As the weather gets colder, NHL betting action heats up and we've got nine hockey games on tap for tonight. We dive into tonight's matchups and bring you our three best plays, including a player prop, a puckline wager, and an Over/Under bet.
Here are our best free NHL picks and predictions for Thursday, February 18.
NHL picks for today
Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews has been a force up front for Toronto ever since making his NHL debut with four goals against the Senators in 2016. But the 23-year-old has elevated his game to another level this season.
Matthews leads the league with 14 goals through 16 games and has tallied at least one goal in 10 of his last 12 contests. He found the back of the net Wednesday and has now scored in 11 of his last 15 games against the Sens going back to the 2017-18 season.
With Ottawa likely rolling with backup netminder Marcus Hogberg (2-5, 4.32 GAA, .860 save percentage) tonight, expect another goal from the Leafs superstar.
PREDICTION: Auston Matthews to score anytime (-135)
The Blues are coming off a 1-0 loss to the Coyotes and will be happy to be back home in St. Louis following an entire week on the road in Arizona. The Blues are 9-5-2 and despite struggling on special teams have been strong on both ends of the ice at even strength.
St. Louis is second in the league in goals scored per 60 minutes in 5v5 hockey and has gotten sensational play in net from Jordan Binnington, who is 7-3-2 with a 2.37 GAA and .918 save percentage.
The Sharks, meanwhile, can't find the back of the net, ranking 27th in the league in goals per 60 minutes at even strength. Veteran goalie Martin Jones is also mired in a slump, posting a 3.75 GAA with a save percentage of .873 through 10 starts.
San Jose is coming off a victory on Monday night but has gone 0-6 in its last six games following a win. The Sharks are also just 1-6 in the last seven meetings against the Blues. Expect St. Louis to bounce back with a big win tonight and back them on the puckline.
PREDICTION: St. Louis -1.5 (+135)
Tonight's West Coast matchup between the Wild and Ducks might have you falling asleep but NHL bettors should try to take advantage of both teams' offensive ineptitude before the puck drops on this contest at 10 p.m. ET.
The Wild will have Kaapo Kahkonen between the pipes and, although the 24-year-old has been inconsistent, he will be in a good spot tonight. Minnesota is of the stingiest defensive teams in the league, allowing the fewest high-danger chances per 60 minutes, and will get to take on a pathetic group of Anaheim forwards.
The Ducks are dead-last in the NHL in scoring with just 1.94 goals per game. Luckily, they have John Gibson keeping them in games with big saves. The All-Star netminder is 5-5-3 with a 2.33 GAA and .921 save percentage.
He should be in for another strong performance as he takes on a Wild team that ranks 24th in the league with 2.5 goals per game and has the worst powerplay unit, converting on just 6.7 percent of all chances with the man advantage.
The Ducks have gone 11-3-1 to the Under in their last 15 games overall, while the Under has also cashed in six of the last eight meetings between these teams. Back the Under again.
PREDICTION: Under 5.5 (-130)
Top NHL consensus for today
Want to know who today's biggest NHL betting and consensus bets are right now? Check out our top NHL consensus picks.
NHL betting card for February 18
- Auston Matthews to score anytime (-135)
- Puckline St. Louis -1.5 (+135)
- Minnesota/Anaheim Under 5.5 (-130)
Did you know that if you parlayed today’s NHL betting picks, you could win $62.38 on a $10 bet?
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