Nicholas Martin’s Favorite NHL Player Props for Friday: Connor McDavid Prop Among Top Picks (December 23)

Nicholas Martin’s Favorite NHL Player Props for Friday: Connor McDavid Prop Among Top Picks (December 23) article feature image

Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid

  • With the NHL taking a holiday break until Tuesday, Nicholas Martin has found betting value on Friday night's action.
  • He's eying three player props, including a play on Connor McDavid.
  • Check out his picks and analysis below.

Friday's heavyweight 11-game NHL slate features a ton of intriguing matchups and should be a fun-way to head into the holiday weekend. Let's dive into my favorite NHL angles and the logic behind each one.

Matthew Tkachuk Over 3.5 Shots on Goal +132 | Panthers vs. Islanders (FanDuel):

Matthew Tkachuk has fallen into a rut with regards to his recent shots on goal totals, which is why this prop is currently being offered a significantly better price than we have seen all season long.

Friday sets up to be a favorable spot to get back on the horse with Tkachuk as the Islanders have allowed 30.49 SA/60 over the last five contests, which dates back to the loss of top defender Adam Pelech.

The Islanders will also be skating leg two of a back-to-back in this spot, and the Panthers will likely carry more of the play and manage 33+ shots as a team.

Tonight's contest is a massive two points for both of these teams, and in all likelihood we could see higher than average time on ice for Tkachuk as the Panthers skate for the last time before the break.

Tkachuk has averaged 3.67 shots on goal this season, and that mark is going to be sustainable over a large sample size. Therefore grabbing +132 in what is a really favorable spot for shot production holds strong value, and I would play this down to +115.

Pick: Matthew Tkachuk Over 3.5 Shots on Goal

Kent Johnson Over 0.5 Points -108 | Blue Jackets vs. Blackhawks (FanDuel):

A matchup just before the holiday break between these two lottery sides could very easily become a shootout, and I will happily target a player prop in this matchup.

Chicago has trended downwards over the last month of play as it has allowed 4.62 goals against per game after what was a surprisingly reasonable start to the season.

That sets the stage perfectly for our guy here in Kent Johnson, who has been elevated to the Blue Jackets' top even strength unit alongside Johnny Gaudreau and Boone Jenner.

Johnson was the 2021 fifth overall pick and offers a ton of offensive upside and is far from someone who is simply being plugged into a role in desperation.

He has recorded a single point or more in 16-of-29 games (55.19%) this season, which already makes this an interesting look considering -108 is a profitable line with a 54% probability.

However, Johnson has recorded a point in both contests since being elevated to the Blue Jackets top unit and will likely continue to record points at a higher clip moving forward in that role.

-108 is a good number with all of these factors in mind, and I would back this down to -115.

Pick: Kent Johnson Over 0.5 Points

Connor McDavid Over 3.5 Shots on Goal -140 | Canucks vs. Oilers (DraftKings):

Connor McDavid's partner in crime, Leon Draisaitl, made it well known that McDavid needed to be far more selfish in front of goal this season, and anything but 60 goals would be a disappointment for the games best player.

Well, McDavid seems to have taken that to heart, as he has averaged 3.91 shots on goal to this point while scoring at a 70-goal pace.

Vancouver has been one of the least capable defensive sides in the league of late but presents just enough scoring upside that ideally this game will not be a complete blowout.

The Canucks skated last night at home versus Seattle and will in all likelihood allow 35+ shots on goal in tonight's matchup.

McDavid torched the Canucks for three goals and an assist on opening night and would likely always thrive in this matchup over a large sample as the Canucks do not hold the skaters to keep McDavid in check.

Playing any of McDavid's props holds merit, but it's safe to say McDavid will be the most notable skater on the ice tonight and is perfectly set up to head into the break with a big offensive performance.

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