NHL Best Bets & Player Props (2/9/23): Sam Bennett, Bo Harvat & More!
After the all-star break and a six-game slate, followed by a two-game slate last night, we have a seven-game slate on this Thursday’s docket from which to extract some winners. I say this because admittedly the last couple of slates have not been the greatest, but that is why I’m a strong advocate of a flat betting approach and having bankroll requirements for wagers. Still, it has been a really good, winning season and we have the final stretch of the regular season here with the trade deadline looming on the horizon. But for tonight, the Canucks and Wild are on back-to-backs, with the Canucks simply going from Madison Square Garden to Long Island and the Wild traveling from Dallas to Minnesota. You could certainly make a bit of an argument that these first back-to-backs are not as bad for the teams on them as they would be after a long stretch of games without a break, but it doesn’t change my process much at all so let’s dig in.
NHL Game Lines To Target Tonight
Colorado Avalanche +110 Money line at Tampa Bay
Full disclaimer as I am a homer on this play, however, I much prefer the play of Colorado in the most limited recent form, as they looked a lot better last time out overall against the Penguins than what we saw from the Tampa team that blew a two-goal lead to ultimately lose to the Sharks. I’d call that a far worse loss for Tampa than the point the Avs get for dominating 50 minutes of the game and losing in overtime, even though that was also brutal to watch if you had the Avs.
In the market, the Avs are getting almost 60% of the bets, but also 74% of the money, and this number is on the move towards +105 and possibly a pick.
I’m expecting a better bounce-back effort this time out from Tampa, but I think the Avs will be up to the task here and look to continue the dominance in possession enough and have it reflect on the scoreboard this time. If we see more of control of the play from the Avs tomorrow night, I’m confident we will also have ourselves a green check at better odds.
Vegas Golden Knights +105 at Minnesota Wild
On Wednesday night, the Golden Knights were waiting on the Wild to get to town which although it means a bit less this time of year, still does account for this situation. Incredibly, the Golden Knights are taking on about 94% of the bets and 97% of the money as of last night when I started this very article. I cannot find any real reasons to disagree with it here, either as we did see more than a pulse out of the Golden Knights coming out of the break in that dominating performance at Nashville. Before the win at Nashville, the Knights themselves had not been playing very well which is really all that concerns me here would be a crazy switch flip or something like it. It is no secret the Wild have been struggling to score recently, which has me fairly reassured the Knights can pull out the two points here.
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NHL Player Props to Target
Sam Bennett Over 2.5 Shots on Goal -139 versus San Jose
After knocking off Tampa, the Sharks make the short hop over to south Florida where they will take on the Panthers tonight. The Sharks are bottom three in shots allowed versus the center position over the last 20 games, which is where Bennett will be tonight. He’s basically guaranteed a minimum role of the second line and second power play, but if Barkov (game-time decision, hand) does not go, I figure Bennett will slot up to at least a top-line role at even strength, which would put us in an even better position. Our free projections have him at three shots on goal, and regardless of if Barkov is a go, I like this play. If you want to wait for a confirmation Barkov is not a go and sprinkle on his anytime goal, I saw it around +170 as well.
Bo Horvat Over 2.5 Shots on Goal -120 versus Vancouver
You could really go several ways in taking shot props when we are talking about a matchup with the Canucks. Although they might have been a little better under a new coaching regime lately, they still concede shots and goals like it is going out of style and also have poor goaltending. I think you basically must look at all the Islanders' shots tonight, but this one right now is my favorite of those on the board, and I certainly don’t mind the fact this will be his first game against his former team as well. He’s going to be skating on the top line with a top power play role in the net front position, which bodes well for this prop as well as an anytime goal sprinkle consideration as well.
You can find me on Twitter @DanH720. Best of luck tonight!
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