NHL picks: 4 best player props for Thursday
Chris Peters picks out his four best player prop bets for Thursday night's busy slate in the NHL.
Alex Ovechkin and Sebastian Aho to score 1+ goals
I’ve been having some luck with some of Betway’s pre-built props, specifically when they call for Alex Ovechkin to score a goal. This week, I’m pairing Ovi with Sebastian Aho as the Hurricanes are playing the lowly Ottawa Senators which has been an especially leaky team. Meanwhile, Ovechkin and the Capitals are playing the Chicago Blackhawks, which is not a team The Great 8 has had a ton of success against historically.
Ovechkin did not score in Washington’s last game and has only once this season gone more than one game between goals. He is on pace for one of his best goal-scoring seasons of his career right now, which is saying a lot.
Aho, meanwhile, has five career goals against Ottawa in 11 games against them. He has not been consistently scoring goals this season, but I still like his chances against an Ottawa side that has struggled to defend and has not had great goaltending at any point this season. Of the pre-built bets that include an Ovechkin goal, this was the one I felt most confident in.
Patrick Kane and Kirill Kaprizov to both score 1+ points
I just like the value on this one. Kane has been a little cold of late with just one point in his last five games, but before that he was red hot. It doesn’t take much for him to heat up. Though the Blackhawks have a tough matchup with Washington, Kane has 15 points in 17 career games against the Caps. He often gets up for the big matchups against other top stars in the NHL.
Kaprizov, meanwhile, has been heating up. He has 14 points in his last seven games. The only team he didn’t score a point against in that span was New Jersey, who the Wild play tonight. I don’t see them holding him off the score sheet twice in a row, especially when the Wild have home ice advantage this time and can get the most favorable matchups.
Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Huberdeau to each have 1+ assists
Goals have not come as easily for MacKinnon this year, but when he’s been healthy, he’s been an assist machine. In his first game back after almost a full month away, he had two assists in a losing effort against Toronto. With him champing at the bit to be back in the lineup, I’d expect him to produce, especially against a weak Montreal roster.
Jonathan Huberdeau has 16 assists in 22 games, which includes six assists in his last five games. The Panthers have been rolling and they’re playing the Sabres, who have had a hard time stopping anybody from scoring lately. The matchups for both of these players are favorable for points and assists have definitely been more common than goals for both.
Player to score the Most Points (Ovechkin/MacKinnon/Huberdeau/Aho): MacKinnon
The pre-built bets are really enticing overall, but this one in particular is fun for me. You’ve got Ovechkin against the Blackhawks, MacKinnon against the Canadiens, Huberdeau against the Sabres and Aho against the Senators. My pick here is Nathan MacKinnon. I love the way he plays when he’s grumpy and after taking an 8-3 loss to the Maple Leafs, I think we’re in for a MacKinnon rage game in Montreal, the team closest to his home province of Nova Scotia.
He’d been off for a month until coming back Wednesday and he looked very much ready to jump back into the fray. I’d expect more of the same from him and look for him to have a multi-point night to outscore the others. I also considered Huberdeau against the struggling Sabres, but just going with the gut MacKinnon is going to have a breakout performance.