$FML's Best Bet for NHL Wednesday - 1/25

$FML is hungry for an article cash tonight. When in doubt trust the Data - check out his Best Bet for tonight's NHL slate below!

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Anthony Beauvillier (NYI) over 2.5 Shots (+125) vs. Ottawa

Best odds FanDuel or Draftkings.

The New York Islanders are hungry, frustrated and desperate for a win. They've lost 5 straight games and 9 of their last 10. No stats to back this up, but I’m in the camp that believes desperation correlates with shot attempts. The more desperate a team (or player) is, the more shots they'll attempt. That is the theory at least, and it led me to target an Islanders shot prop tonight.

The main reason I chose Beauvillier, specifically, is data-driven. Betting him to eclipse 3+ shots is 7-2 (78%) since January 6th, and he’s smashing the 2.5 line, finishing with 4+ shots (+1.5 vs. tonight's line) in 6 of the 7 performances that went "over."

What's driving the trend? It's definitely not minutes. His ice time hasn’t changed (15-17 minutes on average), but his behavior has. He's attempting more shots per minute of ice time this month. See his trend in Shots on Goal (SOG) per 15 minutes of ice time plotted over the course of the season:

Anthony Beauvillier Stats

The chart shows a clear, upward trend since January 6th. It’s climbed to 3.02 SOG per 15 minutes in his last 10 games, which is damn impressive considering his recent opponents: Toronto (4 shots), Carolina (4 shots), Boston (4 shots), Dallas (6 shots) and Calgary (4 shots) -- five of the NHL's best defensive teams.

Meanwhile, the Ottawa Senators (tonight’s opponent) are not a top defensive team. They play a fast-paced style but are weak on defense, allowing 31.25 shots per 60 minutes at home (11th most). The weaker matchup, expected pace, his January trend, and my desperation theory combine to support a pick on Beauvillier to record 3+ shots again tonight at +125 (FanDuel or Draftkings, I risked 0.8 units to win 1u).

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