Betting options: Most points in the series
There are markets open for both most points in the series and leading goal-scorer, along with some other intriguing options such as head-to-head points/goals.
I prefer starting with the most points in the series market, and I have a few options that stick out. At the end I’ll order them from most confident to least, and how I’m sizing my bets.
Nathan MacKinnon: +400 DK
Tampa Bay is allowing 2.35 points per game and 1.16 goals per game to centers in these playoffs, and who is better equipped to make the most of this matchup than Nathan MacKinnon?
Not only are points and goals seeing an uptick from the center position, but the Lightning have also been extremely vulnerable to shots allowed from centers.
It all adds up to a big series from MacKinnon. In the one game against the Lightning that he was active for, MacKinnon had three points. He is the only player on DraftKings with a 1.5 point line for Game 1. Are sportsbooks showing their hand on who they think is most involved? MacKinnon is the favorite for a reason, but at +400 I still see value.
In 15 career games against Tampa Bay, MacKinnon has 23 points.
Ondrej Palat: +5000 DK
The hope with this wager is that Palat remains on the top line with Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov, and if he does, these odds are too good to ignore.
Palat is second on the team in points this postseason with 16, and he has seven in his past five games. He has a point in both games against Colorado this season and has nine points in his past 11 meetings against the Avs.
We’re getting +5000 for a guy consistently involved in scoring plays, and in 17 career Stanley Cup Final games, Palat has 10 points.
Mikko Rantanen: +600 CZR
If Nazem Kadri can return early in this series, I like the value on Mikko Rantanen. When looking at positional data, the Lightning are most vulnerable to points from the right wing. Rantanen is typically on the RW alongside Kadri. With Kadri out, Rant has been the second-line center, which would be the other preferred position to look for points against Tampa Bay.
Either way, I see some value here. We’ve seen an involved Rantanen this postseason, and he’s had nice success against the Lightning this year. He’s got 11 shots and two points in two games against the Bolts, and has a point in seven of nine meetings against TB since 2017.
If I were to bet anyone to have the most goals in this series, I think it’s Rantanen I prefer at +600. In fact, I think I’ll be doing exactly that. He has a goal in four straight games and there’s something about his shot volume that has stood out for some time now.
Nikita Kucherov: +400 DK
I have to highlight the other favorite in the field in Nikita Kucherov, because there are a few factors that point the arrow squarely to him.
The first is his Stanley Cup success. In 17 career Cup Final games, Kucherov has 16 points, nearly one a game. He also leads all remaining players in postseason points through three rounds, with 23.
The kicker is the power play. The Avalanche and Lightning are second and third this postseason in power play goals, but it’s Colorado who has had the weaker penalty kill. If Tampa Bay wins this series, it may very well come on the back of their power play.
Kucherov is on that top PP unit, and he leads the team in power play points this postseason with 10. His involvement on the power play was evident during the regular season as well, finishing with 30 points in just 47 games. The important context here is his games played. Despite suiting up just 47 times, he ranked 20th in the NHL in power play points. He had just six fewer than Steven Stamkos despite 24 fewer games.
If you look at this betting market with the goalies included, Tampa Bay might be the better place to look.
Order of Confidence: Most Points in the Series
- MacKinnon (1u)
- Kucherov (1u)
- Palat (.2u)
Most Goals in the Series
- Rantanen (.5u)