NHL PrizePicks Predictions: Picks for Connor McDavid, More
Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images. Pictured: Connor McDavid (Oilers)
- The Stanley Cup Playoffs roll on with two Game 1s on Wednesday night.
- The first is an Eastern Conference duel between the Hurricanes and the Devils and the second is a Western Conference clash between the Oilers and Golden Knights.
- Here are Tony Sartori's four PrizePicks plays for Wednesday.
Today’s NHL schedule features two tremendous playoff matchups, which means there are plenty of entries to sift through on PrizePicks.
But first, a quick refresher if you aren’t familiar with PrizePicks: you can combine up to five different player squares to pay out up to 10x your entry.
You can do a Flex Play or a Power Play. A Flex Play gives you lesser odds, but you can win money if you do not nail every pick. A Power Play is all-or-nothing.
Here’s how I would approach Wednesday’s NHL slate.
What is PrizePicks? A daily fantasy operator — meaning they’re available in more states (30) than sports betting is! — PrizePicks offers a unique opportunity for action on player picks in which you combine two or more entries together.
Connor McDavid More Than 0.5 Goals
Game 1 of this Western Conference series is set to get underway with the Vegas Golden Knights hosting the Edmonton Oilers.
This series could be a breath of fresh air for Edmonton’s superstar forward Connor McDavid, who no longer has to deal with Phillip Danault shadowing him over every inch of the ice.
One of the best defensive forwards in hockey, Danault helped to limit McDavid to just three goals and seven assists over six games.
I know how ridiculous it sounds to say someone limited a guy to “just” 10 points in six games, but that’s the way of the world when No. 97 is involved.
Going against a much weaker Vegas defense, look for McDavid to explode in this series. Since the Christmas break, the Knights rank in the bottom half of the league in expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60) at 5-on-5.
Through 18 career games against Vegas, McDavid has logged eight goals and 16 assists.
Leon Draisaitl More Than 0.5 Goals
There’s nothing more square/chalky than backing both Leon Draisaitl and McDavid to score, but sometimes the road most traveled by is still worth taking.
These two combined for a whopping 116 goals in the regular season, while Draisaitl carried the load in the first round against the Kings with Danault shadowing McDavid.
In the opening round, Draisaitl logged seven goals over six games and was literally on the ice for almost every single one of the Oilers’ goals throughout the entire series.
Like McDavid, Draisaitl’s past success against the Knights is worth noting, as he’s notched 10 goals and 14 assists over 19 games.
Two of the most talented forwards in the world, McDavid and Draisaitl both found the back of the net in Game 6 against the Kings, a result that could come to fruition again in this matchup against a weaker Vegas defense.
Frederik Andersen + Akira Schmid Less Than 0.5 Goals Allowed in First 10 Minutes
Game 1 of this NHL Eastern Conference series gets underway on Wednesday night with the Carolina Hurricanes hosting the New Jersey Devils.
An excellent goaltending matchup is in store as Frederik Andersen is slated to go against Akira Schmid.
Schmid completely revitalized the Devils when he overtook the starting job in the first round. Through five starts in the crease this postseason, Schmid has posted a 4-1 record with a stellar .951 save percentage (SV%) and 1.38 goals against average (GAA).
His underlying metrics are also excellent, ranking second among the eight remaining starting goaltenders in the postseason in goals saved above expected per 60 minutes (GSAx/60) at 5-on-5.
However, the problem is that the one guy ranked in front of Schmid in that key metric happens to be starting across the ice in this series.
The Canes finally turned to Andersen in Game 6 against the New York Islanders. This decision surely did not disappoint as he stopped 33 of 34 pucks for a dominating .971 SV% en route to Carolina’s 2-1 overtime victory.
Brent Burns More Than 3.5 Shots on Goal
Carolina dominated puck possession in the opening round against the Islanders, outshooting them 210-174 over the six-game series.
While New Jersey is obviously an entirely different beast to conquer, the Canes are still the better team in this series.
Since the Christmas break, Carolina ranks four spots higher than the Devils in expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60) at 5-on-5 and eight spots higher in expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60) at 5-on-5.
Assuming that the Canes are able to win the xGoals share in this contest, then one of the guys who is most likely to contribute to that is defenseman Brent Burns, who found the high-danger scoring areas with relative ease in the opening series against New York.
In that first round, Burns ranked fifth among Carolina skaters in expected goals at 5-on-5.
If he continues to find the prime scoring areas, then the shot-happy Burns will have no qualms in continuing to fire the puck.
Averaging 4.5 shots on goal in the first round, Burns registered at least four shots on goal in five of the six games against New York.
Dating back to the regular season, he’s recorded at least four shots in eight of his past 11 games, a trend that’s likely to continue in this matchup.
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