We keep things moving in the NHL as our focus remains on finding us the value plays worth making. Tonight we’ve found five, four of which come in at plus-money. You’ll notice that more and more of my focus has been on attempt numbers. Volume is king, and that’s the theme of tonight — not just who is shooting, but projecting when a jump may come.
Auston Matthews over 4.5 SOG (-115 DK/FD)
I’m comfortable keeping this one relatively simple. Columbus is allowing nearly 37 shots per game on the road over its last 10, making Toronto a clear team to load up on.
Matthews has gone over 4.5 SOG in six straight at home and is averaging 9.6 attempts per game over his past five overall. Against the Blue Jackets, Matthews has gone for 5+ SOG in four straight meetings, averaging 7.25 SOG/game in those four games.
You alright if we end the analysis there? Great.
.5u: Morgan Rielly over 2.5 SOG (+122 FD)
I do feel inclined to double-dip on the Toronto end. The Leafs should be able to find themselves 35-40 shots on goal tonight. I’m taking a chance on Rielly at a half-unit wager.
Columbus is one of the best targets for defensemen, and while Rielly has not been going over at a very frequent rate of late, he has had nice games against the Blue Jackets. Rielly has gone over 2.5 SOG in five straight against Columbus.
I’m willing to take a chance here. Rielly has 4+ shot attempts in three straight at home and has averaged 5.4 attempts/game against Columbus over the past two seasons. When Rielly sees 4+ attempts, he goes over 2.5 SOG at a 67% since the beginning of last year.
.5u: Carter Verhaeghe over 3.5 SOG & Dougie Hamilton point (+213 DK)
I’m a combining a pair of -130 props on DK to form this solid-looking combo. Verhaeghe and Florida look primed for their usual 40 shots at home, and while I wanted to build a SGP on FanDuel, the prices on that book are laughably horrible. Out of principle, I refuse to partake in what is happening on that book.
Instead, I opt for Verhaeghe standalone. He has 4+ shots in five straight at home and eight of his last 10. The past two times Buffalo has come to town, Verhaeghe has finished with five and seven SOG. This is a massive game for the Panthers.
I’ll pair him with Dougie Hamilton recording a point, something he’s done in six of his last nine at home. Pittsburgh is allowing 3.8 goals per game on the road over its last 10 games, and Hamilton has five points in three games against the Penguins this season.
Reilly Smith over 2.5 SOG (+125 DK)
I understand if these next two names aren’t for you given the lack of consistency toward these numbers, but as has so often been the case lately, I’m focused on attempts and what happens when a player gets them.
Vegas typically pours on the shots against Nashville, and I’m willing to bet it can do so again this evening. The Predators have struggled with penalties, and over the past 20 games, Reilly Smith is second on the team in power-play shots.
He returned last night after a brief spell out and finished with four SOG, and he has four shots in three of his last four against Nashville.
The issue is that Smith has gone over 2.5 shots just once in his last eight games. I like his history against Nashville, where he averages 5.3 attempts per game over the past two years. His last game and the presence of power plays have me liking Smith for at least four attempts, and when he gets to that number, Smith has gone over 2.5 SOG in six of his last seven and six straight on the road.
Cale Makar over 3.5 SOG (+135 DK)
Here’s another example of a plus-money prop that I feel worth grabbing. Colorado is well-motivated to take care of business here against San Jose, and I expect the Avs do so with ease. The shots should be here, and Makar should get involved considering the Sharks are allowing the sixth-most shots to defensemen over the past 20 days.
Makar has five and six SOG in his past two against San Jose and has 7+ attempts in each of the last four meetings against the Sharks. Makar has 6+ attempts in four of his last five games, and should we cautiously project he hits that number again, this 3.5 number looks quite inviting.
Over the past two seasons, when Makar has gotten 6+ attempts off, he’s over 3.5 SOG in 57% of his games. Now, that may not seem like a figure that sways you; it suggests to me that at +135, this is a price I want. San Jose being a great defensemen target and Makar having delivered the past few times when seeing them are giving me the confidence to move forward with this one.