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Oilers’ Draisaitl, Panthers’ Bennett Value Prop Picks in Game 1 of Stanley Cup

Three-time Hart Trophy winner Connor McDavid is always the centerpiece of a playoff series, but the NHL betting value sits with the supporting players in Game 1 of Stanley Cup Final when his Edmonton Oilers visit the Florida Panthers on Saturday.

McDavid, with linemates Ryan Nugent-Hopkns and Zach Hyman, will get the most attention with Florida owning the coveted last line change in the first two games at home. That may give Leon Draisaitl, Evander Kane and Dylan Holloway on the Oilers’ second line a slight advantage.

Holloway is +600 to score in Game 1 while Nugent-Hopkins (20 points in playoffs), who is on the top power-play unit, is +300 and Kane +325. But will Edmonton be able to break down the stingy Florida defense enough to create chances?

The Panthers are more balanced, so taking a shot with higher odds is a better choice. Sam Bennett, who is expected to center leading scorer Matthew Tkachuk (19 points) and Evan Rodrigues to start the series, might be a good bet.

The over/under for Game 1 has been set at 5 ½ in the NHL lines, but it’s difficult to tell whether these games will open up or not. Both teams have been brilliant killing penalties in the playoffs and a lot will depend on that continuing.


Draisaitl Primed to Produce

The big German center saw McDavid go by him for the most points in the playoffs in the past few games, but Draisaitl is not done yet.

The 28-year-old had at least a point in the first 13 playoff games, was shut out for the next two and has strung three more together with a goal and two assists. He will benefit if Edmonton’s power play continues to produce after going 4-for-5 in the last two contests.



Draisaitl has great value to score the first goal of the playoffs (+750) in the sportsbook. That’s not bad for a player that boasts 148 goals in the last three regular seasons and 10 in this playoff run.



Bet on Bennett to Cash

Opposing teams don’t like playing against Bennett, who is edgy and sometimes goes over the top with his physicality. But he can also put up goals.

Bennett has scored five goals in 10 games since returning from an injury in the first round against Tampa Bay, including one in each of the last three. His odds to score in Game 1 have dipped from +400 to +300, but those are still valuable if you bet online.

Bettors can’t forget that Bennett was the fourth overall pick in the 2014 draft. The three ahead of him will be on the ice in the finals as well.

Evan Rodrigues may be another stealth pick to score in Game 1 at +400. Rodrigues (three goals, eight points playoffs) should get decent minutes with Bennett and Tkachuk



Defensemen Bouchard, Forsling Present Value

Edmonton’s Evan Bouchard leads all defensemen in the playoffs with 27 points but still has decent value to put up points in Game 1.

Bouchard would benefit from more power plays as he boasts 11 assists with the man advantage, but five of his six goals have come at even strength. He has good value to score in Game 1 (+350) and put up two points (+200).

Edmonton’s defensemen have 14 goals in the playoffs and Florida boasts nine, led by Gustav Forsling’s four tallies. Forsling is +600 to score and +146 to post a point.

Teammate Aaron Ekblad is +900 to add a goal to his five assists in the postseason if you want to make a wild sport bet.He will get plenty of ice time and he is +9 in the playoffs. Teammate Brandon Montour (+500 to score a goal) will be on the ice a lot as well and he quarterbacks the power play.



Questions Of The Day

Will there be a power-play goal In Game 1?

Yes. It should be a fast, physical, series so you should expect penalties. There’s too much talent on the ice to not capitalize.

What is Edmonton’s record on the road this season?

27-21-7. The Oilers are 6-3 on the road in the playoffs.

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