Basic name. Sneaky good hockey player. The Bolts acquired Paul’s services via trade with the Ottawa Senators last year. Tonight, he’ll face his former team for the 1st time.
It’s funny — normally we’d call this a “revenge” spot, but in Paul’s case, it might be the polar opposite. An “anti-revenge” spot of sorts. If I were him, I’d be thrilled with the situation. The trade launched him directly into a Stanley Cup run last year. He performed well and earned a 7-year extension in the offseason. Now he’s a staple in Tampa’s Top-6 forward group, playing with better teammates and putting up numbers.
For all those reasons, I’m not buying the revenge narrative tonight. Instead — I’m betting on the simple fact his role has increased relative to past years, which is a source of betting value for him. Sportsbooks haven’t been listing Nick Paul’s shot prop this year, and I’m not sure why they decided to start today. Those questions might be better left unasked, because I feel it’s mispriced. I agree with the line being 1.5 but expected odds closer to -220 or lower.
That’s because betting Nick Paul to record 2+ shots is 8-1 (89%) this season and 12-4 (75%) since last season when he plays 15+ minutes with Tampa (excluding playoffs). This year, he’s averaging 18:21 minutes of ice time, up from 16:18 with Tampa last year, and minutes correlate with shots.