NHL Player Props Odds, Expert Picks: Best Bets for Auston Matthews, Cale Makar, More (Thursday, April 20)

NHL Player Props Odds, Expert Picks: Best Bets for Auston Matthews, Cale Makar, More (Thursday, April 20) article feature image

Dustin Bradford/Getty Images. Pictured: Cale Makar

Night four of the NHL playoffs will commence Thursday with a four stellar Game 2 matchups on the docket.

A number of stars are providing value on this slate, as they look to power their sides to bounce-back victories.

NHL Player Props for Thursday, April 20

Timo Meier Over 3.5 Shots on Goal -115

Rangers vs. Devils
Puck Drop7:30 p.m. ET
Best LineBet365 / DraftKings

Like many from the Devils roster, Meier was quiet in Game 1 while skating on the third line with Erik Haula and Jesper Boqvist. The trio did not control much of the overall play and owned just a 40% xG share in minutes played together.

Meier got a chance alongside Nico Hischier and Dawson Mercer later on in the matchup, and that unit dominated to a 100% expected goal share in a tiny sample of 2:41 together. All three of Meier's shots came after the midway point in the second.

The important part here is that Meier practiced with Hischier and Mercer, and I believe that line will dominate if they stay together.

Hischier was the Devils' best player in Game 1, and playing alongside him should help Meier generate far more shot attempts.

Among skaters who played more than 100 minutes this season, Meier's 23.81 shot attempt per 60 average ranked fourth in the league. His actual shot on goal average per 60 of 13.01 ranked fifth.

This sets up as a good buy-low time on Meier as he played a smaller role down the stretch than we will likely see in tonight's matchup.

Auston Matthews Over 4.5 Shots On Goal +108

Lightning vs. Maple Leafs
Puck Drop7  p.m. ET
Best LineFanDuel

In what already feels almost like a do-or-die spot, I expect Auston Matthews and the Leafs' top stars to skate big minutes. They will get a more reasonable matchup versus a depleted Lightning defense, and I think we see Toronto get 35+ shots on target in tonight's game.

Ranking one slot above Meier in shots on goal per 60 this regular season was Matthews with his 13.07 per game average.

Matthews' time on ice could very well end up well past his recent averages if this game is at all close given the spot. He's averaged 5.19 shots on goal over the 20 games, and I believe getting plus money for him to hit that mark tonight is a good proposition.

Calle Jarnkrok Over 0.5 Points +100 | Anytime Goal Scorer +340

Lightning vs. Maple Leafs
Puck Drop7 p.m. ET
Best LineFanDuel

With Michael Bunting suspended and out of the lineup, Jarnkrok will receive another opportunity to play on the top line at even strength alongside Matthews and Mitch Marner. He will also slide into a role on the second power play unit.

I like the chances Toronto scores three or more in this matchup, and the top even strength unit will likely be very involved.

In 83.5 even strength minutes together, Jarnkrok, Marner and Matthews played to a 58% expected goals rating and generated 3.38 xG per 60.

Jarnkrok was a solid finisher with 20 goals in 73 games this season, and produced 39 points. He received far worse usage in many of those contests than he will get tonight.

I think putting three-quarters of a unit on Jarnkrok to record a point at +100, and one-quarter on anytime goal scorer is a logical way to bet a productive showing from him on the top line tonight.

Cale Makar Powerplay Point +125

Kraken vs. Avalanche
Puck Drop10 p.m. ET
Best LineBet365

What was most shocking about Colorado's Game 1 performance was generating just one goal against a very soft starter in Philipp Grubauer.

My belief is that the Avs bounce back with four or more in tonight's matchup, and one of my favorite angles is that the power play will do damage.

Seattle killed off just 76.4% of penalties in the regular season. That is very logical, as typically it becomes the most difficult to hide modest goaltending on the penalty kill.

Nathan MacKinnon did not believe Grubauer really was forced to make that many tough saves in Game 1, and I agree with him.

That likely will not happen again though. Keeping the setup of Makar at the top, MacKinnon on the left half-wall and Mikko Rantanen on the right in check is next to impossible.

The Avs' powerplay clicked at 32.8% last season, and Makar was a major part of that success.  Most plays move through him at the top at some point. I think this is a great number in a matchup where the Avs' could easily end up with two power play goals.

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