I prefer to use my column to highlight creative betting angles you might not be thinking about. However, with only 5 games to choose from today (and after going 0-4 on my column yesterday), I can’t ignore the value I’m seeing in my featured bet today. I’ve previously written about this bet. It’s been a profitable trend, we’ve been cashing it, and I feel the price is right to go back to it today.
@FastMoneyLabs’ Best Bets for NHL Monday - 3/7
Columbus Blue Jackets (28-25-3) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (35-16-4)
Team Total Pick
In their last 8 home games, Columbus’ Team Total is 7-1 to the ‘Over’. What stands out most to me as an analyst is the fact they’re cashing it vs. tough teams, including the LA Kings, Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers, New York Rangers and – importantly – tonight’s opponent the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Last month, the Jackets outscored the Leafs 4-3 to secure an overtime victory in Columbus. Two months prior, Columbus also scored 4 vs. the Leafs in a visit to Toronto. What excites me most about those box scores is they came against Leafs’ starting goaltender Jack Campbell (23-9-4, 2.61 GAA, 0.915 SV%).
Tonight, the Blue Jackets get the gift of facing Toronto backup Peter Mrazek (12-9-5, 3.22 GAA, 0.890 SV%) – a netminder that’s really struggling of late. We faded Mrazek last week by backing Buffalo to score 3+ goals in regulation. It was an easy cash. Why not run it back?
Blindly betting on Mrazek’s opponent to score 3+ goals in regulation is 5-2 in his last 7 starts. On the season, it is 9-4 (69.2%) when he plays 20+ minutes. I feel that, combined with the fact Columbus scored 3+ goals in 7 of their last 8 home games, support a confident bet on the Jackets to score 3+ goals in regulation tonight.
CBJ TEAM TOTAL O2.5 (EXCL. OT) @ -140
Player Prop Pick #1 - Patrik Laine Shots
- We’re getting a great price today on a bet this Finnish superstar cashed with relative ease in 7 straight home games. It is also 12-3 (80%) in his last 15 overall.
- What I like most about Laine’s trend is the fact he’s often finishing with 4 SOG (+1.5 vs. line), making it a sweat-free betting experience. I also like that he’s attempting an average of 6.4 shots per game in his last 10 (+1.0 vs. season average), giving us cushion for blocked and missed shots.
- The matchup vs. Toronto isn’t ideal, but Laine proved he can beat it by getting 4 SOG on 10 shot attempts vs. them last month.
- Entering tonight, the Leafs have allowed 30+ shots in 3 straight road games (including recently vs. CBJ), making me comfortable to target them for an SOG prop tonight.
PATRIK LAINE (CBJ) OVER 2.5 SHOTS ON GOAL @ -135
Player Pick #2 - Patrik Laine Points
- After a few games off the scoresheet, Laine is back to doing Patrick Laine things.
- This bet cashed in 2 of his last 3 (66.7%) games and 10 of his last 16 (62.5%) overall.
- Perhaps most exciting is that it cashed in 6 of his last 8 (75%) home games.
- It is also 1-0 vs. Toronto (scored 2 goals on 2/22/22, including Overtime winner).
- And you’re telling me we can still bet this at +235?!
PATRIK LAINE OVER 1.5 POINTS @ +235
Player Prop Pick #3 - Auston Matthews Points
- Matthews exploded for 3 points twice already this year vs. CBJ. He’s now gotten 2+ points in 3 straight H2H matchups vs. them.
- I find that Toronto’s first line is streaky. When Matthews gets 2 points, he often does it in a string of consecutive games. Before last game, he was in the midst of a stretch with 0 points in 3 straight games. However, last game he got 2. If my theory is correct, expect the Matthews line to continue rolling tonight in a plus matchup for them.
If you can’t bet Points Props, I really like Matthews’ assist prop tonight (-104 at FanDuel Sportsbook). I noticed he rarely goes 4 straight games without an assist. In his last 3 games, he has 0 assists, which tells me he’s likely due to get one tonight.
AUSTON MATTHEWS OVER 1.5 POINTS @ +140
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