Freedman’s Favorite NHL Prop (Feb. 28): John Tavares Will Score in Islanders Homecoming

Freedman’s Favorite NHL Prop (Feb. 28): John Tavares Will Score in Islanders Homecoming article feature image

John Sokolowski, USA Today Sports.

  • Matthew Freedman continues his series featuring one of his favorite prop bets for each day of 2019.
  • On Thursday, he looks at the Islanders-Maple Leafs NHL game (7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN+) & the goal prop for Toronto center John Tavares.

Each day, I publish at least one quick-n’-dirty piece highlighting a favorite prop of mine. See my master list of 2019 prop bets for more information.

Also follow me in The Action Network app, where each day I post additional, official player prop picks: Today we have seven NHL and six NBA games.

2019 Year-to-Date Record

181-153-10, +28.45 Units

  • NFL: 21-13-0, +11.72 Units
  • NBA: 84-68-3, +10.64 Units
  • NHL: 54-64-6, -4.84 Units
  • Golf: 4-4-1, +0.65 Units
  • NASCAR: 4-2-0. +2.55 Units
  • NCAAF: 0-1-0. -1.00 Units
  • NCAAB: 0-1-0. -1.00 Units
  • Exotic: 14-0-0. +9.73 Units

Freedman’s Favorite NHL Prop (Feb. 28): John Tavares to Score a Goal

  • Yes: +130
  • No: -170

In what promises to be an exciting game between two strong teams, the Islanders (36-19-7) host the Maple Leafs (39-20-4) to open tonight’s slate of NHL action (7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN+).

To hockey fans, especially Islanders fans, this is a big moment: For the first time since he signed with Toronto in the summer, center John Tavares is returning to Long Island to play against the team that drafted him No. 1 overall almost a decade ago.

This is LeBron James returning to Cleveland in December 2010 as a member of the Heat.

This is hockey drama at its highest.

And I say this as someone who didn’t really know who Tavares was until I watched this video five minutes ago, so you know I know what I’m talking about.

Anecdotally, I think guys tend to do well in #RevengeGame scenarios like this. You can’t tell me that Tavares won’t be trying harder than usual to score at the rough-n’-rowdy Nassau Coliseum in front of the fans who used to love him and now hate him (as evidenced by the photoshopped picture at the top of this piece).

This year, Tavares has 0.51 goals per game, scoring in 29 of 63 (46.0%) of his games.

With +130 odds, he has a 43.5% implied probability of scoring, but I’d say his true odds are closer to 48%. Maybe even 100%, conservatively.

If Tavares scores a goal tonight against the Islanders, that will be in keeping with what fans of the franchise have experienced for the past three decades.

This isn’t just destiny.

This is poetry.


How can I not bet on a Tavares goal at plus money?

I’d bet “Yes” down to +115.

The Pick: Yes (+130)

Matthew Freedman is the Editor-in-Chief of FantasyLabs. He has a dog and sometimes a British accent. In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, he’s known only as The Labyrinthian.

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