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$FML NHL Pick - 10/11

What is a "Point" in Hockey?

The player “points” statistic includes both goals and assists in hockey. They’re both worth one point.

Example: Player finishes with 0 goals, 1 assist. That’s 1 point. 1 goal, 0 assists? Also 1 point.

Up to 3 points can be awarded on each goal (1 goal and up to 2 assists). Which means we have 3 chances to cash a points prop for each goal scored (assuming the players we choose are on the ice when they happen, which isn’t always the case, since players constantly rotate).

Target the right players in the right matchups (usually those with high game totals), and it can be a profitable (and very fun) betting market to attack.

As a general rule, this strategy works best when there are plenty of games to pick through on the slate. Just easier to find value that way. It’s like hunting for Easter eggs. Unfortunately, we don’t have that luxury tonight, but I still decided to pull the trigger on a pair.

Here’s who I’m rolling with:

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$FML’s NHL Points Parlay (+144)

Leg 1: Nikita Kucherov over 0.5 Points (-235) vs. Rangers

  • Last year’s Lightning came out flat on Opening Night and were embarrassed on National TV.
  • Prior to that, they had won 4 straight Opening Night games, outscoring opponents 17-7 in that stretch. Notably all of those games were on home ice, and tonight they’re on the road, but Tampa has earned a reputation as a strong road team.
  • Meanwhile, the hosting New York Rangers are 1-4 on Opening Night since 2017 (including 1-3 at home). They allowed 4 or more goals in 4 of those 5 games. Current netminder Igor Shesterkin only played in one of them, but he still allowed 4 goals to a much less talented New York Islanders team.
  • Expectations are beyond high for the 2022/23 Rangers, and they’ll be motivated to break the Opening Night streak and avenge last year’s playoff loss at the hands of these Lightning.
  • If NYR win outright on home ice advantage tonight, I won’t be shocked. However, I will be surprised if they achieve it via shutout (i.e. without allowing any goals).
  • And given I expect a few goals from Tampa, why not target their best offensive player to record a point?

Leg 2: Jack Eichel over 0.5 Points (-140) vs. Kings

  • If any club is fired up with a “something to prove” mentality this season, it’s the Vegas Golden Knights.
  • Since making the Stanley Cup final in their inaugural season as an expansion team, they’ve tumbled. It culminated in an embarrassing finish to their 2021/22 season, where they stumbled down the stretch and failed to make the playoffs despite having a clear path.
  • This led the team to fire their coach and bring in Bruce Cassidy, previously a Stanley Cup winning coach with the Boston Bruins.
  • This all supports the notion they’re highly motivated group that should come out guns blazing tonight. And if any player is ripe to lead the charge, it’s the man they traded the farm to acquire in the trade market last season: Jack Eichel.
  • He’s one the NHL’s elite young superstars but was forced to miss an entire season with a neck injury that required surgery.
  • He returned mid-season last year and recorded a point in 20/34 (59%) of his appearances.
  • That was with a brand new team (he was previously with Buffalo) and he was understandably rusty after missing so much time.
  • Now it’s time to rip the training wheels off, and Vegas paired him with a new, offensive minded veteran linemate to support the cause (Phil Kessel, acquired this offseason).
  • These teams split the season series last year, but the Knights scored plenty of goals in each matchup regardless of location.
  • Eichel recorded a point in both H2H matchups he laced up for.
  • He’s also recorded at least one point in 7 of his last 9 H2H vs. LA dating back to his Buffalo days.

I got +144 odds for the 2-leg parlay at Draftkings Sportsbook and wagered to win 1 unit (risk 0.69u)

If Kucherov fails, I’ll consider doubling down on Eichel with a straight bet, but let’s cross that bridge if we get there (and hopefully we don’t).