NHL Playoffs 2024 First Round Betting Odds, Predictions, And Picks

NHL Playoffs 2024 First Round Betting Odds, Predictions, And Picks

With the puck dropping on the hockey postseason shortly, it is time for 2024 NHL Playoff first round predictions and picks! The best NHL betting sites have posted a variety of lines to delve into for the opening slate of playoff matchups.

In this article, I explore the latest odds and make my 2024 NHL Playoff first round best bets! I cover every single clash, using the odds available at BetOnline, one of my favorite sportsbooks for hockey.

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New York Islanders vs. Carolina Hurricanes Odds, Prediction, and Betting Pick

The following NHL Playoffs 2024 first round odds are courtesy of BetOnline:

  • Carolina Hurricanes (-425)
  • New York Islanders (+345)

The Carolina Hurricanes are heavily favored to win their first-round matchup over the New York Islanders. As a -425 betting favorite, the Hurricanes have an implied probability of defeating the Islanders of 81%!

I don’t think anyone will be surprised by the lines. The Hurricanes were one of the top-ranked teams in the Eastern Conference. Despite failing to catch the New York Rangers, they finished 52-23-7 in the Metropolitan Division with 111 points.

The top two teams in the league were the Rangers at 114 points and the Hurricanes. The next closest team in the division was the Islanders in third with 94 points. At 39-27-16, they clinched a late playoff berth in the regular season.

I like the Islanders’ top lines with Mat Barzal, Anders Lee, and Bo Horvat, but I question their depth in comparison to the Hurricanes. That’s defensive and offensive depth up front.

The well-rounded Hurricanes are top-10 in the league in goals against (4th) and goals scored (8th) per game. They are also in good shape between the pipes, with two solid options in Fredrik Anderson and Pyotr Kochetkov.

The Hurricanes’ depth is a lot to contend with, so they should emerge victorious in six games. With -425 NHL Playoff first round odds, there isn’t any value on Carolina.

However, I like the odds for a 4-2 correct score. You can get +375 for the Islanders to take two games, so that’s my pick for this clash.

The Bet
Carolina Hurricanes Win Series 4-2

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Boston Bruins Odds, Prediction, and Betting Pick

The following NHL Playoffs 2024 first round odds are courtesy of BetOnline:

  • Boston Bruins (-130)
  • Toronto Maple Leafs (+110)

The Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins meet in a familiar playoff series between two bitter rivals. This is the fourth time they will in the postseason since 2013.

The Bruins won in seven games over the Maple Leafs in their previous three meetings. Most recently in 2019, the series ended at TD Garden with a 5-1 Boston win. Are the Maple Leafs going to lose similarly once again?

If the regular season series is any indication, Toronto doesn’t have a chance. The Bruins plastered the Leafs, with four wins in four games. Boston scored 14 goals as opposed to seven goals for the Leafs.

Additionally, the Bruins posted a 0.949 save percentage as opposed to 0.891 for the Maple Leafs1. Boston finished seven points ahead of the Leafs in the Atlantic Division with a mark of 47-20-15.

The team could’ve had a better record if they prioritized better late in the season. Auston Matthews and the Leafs tried really hard to get him to 70 goals, but he came just short. It might have been an unneeded distraction this close to the postseason.

I would have liked to see the Leafs gearing up for the playoffs instead of feeding Matthews to get to 70!

Toronto limps into the playoffs with four consecutive losses and the goaltending has been suspect. Ilya Samsonov went on a hot run heading into April but hasn’t been at his best recently.

The Bruins have the Leafs’ number and home-ice advantage again in a series that is always played close. I expect another long series, with the Bruins prevailing. For your 2024 NHL Playoff best bets, consider Boston to oust Toronto in six or seven games.

The Bet
Boston Bruins

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Florida Panthers Odds, Prediction, and Betting Pick

The following NHL Playoffs 2024 first round odds are courtesy of BetOnline:

  • Florida Panthers (-195)
  • Tampa Bay Lightning (+170)

The Florida Panthers went on an improbable run to the Stanley Cup Final last season. For the current campaign, the Panthers have more expectations after playing with house money in 2023. They will take on Florida rival Tampa Bay to begin their quest for the Stanley Cup.

The Panthers finished first in the Atlantic Division at 52-24-6. They wanted to show that last season’s Cup run wasn’t a fluke and have certainly achieved that. That being said, the Panthers can’t take an experienced, veteran-led Lightning squad lightly.

Tampa had a solid campaign with a record of 45-29-8. They wrapped up the regular season with a 6-4 win over the Maple Leafs. Goal scoring is not a problem with this group. The Lightning notched 3.51 goals per game for fifth-best in the NHL.

Conversely, the Panthers were 11th in the regular season, scoring 3.23 goals per contest. The team’s top-ranked defense has the advantage defensively, with 2.41 goals conceded per game2. That said, slowing down the likes of Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos isn’t a simple assignment!

