NHL Bets Today: Odds and predictions for Friday, March 31st

March 31, 2023 09:37 AM

The NHL regular season will hit the 1,200-game mark on Friday, which means there’s just a little over 100 games remaining before the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin. Friday’s NHL schedule offers four games. Read on for today's odds and predictions.

NHL Schedule Breakdown

The following table highlights tired spots and/or days’ rest.





















Today’s NHL Odds

There are currently no best bets.

Visit VSiN NHL Odds to see the full board.

New York Rangers (-140) at Buffalo Sabres (+120)

Sabres’ prospect Devon Levi will make his NHL debut in goal against the Rangers on Friday. The 21-year-old goalie signed an entry level contract earlier this month after leading the NCAA in save percentage for the second season in a row. Levi joins a plethora of other NHL goaltenders who have recently made the jump from college to the NHL but unlike Thatcher Demko, Jake Oettinger, and Jeremy Swayman, he was a selected late in his draft.

However, at this point, the team might as well see what they have in Levi, Buffalo isn’t going to have to face Igor Shesterkin, and whether they can beat the Rangers on Friday will likely come down to what the rest of their lineup looks like, not the goaltending, as the team’s scoring leader Tage Thompson, as well as Mattias Samuelson and Jordan Greenway are all regarded as game-time decisions, and the Sabres offense hasn’t been good in March. The team ranks 26th in goals per 60 minutes.

Assuming the Sabres ice a full lineup, they’ll have a 45 percent of winning, which is too close to the market to consider them as a value bet. Buffalo will be on the road in Philadelphia on Saturday.

Detroit Red Wings (+200) at Winnipeg Jets (-240)

Magnus Hellberg is expected start in goal for the Red Wings with Ville Husso out for what sounds like the rest of the season. This is bad news for Detroit, but the Jets have been a terrible bet as of late with their offense in the toilet. Detroit ranks 29th in goals (per 60) since the start of March, but the Jets rank 27th and their defense hasn’t been good.

Winnipeg ranked as a top-10 team in goals against between October and March, but since the start of the month, they rank just outside the bottom-10 teams in that category. By my estimation, the home team will win about 71 percent of the time which means there’s no bargain to be had betting -250.

Calgary Flames (-125) at Vancouver Canucks (+105)

Calgary is just two points back of Winnipeg, but the tiebreaker is in the Jets’ favor, as the two teams would be judged on the number of regulation wins that they accumulated throughout the season should they finish with the same number of points. Calgary has eight fewer regulation wins than Winnipeg does, and they only have seven games remaining, which is why, despite being just two points back, their odds of making the playoffs are so much worse than the Jets.

As far as Friday’s game goes, this is the first game back home for the Canucks after a three-game road trip, but like the Flames, they’ve had a couple of days off. The Canucks have been better than the Flames as of late, going 10-4 in March while Calgary has gone 7-7 and they’ve surpassed the Flames in terms of expected goals percentage in all situations.

My model estimates that Vancouver will win the game around 47 percent of the time if Demko is in goal, so while I’m not considering betting them at +110, it looks like it’s going to be Canucks or nothing for me in this one.

Dallas Stars (-245) at Arizona Coyotes (+205)

Arizona had its six-game home win streak snapped on the weekend, losing 4-3 to the Colorado Avalanche in a shootout, and they followed that up with a 5-4 loss to the Oilers the very next night. Still, the fact that the Coyotes kept it close against the two best teams in the Western Conference is a positive.

The team is 20-12-4 at Mullet Arena this season, but they haven’t matched up well against the Stars this season and Dallas has beaten them at home and away. In three games versus the Coyotes this season, the Stars own approximately 63 percent of the expected goals and they have outscored them 15-4.

Dallas and Arizona played on March 1st and the Stars generated 5.38 expected goals to the Coyotes’ 2.49 expected goals. Arizona was outshot 41-20 in that game. The Stars should win this game close to 70 percent of the time if Oettinger is in goal, but the Stars will be in Colorado to take on the Avalanche on Saturday. Arizona hosts San Jose on Saturday.

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