It’s the matchup hockey fans deserved. . . And it’s the one we got. Best on best. MacKinnon vs. McDavid.
At first, I was worried the matchup would balance out each other’s greatness. An oil vs. water type of thing. After reviewing the numbers, I’ve come full circle. My anxiety was baseless. Here’s why:
According to NaturalStatTrick.com, Nathan MacKinnon recorded 19 minutes of 5v5 ice time in Game 1. Connor McDavid was on the ice for 13 of those 19 minutes. Here’s what happened:
- 36 combined shot attempts
- 19 shots on goal
- 20 total scoring chances
- 10 high-danger scoring chances
- 3 goals scored
Those were their combined stats. Here’s the split:
- Shot Attempts: 19 Avalanche, 17 Oilers
- Shots on Goal: 10 Avalanche, 9 Oilers
- Scoring Chances: 10 Avalanche, 10 Oilers
- High-Danger Chances: 3 Avalanche, 7 Oilers
- 5v5 Goals Scored: 1 Avalanche, 2 Oilers
It’s just a 1 game sample obviously, but the stats are comforting. They suggest greatness can still be achieved even when they’re both on the ice.
Not to be overlooked is the fact that Leon Draisaitl was also only the ice for most of that action, and he recorded 2 points.
So we’ve established that there are 3 good options for 2+ points tonight. But which one should we choose? The answer, as always, lies in pricing:
- McDavid is juiced down to -140ish for 2+ points tonight. I do think he’ll cash, but it’s not the best value for the price.
- Leon Draisaitl’s price also got more expensive, dropping from +150 in Game 1 to +120ish for Game 2. The revised price squeezes some, but not all, of the value we attacked in my FlashPicks column for Game 1.
That brings us to MacKinnon. He’s listed at +140 for 2+ points tonight. Betting MacKinnon 2+ points is only 3-8 this postseason. Not ideal, I know, but here’s the catch:
- In home games, the hit rate improves to 50% (expected odds +100)
- This bet is also 4-1 in his last 5 vs. Edmonton, and looking back further…
- It is 6-3 in his last 9 vs. Edmonton.
Colorado being the home team is also a source of value for MacKinnon. That’s because the home team gets the benefit of the 2nd line change after whistles. This easily overlooked rule allowed MacKinnon to log 6 minutes of 5v5 ice time without McDavid on the ice in Game 1. And how did that go? He capitalized by scoring a goal.
All that is to say, I think any bet on McDavid, Draisaitl and MacKinnon to record 2+ points is probably a good wager tonight. We are not in the business of making good wagers, though. We’re striving for greatness. And through that lens, I view the best value for the price as a bet that Nathan MacKinnon will record 2+ points tonight @ +140.