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$FML's +154 Best Bet for NHL Wednesday - 2/15

Three $FML winners from his last four articles at -120, +321 & +181. Time for another cash with this +154 Best Bet for Wednesday night's NHL action!

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Leg 1: Valeri Nichushkin (COL) o2.5 Shots (-150) vs. MIN

Mentioned on Twitter yesterday and want to reiterate: Nichushkin’s been reunited with superstar Nathan MacKinnon in 5v5. I find this noteworthy, since Nichushkin’s shot prop thrives in this lineup, at least historically.

See the differences in hit rates at the o/u 2.5 line with and without Mackinnon as a linemate:

  • With MacKinnon: 21-4 (84.0%), average 3.64 shots
  • Without MacKinnon: 34-27 (55.7%), average 2.74 shots

Here’s my best attempt to explain the split in plain English: MacKinnon’s an absolute force in 5v5. When he’s on the ice, the Avalanche dominate puck possession; and puck possession correlates with shot attempts. MacKinnon’s also got a cannon for a shot, and defenders need to respect it. He draws extra attention in the offensive zone, which helps create space for his linemates. And when you leave Big Mac’s linemates open: he will find them, and they will exploit it.

Nichushkin’s clearly been terrific in the wingman role alongside #29. He’s also been a consistent performer on the road this season, clearing the 2.5 line in 75% of away games, including once already in Minnesota.

Tonight’s a back-to-back (B2B) situation for the Avalanche, but I’m not too worried about it. Nichushkin’s 3+ shot prop is 5-1 (83% hit rate, average 3.7 SOG) in his last 6 B2Bs.

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Leg 2: Jeff Skinner (BUF) o0.5 Points (-190) vs. ANA

Trivia question of the day… Who ranks 4th out of 656 NHL players in Points per 60 minutes in 5v5 this season? (excluding players with < 200 minutes ice time).

Surprise! It’s Jeff Skinner. He’s posting 3.11 Points/60 in 5v5 right now. That’s INSANE. For comparison: here’s the same stat for a list of better known superstars: Matthew Tkachuk (3.08), Jack Hughes (3.05), Sidney Crosby (2.77), David Pastrnak (2.76), Nathan MacKinnon (2.71), Connor McDavid (2.57).

Now consider this: Skinner’s failed to record a point in 4 straight games now. To be fair, they were brutal matchups (LA Kings, Calgary, Carolina, Minnesota), whereas tonight’s opponent is a complete 180. The Ducks allow the most goals per game this season, both overall (4.1) and at home (3.9).

Oddsmakers clearly expect goals to fly in this contest (o/u 6.5 is juiced to the Over), and Buffalo is rightly favored on the moneyline (-215). Their team total line is tugging towards o/u 4 (from o/u 3.5), signaling the market to expects fireworks, too. The Sabres also have more incentive to win than Anaheim, who are clearly tanking for draft positioning. Icing on the cake: betting Skinner to record a point is 12-3 in his last 15 road games.

All these things inject me with confidence that Skinner will find the scoresheet! (hopefully quickly, since this game starts late)

The Slip

I got +154 odds for the parlay at Draftkings Sportsbook and risked a full unit to win 1.54u!

Absolutely love this ticket, but parlaying bets is a high-risk / high-reward strategy. Please remember to bet responsibly if tailing! Cheers and good luck

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