons of games and stats to follow, so it would be impossible for the average joe to stay on top of everything. Thankfully for you, all of our expert picks are backed by countless hours of research with incredible insight. Of course, all of our picks are free as well!

How to bet on NHL?

When it comes to NHL betting, the possibilities are endless and there’s a wide variety of wagers you can make.

Against the spread (puck line)

Against the Spread (ATS) is referred to as the Puck Line in NHL betting. The Puck Line is a handicap to even the playing field between two teams. Normally, the Puck Line is listed at -1.5 for the favorite and +1.5 for the underdog. This means that the favorite will need to win by two goals to win the bet. Conversely, if the underdog loses by 1 goal, then they win the bet. This is another popular wager for hockey fans and is enticing for bettors that see the underdog on a similar playing field to their opponent.


Betting on the over/under (totals) is a bet based on a specific stat. The most common over/under wager is total goals. If the game line for total goals is listed at 5.5, then you would bet the over if you believe 6 (or more) goals will be scored. However, if you think that 5 (or fewer) goals will be scored, then you would bet the under. Over/Under wagers can also include 60-minute play (totals in regulation time) as well as specific period totals, like over 1.5 goals scored in the second period.


When placing a Moneyline bet, you are choosing the winner straight up. Favorites are marked with a – symbol (-120) while favorites will be marked with a + sign (+115). For this example, you would need to place $120 on the favorite to win $100. A $100 bet on the underdog would win $115. No other factors matter in the game other than the team you selected to win. If you bet on the Moneyline and the team you selected wins, then you win your bet!

Parlay betting

Parlay betting is the combination of multiple bets into one single bet. You can (usually) add as many wagers to your bet slip as you’d like. NHL Parlays are great for bettors that want to see increased odds and return on their wager, however, there is increased risk. If you place a three-leg parlay, all three legs need to cash. This means that if two-thirds of your bet is correct but one is incorrect, you lose the entire wager. Parlays are a calculated risk that offers great return, but the risk increases with every leg added to the slip.

Players prop bets

Prop bets are another way to wager on NHL action. Prop bets are considered fun for bettors because there are no limits when it comes to these types of bets. The most common player prop bet will be anytime goal scorer. If you bet on Connor McDavid to score in the game at +200 and he does, then you win the bet. Other player prop bets include wagers on the first goal scorer of the game, a player to record a point, blocked shots, ice time and more! Depending on your bookmaker, a player’s prop bets can be vanilla or they could be extravagant and specific!

Team prop bets

Similar to player prop bets, team prop bets relies on the entire team. The most common team prop bets will be ones on specific goal totals (over/under), which team will score first, season point totals or if a team will make the playoffs. Prop bets are entertaining and can offer a variety of wagers that are different from your usual slate of bets.


Betting on Futures is a risky play but could be fruitful if you’re correct. Usually placed at the beginning of the season, placing bets on Futures offers increased odds (and return). Popular wagers include selecting the Stanley Cup winner, as well as popular NHL awards like the Calder and Hart Trophy. At the beginning of the season, there are more candidates for award and league winners since everyone is on a fresh slate. Of course, other teams/players offer better odds than others, but as the season winds down, odds will decrease since only a handful of players/teams will be eligible to win. If you can see into the future or are good at predictions, then Futures bets may be for you!

Live betting

This is when you are betting on the game after the puck has dropped. Once play has begun, then odds may change in connection with what is happening on the ice. If the Ottawa Senators take an early lead against the Toronto Maple Leafs, but you think the Leafs could storm back and win the game despite the early deficit, odds will reflect that with increased odds since they are losing. As the game progresses and time winds down, lines will continuously shift so it’s important to analyze what’s happening on the ice when placing a live bet.

What makes our NHL free picks the best?

On top of being avid bettors, we’re also huge hockey fans. Our passion for hockey and love for sports betting is the perfect combination; it’s also a huge reason why you should trust BetPicks with your daily NHL picks, all of which are free!

It’s easy to look at a screen and throw a dart at the board for your picks. But why not be prepared in the best possible way? Our experts spend countless hours diving into the latest betting trends in the NHL, the most recent transactions, statistics, analytics (and more) to ensure that every pick we recommend is coming from backed analysis.

As well, we want to ensure that you receive the best value for your picks. We aren’t just a Moneyline-only type of group. We dive into all available lines and ensure that the bet we recommend is not only one that you can win, but one that will see a return on your wager.

The best free picks include probability and value. Our experts at BetPicks are ones you can trust to deliver consistently.

How to choose the best NHL free pick for me?

Selecting a wager is never easy. With plenty of options for a single game, bettors may be overwhelmed when selecting the type of bet they want to place.

If you’re new to the betting world, playing it safe may be the best option. Dipping your toes in the water and seeing what works for you will make for an easy introduction to hockey betting. New bettors may stick to popular lines like Totals or Moneyline wagers as they are two of the most wagered lines in the sport.

Experienced bettors may be knowledgeable with current trends and thus, dive into the more unique bets the sport has to offer. With so many betting options on a single night, there are numerous bets to be placed when it comes to newcomers and vets alike.

Are you attempting to go for a huge payout or a smaller score? If you’re going for a huge payout, that will either include a large wager or a bet with increased odds risk. New bettors may opt to throw less money on safer bets, while experienced bettors will be able to calculate risk with potential payout, combined with odds and value.

Playing it slow is never a bad option for any level of bettor. Once you have figured out which type of bets you like, then you can build from there!

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NHL Betting strategies

Teams prepare for their opponents and you should prepare for your wagers. There are several ways bettors can prepare for a bet to maximize success. Every bettor is different but using these tips will help guide you on the right path for your NHL picks.

