Stanley Cup Finals Game 1 Prop Bets: Stock Up On Shots!

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Our hockey season comes down to this, one last series for all the marbles. It’s been a fun season here, although the playoffs have taken a bit of a dip in our regular season earnings.

The hope is that we make it to the Stanley Cup Finals, and this Lightning-Avalanche series is a great option to get there.

Earlier this week, I set up futures bets for the most runs in the series. In attacking this market, I think I’ll probably take it easy with point props in individual games. My rooting interest is bound, and I don’t need to stretch too far from the door. If you’re looking to find prop angles for this market before the first game, take a look.

There are shooting prop targets that stand out for me – three in fact. Let’s come to them.

Nathan MacKinnon on 4.5 SOG (-128 FD)

The best odds for this are under FanDuel’s 5+ penalty shootout option. For some reason, its odds of exceeding 4.5 are -134, but we get it at -128 on the same site with this alternate option.

Nathan MacKinnon has been a beast all year and in the playoffs. In 14 playoff games, MacKinnon is 31 more shots than the next closest player on this team. With 82 total shots, he averages 5.9 shots per playoff game.

He’s topped 4.5 SOG in nine of 14 games this run, and he’s hit five of seven at home (71%).

Colorado has averaged 43.14 shots per game at home in the playoffs, and while the Avs have a bit of rust in Game 1, that number is still likely to hover around the 35+ mark. Just take Andrei Vasilevskiy’s save line as a barometer, which is set at 32.5 for Wednesday’s game.

Tampa Bay’s biggest shooting vulnerability has been center position. Of all the playoff teams this year, the Lightning allowed the fifth-most shots per game on centers.

That falls to MacKinnon, and the Avalanche captain has shown a propensity for coming out hot to start a streak. In three Game 1s, MacKinnon is averaging 6 SOG on 10.33 attempts, recording six points.

I’m ready to drink the juice here for Colorado’s top shooter in the biggest game of his career.

Victor Hedman on 2.5 SOG (-125 DK)

A profitable betting approach for us in this playoffs has been to bet defender shots against Colorado. We did it with Evan Bouchard from Edmonton in the last series, Roman Josi from Nashville in the first round and a couple of St. Louis defensemen in between.

Now we have Victor Hedman, who has covered his SOG at a rate of 59% this postseason. While that success rate may be higher, Tampa Bay’s top defensemen have kept attempts, averaging 5.9 per game.

The Avalanche rank lowest in blocked shots per game this postseason, and while that ranking may be tied to fewer overall shots against them, it confirms my desire to bet on shots by defensemen against this team.

Hedman is the logical choice to take advantage of it, and we do so at comfortable odds here.

Artturi Lehkonen on 2.5 SOG (+110 DK)

We wrap up Game 1 picks with a plus-money play to Artturi Lehkonen. Now, that pick is largely tied to Nazem Kadri’s health, but all signs so far point to Kadri being out for Game 1.

If you’re a little more hesitant, by all means wait for the final lineups to be announced. I’m confident Kadri will be out, and I want to jump on that bet while we have this +110 floating around here.

You may remember we bet on Lehkonen in Game 4 of the last series as we noticed his role growing when Kadri was out. If we include Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals, from which Kadri was knocked out in less than a minute, Lehkonen has had three or more shots on goal in eight of his last 10 games without Kadri in the lineup.

In those games, Lehkonen averages 3.5 SOG and has four times more than 5 shots. He would be a great candidate for this game if that’s your thing.

Lehkonen was steady for Colorado’s last series, covering his SOG in games 2-4, so we charge him to keep that going.

Let’s start this Stanley Cup Final in style and take some bets. Good luck and good game !


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