NHL Betting Guide: Thursday 4/13/23

Today is the finish line of the regular season for all except the four clubs playing tomorrow. While many of the playoff races have been -- finally -- decided, some still have plenty to gain.

How should we bet the final huge slate of 2022-23?

Note: Lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. All NHL betting odds and totals come from FanDuel Sportsbook.

Boston Bruins at Montreal Canadiens

Under 6.5 (-112)

I'm terrified of how different oddsmakers and I perceive this line. I've got it far closer to 5.5 than 6.5.

Boston's elite offense has zero motivation with the finish line so close. The last thing they'd want to do is nick a star player in a meaningless game in Montreal. Some could rest, and all others likely see heavily reduced minutes no matter what.

Plus, the Canadiens' offense just stinks as a starting point. Montreal has posted the second-fewest expected goals scored (xGF) since March 1st (2.40). The players on the ice should be poor offensive units, and the goaltending here is outstanding on both sides.

In terms of goals saved above expectation (GSAx), both Jeremy Swayman (21.17 GSAx) and Sam Montembeault (16.99 GSAx) have been top-15 netminders this season. This is not the type of goaltending you usually see attached to a 6.5-goal total (as you'll see later).

Plus, if this game lives up to its lopsided billing, we should see some empty skating and time-killing late in this one.

Winnipeg Jets at Colorado Avalanche

Avalanche -1.5 (+128)

The Avalanche are really the lone squad on this slate -- other than Dallas in a squash match -- with the same motivation they've had for weeks. They want the Central Division crown.

If they're going to get it, they'll likely need four points with wins tonight against Winnipeg and tomorrow against Nashville. Luckily, the Jets should do them a favor.

Connor Hellebuyck (33.62 GSAx) has started 13 straight to get Winnipeg into the playoffs, but now that they're there without room to advance forward, he'll likely sit in favor of David Rittich (-0.22 GSAx) in this one. We could also see the Jets' top scorers sit similarly to Boston's. Colorado will likely counter with their main man, Alexandar Georgiev (18.76 GSAx).

These teams are 10th and 11th in expected-goals-for rate (xGF%) since March 1st, so they're close teams. This is a great battle when both netminders start. That's just not the case here.

Only needing a potential empty-net goal behind a convincing Avs win at +128? We'll take that.

Vancouver Canucks at Arizona Coyotes

Under 6.5 (-105)

This is another matchup where the goal total doesn't fit the goaltending.

Connor Ingram (8.93 GSAx) and Karel Vejmelka (8.72 GSAx) have carried the Coyotes all season, so it'd be a fitting finale to see it happen again. Whichever starts provides the same outlook against a Vancouver squad that has posted the 10th-fewest xGF per 60 minutes since March 1st (2.92).

That's ignoring the elephant in the room with an Arizona under, though. The Yotes have posted just 2.35 xGF per 60 in that same period -- the worst mark in the NHL.

That should make life easier for Thatcher Demko (-1.92 GSAx) or Collin Delia (-2.18 GSAx), but Demko would be the preferred starter for this side. Thatch is actually fifth in the NHL in GSAx since March 1st (8.92). If he'd been playing this well all season, this game might have had stakes attached to it.

This matchup contains two poor offenses and passable netminders in both spots. Expect a crawl to the finish line in this one.