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:
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.
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:
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.
How To Bet On 2023 NHL Draft
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