On March 16, the Lightning offense toppled the Panthers for five goals in a 5-3 victory. The odds for this matchup suggest that the Panthers have an implied probability of winning set at 64.9%.

I am not convinced they have that much of an advantage, so the Lightning are the best play as underdogs!

The Bet
Tampa Bay Lightning

Washington Capitals vs. New York Rangers Odds, Prediction, and Betting Pick

The following NHL Playoffs 2024 first round odds are courtesy of BetOnline:

  • New York Rangers (-450)
  • Washington Capitals (+360)

The NHL Playoff series odds for the Washington and New York clash suggest a massive discrepancy between these clubs. The Rangers are a heavy -450 favorite over the Capitals.

This equates to an 81.8% implied probability of winning this seven-game series. Can the Rangers avoid the Presidents’ Trophy curse for finishing with the best record in the NHL?

The last team to win the Stanley Cup with the best regular season mark was the 2012-13 Chicago Blackhawks, so why not. The Rangers wrapped up the season at 55-23-4 with 114 points in the Metropolitan Division.

They’ve had a playoff berth clinched for a while now, but the Capitals needed one of the very last days of the regular season to get in. At 40-31-11, Washington qualified for the playoffs with 91 points.

These Metropolitan Division rivals meet for the first time in the playoffs in nine seasons. While the odds for this series overwhelmingly favor the Rangers, Alexander Ovechkin and the Caps will not go down quietly.

Having said that, the Rangers’ depth will most likely be too much. They finished seventh in goals scored and goals allowed per game this season. While the Capitals absolutely need their offense to perform at full speed, the Rangers can win in a multitude of ways!

Look for Artemi Panarin to stay hot and lead the Rangers to victory. The Capitals have the worst goal differential of any team in the Stanley Cup Playoffs at -373. I don’t like the price of -450, so consider backing the Rangers to win in five games.

Such a score reflects the difference between the two sides accurately, so getting +275 is much better value than outright backing the Rangers.

The Bet
New York Rangers Win Series 4-1

Nashville Predators vs. Vancouver Canucks Odds, Prediction, and Betting Pick

The following NHL Playoffs 2024 first round odds are courtesy of BetOnline:

  • Vancouver Canucks (-158)
  • Nashville Predators (+138)

The Vancouver Canucks open the postseason with NHL Playoff 2024 odds of -158 to beat the Nashville Predators. The price indicates an implied probability to win this first-round series of 61.2%.

The Canucks had a strong campaign and one of the most surprising seasons in 2023-24. With a record of 50-23-9, they finished atop the Pacific Division pretty comfortably over the 49-27-6 Edmonton Oilers.

The Canucks’ organization has assembled a cast of talent over the last few years, and it has all come together for them in 2023-24. They are a well-balanced team led by several key components.

J.T. Miller, Elias Pettersson, and Brock Boeser are all potent offensive playmakers. On the blueline, the Canucks have one of the best in the NHL with Quinn Hughes.

Overall, the Canucks ranked sixth in goals scored and goals yielded per contest this season. Thatcher Demko is a viable goaltender in the crease as well. He posted a 2.45 GAA and 0.918 save percentage in 51 starts for the Canucks4.

I like what the Predators have done to improve their roster this season, too. They are now a playoff team, but a step behind the Canucks in this series. The favorites were +56 in goal differential, while the Predators were +21 in the regular season.

The Canucks are a sharp bet for an opening series win, so consider them for your 2024 NHL Playoff best bets.

The Bet
Vancouver Canucks

Colorado Avalanche vs. Winnipeg Jets Odds, Prediction, and Betting Pick

The following NHL Playoffs 2024 first round odds are courtesy of BetOnline:

  • Colorado Avalanche (-135)
  • Winnipeg Jets (+115)

Despite the Winnipeg Jets owning home-ice advantage, the Colorado Avalanche are a -135 betting favorite at most online sportsbooks. This means that the Avalanche have an implied probability of 57.4%.

The team finished the season with a record of 50-25-7 and three points behind the Jets. They were mediocre down the stretch, with a record of 4-4-2 in their previous 10 matchups.

In comparison, the Jets were in top form, posting a record of 8-2-0 and an eight-game winning streak to grab home-ice advantage. Oddsmakers appear to be disrespecting the Jets in this spot. They were never a huge media darling, but quietly went about their business.

This team has a core of underrated leaders, including Kyle Connor and Mark Scheifele. The Jets bolstered their roster by acquiring Sean Monahan from the Montreal Canadiens earlier this season. The former Calgary Flame has asserted himself with 13 goals and 11 assists in 34 games with the Jets5.

Colorado missing out on home-ice advantage was a big loss. They are just 19-16-6 away as opposed to 31-9-1 at home. Overall, the Avs have a +50 goal differential compared to +60 for the Jets.

