NHL Top Picks & Props February 29: Predators and Minnesota to Get Wild Early On

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Joel Eriksson Ek #14 of the Minnesota Wild celebrates his goal against the Vancouver Canucks with teammates in the first period at Xcel Energy Center on February 19, 2024. David Berding/Getty Images/AFP

With eleven NHL games on our card tonight, the final phase of the season is upon us and we are liking some of the action that’s in store for us tonight as we’ve curated our NHL top picks & props February 29 article.

We are targeting the league’s top goalscorer Auston Matthews to score yet again, whilst the Tampa Bay Lightning look to bounce back on home ice. Elsewhere we believe goals can come early in Nashville, so let’s break down the NHL odds, for tonight, at the top sportsbooks.

NHL Pick: Predators – Wild First-Period Over 1.5 Goals (-120) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Predators – Wild First-Period Over 1.5 Goals (-120)
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Arizona Coyotes vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Thursday, February 29, 2024 – 07:00 PM ET at Scotiabank Arena

Matthews Value to Score Again

Auston Matthews has been absolutely on fire so far this season, not only is he the top goalscorer, but he currently has 13 more goals than the next best in line and has been on fire during February scoring in 8 of his 12 games played. 

Tonight Matthews faces his hometown team the Arizona Coyotes, and these two teams met only a few days ago in Arizona where Matthews managed to score two goals on the night.  

However since then he has only scored one goal and failed to score in his previous two games, but tonight we are backing him to get back on the scoreboard on home ice.  

NHL Pick

The Arizona Coyotes have been abysmal defensively lately, having allowed 4/4/6/6/4/5/3/5/5/3 goals in their previous 10 games, an average of 4.5 goals per game and they are currently on an 0-13 losing streak.

This pick is a no-brainer, Auston Mathews facing his hometown club which is one of the worst teams defensively right now and looking to get back on the scoreboard following back-to-back goals in fewer games for the league’s top scorer.  

NHL Pick: Auston Matthews Anytime Goalscorer (-115) at BetOnline

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Auston Matthews Anytime Goalscorer (-115)
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Buffalo Sabres vs. Tampa Bay Lightning  

Thursday, February 29, 2024 – 07:00 PM ET at Amalie Arena

TB Value at Plus Money to Cover Spread

The Tampa Bay Lightning are just about inside the playoff zone and will look to continue moving up the table to secure their postseason spot (and their 3rd championship in five seasons).  

Their opponents, Buffalo, have been a disappointment thus far this season as many expected them to improve on their season from last year, they seem to have stalled a little and currently have a lot to do if they wish to make the playoffs. By a lot we mean go like 18-4 in their final 22 games (which is highly unlikely).  

Despite the Lightning being above the Sabres in the league table, Buffalo does have a better record at covering the spread than Tampa Bay, but just about. Buffalo has gone 31-28 ATS this season whilst Tampa Bay has gone 30-31.  

We believe the Lightning at plus money on home ice is the best bet in this matchup and we like their current odds to do so at +130 NHL betting odds.  

NHL Pick

Tampa Bay is looking for a bounce-back spot in this game as they have lost their previous three home games, all of which two or more goals beat them. Before this 0-3 streak, they had gone 8-0 at home and covered the spread in five of those eight games.  

Buffalo has been strong on the road recently, going 7-3 in their previous 10, although two of those three losses saw them fail to cover the spread. Considering their situation, it’s hard to oppose Tampa Bay, and we believe this is a great bounce-back spot for the three-time Stanley Cup champions.  

NHL Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning PK Line (+130) at BetOnline

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Tampa Bay Lightning PK Line (+130)
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Minnesota Wild vs. Nashville Predators

Thursday, February 29, 2024 – 08:00 PM ET at Bridgestone Arena

Goals Can Come Early

When playing on the road the Minnesota Wild have gone 9-11-9 to the 1st period total over whilst the Nashville Predators on home ice have gone 12-8-10 to the total over in the first period.  

We like this game to produce some early goals as Minnesota games have seen 3/3/1/2/3 goals in each of their previous five first periods while the Predators have seen 3/0/1/2/3 goals in each of their previous five games during the first period.  

Their previous five meetings against each other have produced 0/3/3/0/2 goals in the first period.  

NHL Pick

If we want to say both teams’ previous ten games in the NHL have seen the 1st period over 1.5 go 7-3 and their previous five meetings 3-2 we can say that 66% of those games have gone over 1.5 goals. This means we should see odds around at least -190 for 2+ goals in this first period.

Albeit is a small and quite selective database, we still believe -120 for 2+ first-period goals is valuable in this game, especially when the Minnesota Wild are involved, although we wouldn’t advise laying any more than -140.  

NHL Pick: First-Period Over 1.5 Goals (-120) at BetOnline

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First-Period Over 1.5 Goals (-120)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.