$FML’s Friday Night Parlay - 10/14

Our NFL Sunday parlays were fun, but so is making money… and we failed on that front, at least initially. I’m not deterred by those results, we’ll give it another shot at some point. However for now, since hockey is back, it only feels right to fire up the Friday Night Parlay train for Flashpicks tonight. See who I’m rolling with.

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Leg 1: Cole Caufield 4+ Shots on Goal (+150) vs. Detroit

We knew Caufield was a breakout candidate. Then he unleashed nine shot attempts, landed five on net, and scored twice against one of the toughest teams in NHL (Toronto Maple Leafs) on Opening Night. As if there was any doubt, that performance cemented Caufield’s status as a must-play shot prop for $FML going forward.

Caufield demonstrated consistent ability to hit the 3+ shots mark last season in most situations but especially on the road, where backing his 3+ line was 21-4 (84%) in his last 25. That was as a rookie. Now in his 2nd season, he’s expected to take a big leap forward, which leads me to see  value in his 4+ shots alt line at +150 tonight. For a safer bet, consider dropping this leg down to 3+, but for my official parlay, I’m endorsing 4+.

Screenshot via Props.Cash research service:

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Leg 2: Victor Hedman over 2.5 Shots on Goal (-164) vs. Columbus

The Lightning are known as a strong road team. They’re also elite coming off a loss. Both situations apply tonight. For what it’s worth, they’ve also been dominant in head-to-head matchups vs. Columbus, winning 14 of the last 18 outright, often by multiple goal margins.

This year’s Blue Jackets roster is stronger thanks to signing the best available Free Agent on the market, forward Johnny Gaudreau (previously with Calgary). However, their near-term outlook just got murkier after losing superstar Patrik Laine, one of the best goal scorers on the planet, to an injury opening night (placed on IR, expected to miss 3-4 weeks). Their starting goaltender Elvis Merzlikins also remains out with an illness, which means backup Daniel Tarasov has been tapped to hold the fort between the pipes again tonight.

All of this points to decent value on Tampa Bay moneyline tonight, but for better odds, I prefer the risk/reward trade off on a bet defenseman Victor Hedman will record 3+ shots on net. Tampa historically dominates shot flows in this matchup regardless of location (i.e. home, away… doesn’t matter). And Columbus is also known to allow flurries of shots, a trend that continued Opening Night.

Now, here is the wild stat that led me to back Hedman, specifically: Columbus allowed 43 shots on Wednesday (which is A LOT). And 19 of those 43 shots were surrendered to defensemen. That’s a 44.2% split — an insane number. Usually, outlier percentages like this correlate with taking penalties, since it’s easier for Defensemen to record shots in 5-on-4 situations. Defensemen shoot from father distances, and the fewer bodies there are on the ice, the easier it is to get shots on net. What’s wild about Columbus’ 44.2% mark on opening night though, is that it happened in a game where they only took 2 penalties. This reveals that the high percentage might be less a fluke and more a function of Columbus’ defensive scheme in even strength. They prefer to push shots to the outside (i.e. where defensemen shoot from), which leads me to see value in Hedman tonight as Tampa’s primary shooting defenseman.

For what it’s worth, Columbus’ scheme has been favorable for defensemen shots for years, and Hedman has taken advantage of it, clearing the 3+ shots mark in 7 of their last 10 matchups.

Leg 3: Timo Meier 3+ Shots on Goal (-295) vs. Carolina

If (and when) we can get through Legs 1 & 2, then all we need is a few shots from Timo Meier to close this out. And that, my friends, is a great position to be in.

Barring an injury (which is somewhat rare in hockey but does happen), Timo is virtually automatic for 3+ shots. He eclipsed this number at an 81% rate last season, and it was evenly split between home and away games.

Carolina’s a strong defensive team and tough opponent, but Timo performs well, at least with respect to shots, in virtually any matchup. In two head to head matchups last year, he finished with 6 shots at home and 4 shots away.

Tonight they’re home, and it’s the Sharks home opener. In last year’s home opener, Timo attempted 13 shots, landing 8 on net. Tonight, we only need 3.

If you’re feelin’ risky, consider placing a 2nd version that bumps Timo up to 4+ shots, or placing it as a straight bet.

The Slip:

I got +438 for the 3-leg parlay at FanDuel Sportsbook and risked 0.5 units (i.e. half normal bet size). Water it down or ladder up as you see fit. For my official Friday Night Parlay… I’m rolling with this!

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