Best Bets To Cash-In Off The 2023 NHL Draft

Best Bets To Cash-In Off The 2023 NHL Draft

The NHL came to a thrilling conclusion with the Golden Knights claiming the Stanley Cup. But before you close the door on gambling on the NHL, let us remind you we’re days away from the Draft. Keep reading and we’ll give you our two best bets for the 2023 NHL Draft. We’re confident these two will pay out!

  • What: 2023 NHL Draft
  • When: Wednesday, June 28
  • Where: Bridgestone Arena in Nashville

2023 NHL Draft Betting Advice

Our betting advice for the NHL Draft starts AFTER the first overall pick. That’s because it’s a forgone conclusion that the Blackhawks will select generational prospect, Connor Bedard. Only 17 years old, some believe the Canadian has the potential to be one of the all-time greats due to his uncanny knack for getting goals.

With Bedard to Chicago a done deal, the betting opportunities begin right after with the next two picks. In this article, we’ll lay our predictions for those spots:

Second Overall Pick

Anaheim had the statistically best chance at getting the first overall pick but ended up getting second in the lottery after all. Now they have to settle with a “consolation prize” after missing on Bedard. As it stands, the best betting sites for NHL have pegged the following players with the best chances at going two overall:

Adam Fantilli-1000-1000-1000
Leo Carlsson+700+700+700
Matvei Mitchkov+1000+1000+1000
Will Smith+2000+2000+2000
Andrew Cristall+3300+3300+3300

All signs (and odds) point to Adam Fantilli being the Ducks' choice. On the surface, it makes complete sense. In any other draft, Fantilli would be a No. 1 selection. Fantilli is a complete player with a blend of power, skill, and speed. In his single season at Michigan, Fantilli had 30 goals and 35 assists en route to winning the Hobey Baker Award given to the best NCAA hockey player country-wide. Fantilli became only the third-ever freshman to take home the hardware so it was no routine season.

But… and this a big but, there are no guarantees in drafting or betting. Case in point a season ago. Everyone — and we mean everyone — had Shane Wright going first overall for months. The consensus stayed the same on draft night. And then, Wright didn’t go first. Or second. Or third. Wright was finally taken by Seattle at four. Who’s to say we don’t see the same happen here? Not with Bedard, but with Fantilli?

We’re inclined to skip a bet on Fantilli. Not only because of that draft-day fall possibility, but just from a betting value perspective. There’s just about no money to make off -1000 odds. Nothing and the risk-reward isn’t worth it even if you do have huge amounts of money. So the way we see it, you might as well take a stab at someone other than Fantilli here, even if he is the likely pick.

If not Fantilli, then Leo Carlsson makes a whole lot of sense. Carlsson is the classic case of a player whose draft stock is shooting up late. He benefitted from a strong outing at the recent IIHF World Championship. Carlsson played as the No. 1 center and chipped in three goals and two assists in eight games. Out of all the draft-eligible players at the tourney (which included Fantilli), Carlsson looked a cut above the rest.

We’re confidently putting money on Carlsson here. The good thing is he’s +700. So at those steep odds, you don’t need a huge amount of money to hit it big in case another Wright moment happens. That makes the risk worth the reward with Carlsson in our book.

Leo Carlsson to be No. 2 pick in the 2023 NHL Draft

Third Overall Pick

Let’s move on to pick No. 3 which belongs to the Blue Jackets. If the draft goes as most believe (that includes Fantilli going at No. 2), then the consensus is Columbus will have their pick at Carlsson or Will Smith — who both play at center. That’s reflected in the betting odds, as seen below:

Leo Carlsson-275-275-275
Will Smith+250+250+250
Matvei Mitchkov+850+850+850
Adam Fantilli+1400+1400+1400
Andrew Cristall+8000+8000+8000

We’ve already talked up Carlsson, but Smith is another prospect with a can’t-miss label in the eyes of most scouts. Smith’s stock is also rising fast thanks to a breakout performance at the 2023 IIHF Under-18 World Championship in April. He topped the tournament with 20 points (nine goals, 11 assists) in seven games, matching the US record set by Jack Hughes in 2019. Those efforts catapulted the US to a gold medal.

The one knock on Smith, and it might be a biggie given the team drafting, is he needs to play one college season first. He’s already committed to Boston College for the 2023-24 campaign. We’re not sure the Blue Jackets have time to wait for a franchise-saving player, especially when they have another ready to go. That’s why we’re advising to bet Carlsson here too. There’s no scenario where we see him not go in the top-3.

Leo Carlsson to be No. 3 pick in the 2023 NHL Draft

How To Bet On 2023 NHL Draft

To lock in your NHL Draft bets, hit one of the bookmakers below. We recommend these for two reasons. One, they’re all industry leaders based on our unbiased sportsbook reviews. But two, each offers a lucrative sportsbook bonus of some kind. With these bonuses, your NHL bets could be completely free of cost.