Freedman’s Favorite NHL Player Matchup (Feb. 19): Mats Zuccarello vs. Mika Zibanejad

Freedman’s Favorite NHL Player Matchup (Feb. 19): Mats Zuccarello vs. Mika Zibanejad article feature image

Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello

  • Matthew Freedman continues his series featuring one of his favorite prop bets for each day of 2019.
  • On Tuesday, he looks at the Hurricanes-Rangers NHL game (7:00 p.m. ET) and the prop matchup between New York teammates Mats Zuccarello & Mika Zibanejad.

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 a nine-game NHL slate to bet on.

2019 Year-to-Date Record

110-90-8, +22.49 Units

  • NFL: 21-13-0, +11.72 Units
  • NBA: 42-33-2, +5.30 Units
  • NHL: 36-37-5, +2.78 Units
  • Golf: 3-4-1, -0.50 Units
  • NASCAR: 3-2-0. +1.55 Units
  • NCAAF: 0-1-0. -1.00 Units
  • Exotics: 5-0-0. +2.64 Units

Freedman’s Favorite NHL Player Matchup for Tuesday, Feb. 19: Mats Zuccarello vs. Mika Zibanejad, Most Points

  • Mats Zuccarello: +150
  • Mika Zibanejad: -180

We have a large NHL slate today that starts with the Hurricanes-Rangers game (7:00 p.m. ET), and the head-to-head matchup between New York teammates Mats Zuccarello and Mika Zibanejad looks intriguing.

We’ve recently had success with the over on Zuccarello’s shots prop, and I’m investing in him once again.

Zuccarello is widely expected to be traded before the Feb. 25 deadline, so really any game could be his last with the Rangers, the only team he’s played for in his nine-year career.

With his likely departure approaching, Zuccarello has seized the opportunity to remind fans of what they’ll miss when he’s gone.

Over the past 12 months, he’s averaged 0.72 points per game to Zibanejad’s 0.92 (per the FantasyLabs NHL Models). And for the season, Mats has just 0.84 points per game to Zibanejad’s 1.0.

But since Zibanejad joined the Rangers in 2016, they have had similar per-game averages.

  • Zuccarello: 0.73
  • Zibanejad: 0.76

And over the past month, Zuccarello’s playing time his dramatically increased (from 19:09 to 22:42), resulting in a production surge. In his past 10 games, he’s averaged 1.5 points per game. Zibanejad has 1.45 over that span.

Given how productively comparable Zuccarello and Zibanejad have been in the long and short term, I’ll gladly bet on Mats all the way down to +110.

The Pick: Zuccarello +150

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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