Andrew Berkshire's picks for Thursday's action include anytime goalscorer bets.
A new NHL season means a new start for a lot of players. If you’re good enough to keep an NHL job, a new season is an opportunity to erase the memories of a poor previous season, and no one has embraced that so far this year like Alex DeBrincat. Nothing seemed to work out for him with the Ottawa Senators last year, and after forcing a trade in the offseason, he’s off to a stellar clip with a league-leading eight points, including five goals. Bounce-back years are key to winning your hockey pools, and they’re big betting opportunities too.
Cody Glass (Nashville Predators) to score anytime vs New York Rangers 3.75
It’s been a long road to the NHL for the former sixth overall pick in the 2017 NHL draft. Glass had a bit of a breakout year last season with the Predators, scoring 14 goals and hitting 35 points in 72 games.
This year, he’s been held pointless through four games, but there’s signs that he’s about to break out. Glass ranks 14th in the entire NHL so far in individual expected goals, meaning the shots he’s taken so far should have earned him 2.13 goals in normal circumstances. The shots he’s taken are so dangerous that he has an expected shooting percentage of over 22 per cent. If he keeps going to those dangerous areas, he’ll convert soon.
Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado Avalanche) to score anytime vs Chicago Blackhawks 1.70
Speaking of needing to get some puck luck, Nathan MacKinnon has already fired 40 shots at the net in just three games, but has just one goal. Against the Chicago Blackhawks, he shouldn’t have any issues adding a lot of shots to that total.
The Blackhawks’ goalies have been very strong so far this season, but with the speed MacKinnon brings in transition, he and Cale Makar should be able to slice up the Blackhawks’ defence severely, creating a bunch of high-quality chances.
Nathan MacKinnon and Connor Bedard to both have 4+ shots on goal 2.10
Two of the most shot-happy players in the NHL faceoff in what’s sure to be an entertaining matchup, and this player special is just way too tempting not to take.
Connor Bedard is averaging five shots on net and just under 10 shot attempts per game, while Nathan MacKinnon is averaging seven shots on net and more than 13 shot attempts per game. The payout here isn’t huge, but you’re still getting good return considering how likely this is.
The undefeated Vegas Golden Knights are in Winnipeg to face their first-round opponents from last spring, who they defeated with relative ease before marching on to win a Stanley Cup. However, the Jets are significantly better than their 1-2-0 record indicates: they’re actually eighth in the league in expected goal differential at 5-vs-5 at 55.9 per cent.
The difference between the two teams so far is that Winnipeg has been stronger at five-a-side hockey, but the Golden Knights are killer on special teams, while the Jets have struggled there. If the Jets can stay disciplined, they have a better than even chance of winning this one and getting a tiny speck of revenge for last year.