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NHL Picks: Best Bets, DraftKings Fantasy Hockey DFS Cheat Sheet for April 8

Geoff Ulrich gives his top NHL picks and lineup advice for today’s fantasy hockey slate on DraftKings.

Friday features a five-game NHL slate, which begins at 7:00 p.m. ET on DraftKings. In this article, you will find DFS advice for DraftKings lineups, plus some DraftKings Sportsbook bets to target.

Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL $30K Kick Save [$10K to 1st]



DraftKings Sportsbook

St. Louis Blues -120 Money Line

The line between the Wild and Blues stands at near a pick’em, which seems like it’s undervaluing the Blues just a touch. This is a team that carries a 23-9-4 home record on the year and has won its last three home games by three or more goals. The Wild are obviously no pushovers, but they have cooled off in the short-term and are just 4-6 in their last 10 road games. The Blues have gotten better goaltending of late and have some quality wins under their belt from the last couple of weeks. They look like the undervalued team in this one.

Florida Panthers over 4.5 goals -120

Florida is now averaging an insane 4.74 goals per game at home and they’re taking on a Sabres team on the tail end of a back-to-back. If you’ve followed hockey at all over the past few years, you know the Sabres aren’t such a hot team. That fact remains true for today and it’s worth noting that they allowed five goals at home to the Panthers just four games ago—and have allowed five or more goals against in four of their last seven outings. Take the over on Florida who could hit this by the halfway mark today.

Parlay both on DraftKings Sportsbook +242


Place your NHL bets at DraftKings Sportsbook or by downloading the DraftKings Sportsbook app.


Top Stack

Florida Panthers vs. Buffalo Sabres

Sam Bennett ($5,600) — Jonathan Huberdeau ($7,100) — Claude Giroux ($4,900)

We outlined how good the Panthers have been at home up above. Florida has averaged 4.74 goals at home this year and have scored six or more goals in four of their last five home wins. The fact this Panthers top line is available at these kinds of prices is almost criminal and begs us to take advantage.

Claude Giroux has fit in seamlessly among the Panthers’ top six, making it almost unfair for opposing defenses. He’s now playing on a line alongside Jonathan Huberdeau, and the two combined for seven points on their own in the Panthers 7-6 win over Toronto a couple of days ago. While Huberdeau’s salary has come up a touch, the fact we can pair him with Claude Giroux, who sits under $5,000—despite playing over 20 minutes in his last game—makes this an easy value duo to target.

Sam Bennett is the third man in on this act and he’s been attached to both wingers at even strength and on the power play. Bennett often gets overlooked with Aleksander Barkov on the team, but he’s got ridiculously good home splits, averaging 4.0 shots per game at home and 16.4 DKFP. He’s an easy back at this range.

The Sabres are in deep tonight and remain a bottom-10 team in terms of shots allowed and goals against. Take the value on the Panthers’ top six and differentiate elsewhere.


Superstar to Target

Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Boston Bruins ($7,400)

The Lightning have lost two games in a row and should be in a sour mood for their home game today against Boston. Nikita Kucherov certainly hasn’t been the problem for the Lightning, as he enters this game with goals in three straight games. Boston is likely to try and play a less open game today with David Pastrnak out, but I’m not sure that will matter with how the Tampa Bay top line is producing.

For DFS purposes, Kucherov is also likely going to go under-owned just based off the smaller game total of 5.5. The Lightning still have an implied goal total near 3.5, and Kucherov is available at his lowest price point in over three games. Building around the Tampa stud should give you access to a high-end player today with lower ownership, who could easily become a must own in big GPPs if he ends up going off.


Value on Offense

Valeri Nichushkin, Colorado Avalanche ($4,000)

The Avalanche are still without Gabriel Landeskog up front and that’s meant Valeri Nichushkin has remained a big part of the Avalanche top six. He’s set to return from a short illness layoff and looks to be moved back to the second line today against the Jets. Nichushkin remains a part of the Avalanche’s top power-play unit and will take on a Jets team that ranks in the bottom 10 in terms of penalty-kill efficiency and shots allowed. The 4k salary on tap gives you good exposure to the Avalanche top six and a player who has averaged 11.6 DKFP over his last 10 games, making him well worth the 4k price tonight.

Victor Olofsson, Buffalo Sabres at Florida Panthers ($3,000)

If you’re in need of a cheaper play, than hunting for upside with Victor Olofsson isn’t a poor idea at all. The winger had been in a dreadful slump for much of the year but looks to have finally broken out with six goals now in his last 10 games. There’s obviously a boom or bust factor in play with any of the Sabres’ forwards, but Olofsson will be playing in a game with a 7.0 over/under and going against a Panthers team that has allowed three or more goals in seven of its last eight games. Olofsson sets up as a prime punt play for GPP lineups today.


Goalie

Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Boston Bruins ($8,000)

As mentioned above, the Lightning have lost two games in a row now, and both of those losses have seen Andrei Vasilevskiy post save percentages of under .860, while allowing four or more goals. Any other goalie and we may need to be worried, but this is Vasilevskiy we’re talking about, and we should be eager to buy in on the dip.

The Lightning also sit as -170 favorites today and will be facing a Bruins offense without one of their best scorers in David Pastrnak. That only boosts the upside for Vasilevskiy in this spot who has posted a .921 save percentage and two shutouts this year while at home. Take the discount on offer today for one of the league’s best in an underrated spot.


Value on Defense

Nick Leddy, St. Louis Blues vs. Minnesota Wild ($2,800)

The Blues are still without Torey Krug on the backend and that’s made recent addition Nick Leddy more valuable in the short-term for daily fantasy purposes. Leddy is currently handling most of the top-unit power play duties, and it’s led to an influx of assists which makes him relevant at this sub-3k price point. The former Islander is only averaging 2.0 assists + blocked shots, but he’s got points in three straight and is locked into a 20+ minute role.

The Wild’s penalty kill is also one of the weakest parts of their team as they enter this game ranked just eighth in penalty-kill efficiency. Leddy could take advantage today and that makes him a solid back at this near-min price points.


Power Play Defensemen

Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Boston Bruins ($6,400)

If we’re paying up on defense our options are limited to just a couple of names today. While the matchup isn’t as good on paper as some of the other spots, the Lightning’s offense has been its usual formidable self of late, landing four or more goals in five of their last seven starts. That would have me lean towards Victor Hedman today, who is also available at his cheapest price in well over 15 games on DraftKings.

Hedman is still averaging 4.8 blocked shots + shots on goal per game over his last 10 starts and has been one of the most productive players on the back-end in terms of pure goal-scoring, having already hit a career high 19 through just 70 games. Look for Hedman to potentially breech the 20-goal mark tonight against a Conference rival.

Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL $30K Kick Save [$10K to 1st]


I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.


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