NHL Player Props Odds, Best Bets: Expert Picks for William Nylander, Roope Hintz
Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: William Nylander.
- Action Network NHL expert Nick Martin has player prop picks for Panthers vs. Maple Leafs and Kraken vs. Stars.
- William Nylander of the Leafs and Roope Hintz of the Stars are set up to have big games.
- Continue reading for player prop analysis and picks for Thursday, May 4, in the NHL Playoffs.
Thursday’s NHL playoff slate features two pivotal Game 2s as the Maple Leafs and Stars each look to knot their respective series. Each is priced as heavy favorites — the Leafs are currently -200 against the Panthers while the Stars are -220 against the Kraken.
Toronto’s stars generated a ton of attempts in Game 1, but ultimately did not break through as the team created only two goals. I think one superstar in particular — William Nylander — could snap out of his quiet spell. And in Dallas, I will lean on Roope Hintz, who is putting together a case for the Conn Smythe Trophy should the Stars find a way to the Stanley Cup Finals.
NHL Player Props for Thursday, May 4
William Nylander Any Time Goal Scorer (+170)
|Team vs. Team||Panthers vs Maple Leafs|
|Puck Drop||7 p.m. ET|
Florida did not defend well in Game 1 despite holding the Leafs’ high-powered offense to two goals. Thus, I remain very interested in backing the Leafs to do damage in this series.
The Panthers allowed 5.80 expected goals, and it was clear the data was not simply painting an unfair depiction of the game. Chances were plentiful for the Leafs, and you would be quite results orientated to pretend Florida wasn’t lucky.
William Nylander had a ridiculous 1.35 individual expected goals in the series opener. His strong play in transition was clearly tough for some Panthers skaters to handle.
William Nylander: A riddle wrapped in an enigma pic.twitter.com/vKV0s8tErO
— Kevin Michie (@KevinMichie) May 3, 2023
The clip above is an interesting talking point as there is no chance this play wasn’t shown to Nylander in the film session leading up to Game 2.
The first thing that is clear: Marc Staal is going to struggle badly in transition, like he did versus Boston (and really all year). These plays will be there for Toronto, and Staal is not the only exploitable Panthers defender.
The reason Nylander wasn’t aware the lane to the net was wide open is because he expected Staal to remain on his hip. Not noticing Staal lost an edge in game speed is more forgivable than people think. Even still, Nylander’s lack of a killer instinct is drawing the ire of fans who say he needs more of an “edge.”
Nylander had lots of chances in Game 1, and he should continue exposing the Panthers’ depth defenders and dominate any minutes against the fourth line. Combine that with the narrative of lacking a killer instinct, and I think he becomes a viable betting target.
I like backing Nylander to score at +175. Betting on two points at +265, or four shots on goal at -106 are also good options.
Pick: William Nylander Any Time Goal Scorer (+170)
Roope Hintz Over 2.5 Shots on Goal (-104); Any Time Goal Scorer (+170)
|Team vs. Team||Kraken vs Stars|
|Puck Drop||9:30 p.m. ET|
With five goals and 12 points in the opening seven games, Hintz has been dominant to start the playoffs. I liked him to go over 2.5 shots in Game 1, and he delivered with five shots on goal and seven attempts at net. Several of those were also legitimate scoring opportunities.
Hintz’s level at the moment is not at all surprising. His playoff production has been elite and he is clearly playing more aggressively in the offensive zone. He is an incredible skater with a sound awareness of open pockets to attack. His role on a stacked top line is great, as well as on the Stars’ top power-play unit.
Seattle got by Colorado with a ton of low-scoring wins, but I believe that trend won’t continue. While this series likely won’t trend near the nine goals we saw in the opener, I believe there will be more scoring than people expect.
Game 2 will not be a complete grind as the total of 5.5 suggests, so I’ll be backing multiple Hintz props.
Pick: Roope Hintz Any Time Goal Scorer (+170)
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Pick: Roope Hintz Over 2.5 SOG (-104)
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