How good is today’s NHL slate of action? In another marquee matchup between two squads looking to make some noise on what has been successful seasons so far, the Minnesota Wild travel to the Tar Heel State to take on the Carolina Hurricanes in what should be an instant classic. Let’s take a look at our  NHL odds series, where our Wild-Hurricanes pick and prediction will be revealed.

FanDuel March Madness


Minnesota enters this big-time weekend matchup after seeing their seven-game winning streak snapped at home versus the pesky Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3. The Wild have been on an absolute tear other than the lone hiccup, as Minnesota has managed to accumulate 87 points on a 41-20-5 record, which puts them in third place in the entire Western Conference.

Carolina is has become quite familiar with winning hockey games as well with a 45-15-8 record. The Hurricanes are currently tied with the Panthers at 98 points, good enough for the most in the all but competitive Eastern Conference. Winners of three of their past four games, the Hurricanes desperately need the victorious outing to continue in order to keep pace with the rest of the conference. The team closest to the Outer Banks is 25-5-4 on their own ice, which is one of the best records at home in the entire NHL.

Courtesy of FanDuel, here are the Wild-Hurricanes NHL odds:

NHL Odds: Wild-Hurricanes Odds

Minnesota Wild: +1.5 (-184)

Carolina Hurricanes: -1.5 (+152)

Over: 6 (-106)

Under: 6 (-114)

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Why the Wild Could Cover the Spread

So, the Wild are hot. We’re talking about a June summer day in the heart of the valley of Phoenix hot. Or maybe as hot as our neighboring planet in Venus, where temperatures can reach as hot as 860 degrees Fahrenheit on the world’s surface. The point being, Minnesota is scorching. Even with the most recent loss versus the Penguins, the Wild are 7-1-2 during their previous ten games, as they continue to rack up the points and are keeping pace with the Flames and Avalanche in the wild, wild, west.

Minnesota’s success story has been built off of their physicality towards opponents, which has also presented the downside in injuries piling up as of late. Defenseman Jon Merrill exited early against Pittsburgh with an upper-body injury and will be absent for play on Saturday. Minnesota will need to find a way to replace Merrill’s impactful production, as the Wild’s feisty defender spends 17 minutes on the ice on average each game. With the contest versus Carolina being the first game of a four-game road trip, Minnesota will surely be tested before coming back home.

In order for the Wild to cover the spread and even possibly escape North Carolina with an eyebrow-raising type win, they will need to get effective shots on goal against statistically the best defense in the league in the ‘Canes. The Wild will be more than fine between the pipes, as the trade deadline addition of goalie Marc-Andre Fleury may prove to be one of the most effective trades down the stretch for any team in hockey. Fleury has won both of his starts since coming to Minnesota from Chicago. The Wild are 31-35 ATS this season.

Why the Hurricanes Could Cover the Spread

Carolina enters play as a bunch that will beat you up physically until you run out of gas as games progress into the later stages. The Hurricanes boast a defense that comes into their matchup versus the Wild ranking first in goals allowed per game at 2.34 and are also only giving up 28.8 shots per outing, good enough for second in the NHL. Even possibly more impactful, the Hurricanes are the best power play killing squad in the league, shutting out teams when shorthanded 88.5% of the time.

Carolina also doesn’t mess around when it comes to scoring the puck as well, as the top team out east is led by snipers Sebastian Aho and Tuevo Teravainen. The offensive duo has combined for 124 points, as Aho is currently ranked 26th in the league in that department with his 31 goals and 37 assists at the center position.

Another reason why the hockey Gods may be in favor of the Hurricanes on Saturday? Look no further than the Wild’s abysmal 1-5 record in their last six games as a road underdog, something that should be considered when betting on this high-profile showdown.

Final Wild-Hurricanes Prediction & Pick

Saturday’s NHL action is already generating so much buzz, and deservingly so. At first glance, the Wild are going to have their hands full with a Carolina team that plays as good at home as anyone in hockey. Not to mention, but Minnesota is also coming into this one shorthanded. The Wild will give it all they got, but it won’t be enough. The ‘Canes take care of business and depart their home ice with a two-goal victory.

Final Wild-Hurricanes Pick: Hurricanes -1.5 (+152)