Remember NHL’s Parity

The NHL has some of the best parity among its teams in professional sports. On any given night, any team can win. This means that depending on the match-up, there will be great value betting on the underdog. Favorites still tend to win games, but if you can find the right matchups then betting on the underdog could be lucrative.

Look at teams playing back-to-back

With an 82-game season, it’s basically guaranteed that teams will play on consecutive nights (on occasion). This is great because the team playing their second game in as many nights usually start their backup goaltender, which could lead to more goals being scored. Look for teams that have a heavy travel schedule or are playing on the backend of a two-game set to maximize profits.

Focus on Road Team’s Statistics

There is INSANE value in finding a team that does well on the road. This could either be betting on the Puck Line or Moneyline, but teams that win on the road hold insane value. Too often we focus on home-ice advantage. Teams that are well prepared for games on the road could bring you great return on your wagers.

2021-22 NHL Season

Every hockey season is must-watch, but the 2021-22 year will be distinct. First, the league welcomes the Seattle Kraken as the 32nd franchise, joining teams in the Pacific Division. Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals will attempt to chip away at Wayne Gretzky’s all-time goal totals, while teams like the Ottawa Senators, Detroit Red Wings, Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks look to resurge from the basement of their respective conferences.

This season should prove to be an enticing year for betting. Several rookies are aiming for the Calder Trophy (Caufield, Zegras, Knight, Seider) and the Tampa Bay Lightning are looking to capture three consecutive Stanley Cups, a feat not accomplished since the New York Islanders in the 1980s.

Teams like Vegas, Tampa Bay, Boston, Minnesota, St. Louis and New York Rangers should be appealing for bettors that love winners straight up, while other teams like Los Angeles, Dallas, Edmonton, Calgary and New Jersey have potential to cause a stir every single night.

Overall, the 2021-22 NHL season will be entertaining on the ice, providing numerous betting opportunities for fans and bettors alike.

NHL Schedule 2021-22

The NHL season opened up on October 12. 32-teams across Canada and the United States will play an 82-game schedule. In total, there are 1312 games to be played on the NHL schedule. The final date of the regular season is scheduled for April 29, 2022.

Regular season – Each team will play 26 games against Divisional Opponents. They will also play 24 games against Conference Opponents, as well as 32 games against Non-Conference Opponents. 41 games are played at home and 41 games are played away. With two Conferences (East/West) there are 16 teams on each side. Of the 32 NHL teams, there are 4 divisions with 8 teams each. The Eastern Conference features the Atlantic Division and Metropolitan Division, while the Western Conference features the Central Division and Pacific Division.

Playoffs – Set to begin May 2, 2022, the NHL playoffs features 16 teams. The top 3 teams from each division make the playoffs. The remaining 4 teams are decided by the Wild Card format, consisting of the next 2 best teams in the Conference, regardless of division. Each playoff series is a best-of-7, meaning one team needs to win 4 games against their opponent to progress to the next round.

Stanley Cup – The Stanley Cup Final is a best-of-7 series between the champions of the Eastern and Western Conferences. Much like the previous rounds of the playoffs, the first team to capture 4 wins in a head-to-head showdown will secure the Stanley Cup, hockey’s greatest possession. Set to take place in summer of 2022, here at BetPicks we will have you covered with exclusive postseason and Stanley Cup content, including free picks!

2021-22 Stanley Cup playoffs Free Picks

While the regular season provides its own value, the playoffs are another level. 16 teams compete for the chance to hoist the Stanley Cup, one of the most prestigious trophies in professional sports.

With each series being a best-of-7, there are no ‘one and done’ in the NHL playoffs. To advance, teams need to clearly show they are superior to their opponent. The NHL playoffs offer the same betting opportunities as the regular season but games are under a microscope. Teams, fans and bettors alike zero in on every advantage they can get. The added stakes make every game (and bet) more intense.

The NHL Playoffs are a war of attrition and if you aren’t prepared, you will be bounced. We regularly see upsets in post-season hockey, so there is insane value if you’re bold enough to bet the underdog.

Stanley Cup Finals 2021-22 Free Picks

If you thought the playoffs were under a microscope, wait until you see the Stanley Cup Finals. On top of our dedicated coverage of the regular season and playoffs, here at BetPicks we ramp up the intensity for the biggest playoff series in the sport.

The Stanley Cup is one of the most-watched sporting events of the year. We take pride in our coverage of the Final and want to ensure you’re well equipped as a fan and as a bettor with all the best NHL picks and parlays. There are no days off when it comes to winning the Stanley Cup and there are no corners cut with our coverage at BetPicks.

Every statistic is analyzed and every additional move is tracked in order to prepare for the biggest event in professional hockey.

Our NHL expert

Patrick TrudeauAt BetPicks, hockey isn’t just a game – it’s life. Growing up, our experts loved the game and were infatuated with the sport at an early age.

Our expert Patrick Trudeau grew up in a hockey-crazed home, playing the sport at an early age. His love for the sport, writing and betting helped guide him into giving free NHL betting picks here on BetPicks. As a former player, broadcaster and coach, he learned and examined the game from all areas. Being on the bench to the ice, as well as the broadcast booth helped analyze the game more than the average fan.

As competitive bettors, we love seeing our free NHL picks be correct. To do so, we scour the internet and look at in-depth statistics, watch game film and search for the latest betting trends to help our readers be successful with our bets. Whether it’s choosing the underdog to score first or hammering a high over/under total, you can be confident knowing that our picks are backed by hours of research to ensure you’re getting the best NHL betting tips, all for free.