Victor Hedman (May 15, 2018). Photo credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
The only NHL game Thursday is Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, but there should still be plenty of opportunities to look for exploitable prop bets by leveraging our NHL Models and Trends tool as well as the Bet Labs database.
Here are two props I’m eyeing for the Lightning-Capitals game, which starts at 8 p.m. ET.
Lightning W Nikita Kucherov over 3.5 shots on goal (-115)
Tampa Bay has gotten a recent shooting spike from Kucherov, who is averaging 4.2 shots per game over the past month (99th percentile) vs. 3.55 over the past year (97th). The Capitals have also offered a favorable shooting matchup over the past month (93rd percentile in shot attempts allowed), and the Lightning own a Corsi For Expectation of 47.2 in comparison to the Capitals at 44.3. Kucherov has registered four or more shots in seven of his past 11 games over the past month.
Lightning D Victor Hedman under 2.5 shots on goal (-125)
Looking at the power-play setup for the Lightning reveals why Hedman’s shots have dropped from 2.75 per game over the past year (91st) to 2.4 over the past month (84th):
As seen is this photo from Game 3, Hedman is playing the top of the “umbrella” formation on the power play. His job is not to shoot but instead to draw defenders toward him and to set up Kucherov and Steven Stamkos on his flanks for one-timers. Over the past month, this is how the power play shot distribution has broken down for the Lightning:
- Kucherov: 1.6 power-play shots per game, 99th percentile
- Stamkos: 1.0, 97th
- Hedman: 0.6, 85th
With his current power-play usage, Hedman under 2.5 appears to be a strong value.