NHL PrizePicks Predictions Today: Plays for Auston Matthews, Jason Robertson & More (May 2)
Derek Cain/Getty Images. Pictured: Jason Robertson of the Dallas Stars.
- Tuesday's NHL playoffs slate features two games: Panthers vs. Maple Leafs and Kraken vs. Stars.
- Tony Sartori came through with four PrizePicks plays for Tuesday's Game 1 matchups, including plays for Auston Matthews, Jason Robertson, Roope Hintz and more.
- Check out all four of Sartori's PrizePicks plays for Tuesday's NHL games below.
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 Tuesday’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.
Auston Matthews More Than 0.5 Goals
The Toronto Maple Leafs host the Florida Panthers in Game 1 of their NHL Eastern Conference second-round series on Tuesday evening.
Utterly dominating the opening round against the Tampa Bay Lightning, superstar forward Auston Matthews racked up four assists and five goals over the span of the six-game series.
He put those numbers up against one of the best big-game goaltenders in Andrei Vasilevskiy. Now, Matthews goes up against an even weaker defense and goaltender in this series, so there’s no reason to believe he’s going to slow down.
This season, the Panthers ranked just 21st in the league in expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60) at 5-on-5. These results make sense considering that Florida’s two best defensemen — Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour — are both offensive-minded.
Outside of Radko Gudas, this team does not really have an efficient shut-down defenseman.
Backing up this defensively-inefficient team is goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. It’s been a bit of a turbulent postseason for Bobrovsky, who posted a .891 save percentage (SV%) and 3.94 goals against average (GAA) through five appearances in the first round.
Ryan O’Reilly + Aleksander Barkov More Than 0.5 Goals
We’re going to back a couple more goal-scorers in this contest, needing either Ryan O’Reilly or Aleksander Barkov to record just one goal.
O’Reilly stepped up massively for Toronto in the first round, recording two goals and five assists over the six-game series.
Among all Leafs skaters this postseason, O’Reilly ranks fourth in expected goals. I highlighted Bobrovsky’s struggles above, and his underlying metrics suggest that positive regression is unlikely.
Among the eight remaining starting goaltenders in the playoffs, he ranks third-to-last in goals saved above expected per 60 minutes (GSAx/60) at 5-on-5. However, one of the two players who ranks lower than him in that key metric is starting across the ice for Toronto: Ilya Samsonov.
That is good news for Barkov and the high-powered Florida offense. While Barkov recorded only one goal in the opening round against the Boston Bruins, he could find greater success against a much weaker Leafs blue line.
Since the Christmas break, Toronto ranks in the bottom half of the league in xGA/60 at 5-on-5.
Yanni Gourde + Jason Robertson Less Than 0.5 Goals
Another Game 1 takes place on Tuesday evening with the Dallas Stars hosting the Seattle Kraken. This game should see fewer goals scored, considering both teams’ elite defensive play.
Since the Christmas break, the Stars rank second in the league in xGA/60 at 5-on-5. Meanwhile, over that same stretch, the Kraken rank third in the league in the same category.
Both of these strong defenses transitioned well into the postseason, with five or fewer total goals scored in six of Seattle’s seven first-round games and in four of Dallas’ six.
This play is really just a fade of Jason Robertson, as Yanni Gourde has recorded just one goal over his past eight games after putting up 14 over the 81 games played in the regular season.
Although Robertson is an elite scorer who nearly hit the 50-goal mark this season, he notched only two goals in the first round and has scored just once over his past five games against Seattle.
Matty Beniers + Roope Hintz Less Than 0.5 Goals
We’re going to fade a couple more goal-scorers in this game in Matty Beniers and Roope Hintz. Not only are both defenses elite, but both goaltenders have performed tremendously as well.
Slated to take the crease for Dallas is Jake Oettinger, who put together another dominant campaign. Through 62 appearances in the crease this season, Oettinger posted a 37-11-11 record with a .919 SV% and 2.37 GAA. This dominant play transitioned into the first round as well, as he went 4-2 with a .929 SV% and 2.01 GAA.
Across the ice, Philipp Grubauer will start between the pipes for Seattle. Putting together a tremendous performance in the first round against his former team, Grubauer went 4-3 with a .926 SV% and 2.44 GAA.
While Beniers is a tremendous playmaker, his scoring ability is still developing, which is part of the reason he went extremely quiet in the opening round and notched just one point over seven games.
Meanwhile, Hintz dominated the Minnesota Wild in the opening round, posting five goals and seven assists in six games. With that said, three of those five goals came on the power play, which could be tougher to come by against a Seattle team that had the fewest penalties per 60 minutes among all teams in the opening round.
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