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

Friday includes a five-game NHL slate, which begins at 7 p.m. ET on DraftKings. In this article you will find DFS tips for DraftKings queues, plus a few DraftKings Sportsbook bets to target.

Define your DraftKings fantasy hockey rosters here: Save $30,000 in the NHL [$10K to 1st]

St. Louis Blues -120 Money Line

The line between the Wild and the Blues is near a pick’em, which seems to undervalue the Blues just a bit. This is a team that is 23-9-4 at home this year and has won its last three home games by three or more goals. The Wild are obviously no pushovers, but they’ve calmed down in the short term and are just 4-6 in their last 10 road games. The Blues have been getting better goalkeepers lately and have some quality wins to their name over the past two weeks. They look like the underrated team in this one.

Florida Panthers over 4.5 goals -120

Florida is now averaging a crazy 4.74 goals per game at home and they face a Sabers team at the end of a straight game. If you’ve followed hockey for the past few years, you know the Sabers aren’t such a hot team. That fact holds true for today and it’s worth noting that they allowed the Panthers five home goals just four games ago and have allowed five or more goals in four of their last seven outings. Get the upper hand over Florida who could do it at the midpoint today.

Talk the two on DraftKings Sportsbook +242

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Top stack

Florida Panthers vs. Buffalo Sabers

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

We’ve described how good the Panthers have been at home above. Florida has averaged 4.74 goals at home this year and has scored six or more goals in four of its last five home wins. The fact that this Panthers top line is available at this kind of price is almost criminal and begs us to take advantage of it.

Claude Giroux has fitted right into the Panthers’ top six, making him almost unfair to opposing defenses. He now plays on a line alongside Jonathan Huberdeau, and the two combined for seven points alone in the Panthers’ 7-6 win over Toronto a few days ago. Although Huberdeau’s salary has increased slightly, the fact that we can match him with Claude Giroux, who is less than $5,000, even though he played more than 20 minutes in his last game, makes him a easy-to-target duo.

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

The Sabers are deep tonight and remain in the bottom 10 in shots against and goals against. Take value on the Panthers’ front six and differentiate yourself elsewhere.

Superstar to target

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

The Lightning have lost two straight and should be in a bad 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 to play a less open game today with David Pastrnak out, but I’m not sure that will affect Tampa Bay’s frontline production.

For DFS purposes, Kucherov is also likely going to become underhanded just based on the lower game total of 5.5. The Lightning still have an implied goal total near 3.5, and Kucherov is available at his lowest price in more than three games. Building around Tampa Stud should give you access to a top player today with an inferior property, who could easily become a fixture in big GPPs if he eventually fades away.

Attack value

Valeri Nichushkin, Colorado Avalanche ($4,000)

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

Victor Olofsson, Buffalo Sabers to Florida Panthers ($3,000)

If you need a cheaper game, than the reverse hunt with Victor Olofsson isn’t a bad idea at all. The winger had been in a terrible slump for much of the year but appears to have finally burst with six goals now in his last 10 games. There’s obviously a boom or bust factor at play with any of the Sabers forwards, but Olofsson will be playing in a game with a 7.0 over/under and face a Panthers side that allowed three goals or more in seven of his last eight games. Olofsson is establishing himself as a premier punting game for GPP rosters today.


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

As mentioned above, the Lightning have lost two games in a row now, and those two losses have seen Andrei Vasilevskiy record save percentages below .860, while allowing four or more goals. Any other goalkeeper and we might need to be worried, but this is Vasilevskiy we’re talking about, and we should be looking forward to the downside.

The Lightning are also -170 favorites today and will face a Bruins offense without one of their top scorers in David Pastrnak. That only adds to Vasilevskiy’s advantage there, who has posted a .921 save percentage and two shutouts this year at home. Take advantage of the discount offered today for one of the best in the league in an underrated location.

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 has made recent addition Nick Leddy more valuable in the short term for day-to-day fantasy purposes. Leddy currently handles most of the top unit’s power play duties, and that’s led to an influx of assists that makes him relevant at this sub-3k price point. The former Islander is averaging just 2.0 assists + blocked shots, but he’s scored in three straight games and is locked in a 20+ minute role.

The Wild’s shorthandedness is also one of the weakest parts of their team as they come into this game ranked only eighth in shorthanded efficiency. Leddy could profit from it today and that makes him a solid back at this near-minimum price.

Power play defenders

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

If we’re paying for defense, our options are limited to a few names today. While the game may not be as good on paper as some of the other spots, the Lightning offense has been its formidable habit lately, scoring four or more goals in five of its last seven starts. That would have me leaning towards Victor Hedman today, who is also available at his lowest price in over 15 games on DraftKings.

Hedman still averages 4.8 blocked shots + shots on goal per game in his last 10 starts and has been one of the most productive players in terms of clean goals, having already reached a career high of 19- only 70. Games. Expect Hedman to potentially cross the 20-goal mark tonight against a Conference rival.

Define your DraftKings fantasy hockey rosters here: Save $30,000 in the NHL [$10K to 1st]

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