$FML's Best Bet - 10/25

Minnesota Wild (1-3-1) at Montreal Canadiens (3-3)

Several of last year’s playoff teams are struggling, and the Wild are one. They enter play tonight with a 1-3-1 record despite scoring 3+ goals in all 5 contests. They’re not playing badly, per se, but the poor record should serve as a spark of motivation tonight, and that’s something I look for when screening player props.

One player who’s really stood out to me on their roster thus far is 2nd year winger Matthew Boldy. The former 12th overall pick has caught fire, scoring 3 goals and tallying 3 assists for 6 total points through 5 games.

Boldy flashed signs of brilliance last year as a rookie, which earned him an increased role to start 2022/23 in Minnesota’s Top 6 Forward group. He’s also been awarded a key shooting role on the team’s 1st Power Play Unit. When opponents overcommit to stopping Kirill “The Thrill” Kaprizov, Boldy has a knack for finding open ice and commanding touches.

See his trend in minutes played this season vs. last season courtesy of Props.Cash research service:

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It doesn’t take rocket science to know that ice time correlates with shots on goal. The more time you play, the more chances you get to record shots. This dynamic predictably holds true for Mr. Boldy. Betting him to record 3+ shots on goal is 21-13 (61.8%) career when he plays 15+ minutes, and it’s 11-4 (73.3%) when playing 15+ minutes on the road. This home/road split corresponds with Boldy’s general tendency to shoot more as a visitor (averaged 2.70 on net per game away vs. just 2.19 at home last season).

Those stats I just quoted are based on games where he plays 15+ minutes. This season, he’s played 18+ minutes in all 5 games. The effect has been predictable, as he recorded 3+ shots in 4 of the 5 contests. His only miss came in one of the toughest matchups you can get vs. the reigning Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche. That was also a home game. In his only road game this season, he recorded 4 shots.

$FML's Best Bet

Combine all this together, and it leaves me liking Boldy’s chances to record 3+ shots on net in Montreal tonight. We’re getting +100 odds for the bet, which implies 50% probability. However, in reality I think it’s much higher than that, likely closer to 60% (which would be -150). 

The only negative I detected in my matchup assessment is the fact Montreal’s only allowing 3.0 power play opportunities per game (tied 5th fewest). They’re arguably due to regress towards league average in that category though, which makes me comfortable backing Boldy. He could also easily hit this in 5v5 (i.e. even strength) without needing Power Plays.

The Pick: Matthew Boldy over 2.5 Shots on Goal (+100)
Odds available at time of writing (MGM)

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