I see the wrong team being favored in this first-round series. If the offense isn’t clicking, goaltender Connor Hellebuyck even has a chance to steal this one. The Jets are heating up at the right time, so backing them is one of the best bets for the NHL Playoffs first round.

The Bet
Winnipeg Jets

Los Angeles Kings vs. Edmonton Oilers Odds, Prediction, and Betting Pick

The following NHL Playoffs 2024 first round odds are courtesy of BetOnline:

  • Edmonton Oilers (-180)
  • Los Angeles Kings (+155)

The Edmonton Oilers open as a healthy -180 favorite to win their first-round series over the Los Angeles Kings. They have an implied probability of 64.3% to oust the upset-minded Kings in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Currently, the Oilers’ 2024 Stanley Cup odds rank amongst the favorites at +750. Following a slow start this season, they have been one of the best teams in the league over the last five months.

The Oilers have scored the fourth-most goals per game and are tenth in the league with 2.88 goals yielded per contest. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are well-known as being two of the most potential offensive players in the NHL.

Also, Stuart Skinner has been sharp in net for the most part, as he boasts a GAA of 2.62 and a 0.905 save percentage6.

The Oilers have three wins in four outings over the Kings this season. They are also responsible for bouncing the same opponent from the 2022 and 2023 playoffs in seven and six games!

This should be another long series, with the Kings offering some resistance. Their offense has gone cold at times this year, though. They are just 17th in goal-scoring, with the defense as their focal point. Goals are required to beat a tough Oilers’ offense.

I expect a repeat of their last two playoff meetings, with the Kings failing to keep up with McDavid and company. Consider giving the Oilers the nod in the first round at -180.

The Bet
Edmonton Oilers

Vegas Golden Knights vs. Dallas Stars Odds, Prediction, and Betting Pick

The following NHL Playoffs 2024 odds are courtesy of BetOnline:

  • Dallas Stars (-130)
  • Vegas Golden Knights (+110)

The Dallas Stars vs. Vegas Golden Knights series is one of the most intriguing matchups of the first round. The NHL 2024 Playoffs odds afford the Stars a slim implied chance of 56.5% to beat the defending Stanley Cup champs.

Following their first championship in franchise history, the Golden Knights responded with a 45-29-8 season and 98 points. It was a drop from their regular season production in 2022-23, but they clinched a playoff berth comfortably.

Conversely, the Stars won the Central Division title and the best record in the Western Conference at 52-21-9. Winning at home and on the road is important come playoff time and the Stars are well-equipped to handle both scenarios.

In addition to a solid record of 26-11-4 at home, the Stars are 26-10-5 on the road! That’s the best away record in the NHL. T-Mobile Arena is a tough place to play, but the Stars should prevail in Vegas.

Additionally, they are ranked second in the NHL with a goal differential of +64! The Golden Knights were just +22 in goal differential in the regular season.

Dallas should be closer to a -155 favorite over Vegas in the first round, so there is solid value on the Stars’ NHL Playoff series odds here.

The Bet
Dallas Stars

What Are Your Predictions For The First Round?

I covered all series in my first round NHL Playoff predictions, so I’m sure that you have a different opinion on some of them. If you want to follow that up with a bet, I recommend using BetOnline.

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Also, BetOnline offers one of the best NHL Playoff contests for free!

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  1. Boston Bruins Vs Toronto Maple Leafs Record This Year | StatMuse.com. Retrieved From “https://www.statmuse.com/nhl/ask/boston-bruins-vs-toronto-maple-leafs-record-this-year

  2. NHL Stats | NHL.com. Retrieved From “https://www.nhl.com/stats/teams

  3. NHL Standings – 2023-24 season | ESPN.com. Retrieved From “https://www.espn.com/nhl/standings

  4. NHL Standings – 2023-24 season | ESPN.com. Retrieved From “https://www.espn.com/nhl/standings

  5. Sean Monahan Career Stats | ESPN.com. Retrieved From “https://www.espn.com/nhl/player/stats/_/id/3041996/sean-monahan

  6. Stuart Skinner Stats | NHL.com. Retrieved From “https://www.nhl.com/oilers/player/stuart-skinner-8479973

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Kyle Eve
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Kyle Eve is a seasoned pro of The Sports Geek. Since joining the team in 2012, Kyle, has covered some of the biggest sporting events in the world. From the Super Bowl and World Series to March Madness, the NBA Finals, Kentucky Derby, and many more, Kyle has provided reliable analysis for millions of readers. After dedicating himself to hockey and football in high school, Kyle placed his first sports bet on his 18th birthday. Since then, he has spent his entire adult life devoting himself to becoming the best sports bettor and casino gambler possible. Kyle is from Windsor, ON, Canada

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