NHL picks: 4 best player props for Saturday
Chris Peters picks out his four best player prop bets for the second Saturday slate of the season.
Alexander Ovechkin and Auston Matthews both to score 1+ goals
Looking at the pre-built props, I certainly like the chances of the two best goal scorers in the NHL today being combined with good value attached.
Ovechkin has started this season on fire with four goals and four assists to lead the Capitals, doing it without partner in crime Nicklas Backstrom who remains out of the lineup with an injury.
Matthews, meanwhile, has been held off the scoresheet through his first two games, having sat out the first week of the season to give his wrist some more time to heal up. On top of that, Matthews was called out by coach Sheldon Keefe following the Leafs’ loss to the San Jose Sharks on Friday night. That may provide some extra motivation for the reigning Rocket Richard Trophy winner.
Ovechkin has done well against the Calgary Flames in his career, which is true for most teams across the NHL for the future Hall of Famer. He has 11 goals and 25 points in 19 career games against the Flames.
Matthews has not been a big-time producer against the Pittsburgh Penguins in his career, but the Pens are shorthanded with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jeff Carter and Bryan Rust out. On top of that starter Tristan Jarry remains in COVID-19 protocol and is a game-time decision.
Either way, seeing these two high-end goal scorers combined on one prop, I’m giving it a shot.
Aleksander Barkov and Sebastian Aho to score 1+ points
Let’s call this one the Finnish Special. Two of the top Finnish players in the game today are combined on a pre-built prop that provides solid value and seem like pretty good bets. Barkov’s Florida Panthers and Aho’s Carolina Hurricanes are both undefeated and have good matchups.
Aho has five points through three games and the Hurricanes will be taking on the hot-starting Columbus Blue Jackets. Carolina is rolling in a way that gives me a lot of confidence they’ll be picking up the win and if they do, Aho often is playing a big role in those efforts. Coming off of a three-point game against Montreal, Aho has points in every game and just looks better and better.
Barkov was held off the score sheet for the first time this season on Thursday night against Colorado. In his three previous games, he had five points. In his career against the Philadelphia Flyers, Aho has 16 points.
Yanni Gourde to score 1+ points
The Seattle Kraken are playing their long-awaited home opener at Climate Pledge Arena on Saturday night and the building should be rocking. They’ll be welcoming a team that could become a regional rival in the Vancouver Canucks. With the energy in that building, the Kraken should be buzzing.
Most of all, Gourde should be rolling after sitting out the first few games of the season while recovering from an injury. In his first game back, he had an assist and played 22:25 which shows just how much Seattle is going to lean on the former Lightning forward and two-time Stanley Cup champion. Gourde has not been a high-scoring player over the course of his career, but he does have five points in five career games against the Canucks.
Cole Caufield over 2.5 shots on goal
After his breakout performance in the playoffs last season, Habs rookie forward Cole Caufield has been held off the score sheet in all five games. Montreal has had an awful time trying to score goals and Caufield is supposed to be a goal scorer.
I’ve got the Habs finally getting a win and I think Caufield is going to be involved in it. He’s only been over 2.5 shots on goal twice this season, but has had no fewer than two shots on goal in all five games.
The Red Wings started hot, but have fallen back to earth of late. Also, the Red Wings have allowed the fifth-most shots on goal on a per-game basis across the NHL. The Habs are going to be pouring it on as desperation sets in.
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