Editor's Note: These picks do NOT necessarily reflect BetQL's PGA Model and are from our friends at BetMGM.
The Colorado Avalanche used a dominant overtime effort in Game 4 to back the Tampa Bay Lightning into a 3-1 series deficit in the Stanley Cup Final. That means the Avalanche have three games to close out the series and secure their first cup since 2001.
The champagne is on ice, and the Stanley Cup odds are ready to be paid out.
Ideally for Avs fans, that fourth and final win might come at home on Friday night, but most hockey bettors are expecting the two-time defending champions to offer some resistance.
Both teams need their best players to shine, and that’s reflected in the player prop market at BetMGM. Here are some of our favorites for Friday:
Cale Makar – Over 0.5 Points (-240)
One award likely isn’t enough for Avs defenseman Cale Makar. The former first-round selection is fresh off his Norris Trophy coronation and is the odds-on favorite to claim the Conn Smythe trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs.
Makar has been a critical cog in the Colorado machine this season, and he should continue his high level of play in Game 5.
The Bolts managed to keep Makar off the scoresheet in Game 1, but the 23-year-old has tormented them over the past three outings. Over that stretch, Makar has recorded two goals and three assists, directing 14 shots on target.
His success is validated by the advanced metrics, where Makar rates as one of the top skaters from the 2022 playoffs.
Makar leads the postseason in scoring and high-danger chances, resulting in a 64.2 percent expected goals-for rating. Still, his actual mark of 63.0 percent is short of expected, implying that we could see his onslaught continue throughout the final.
Backing Makar to record a point here comes at a steep price, but as we’ve seen throughout the postseason, the Avs rely on their stud defenseman to drive scoring on the backend. If the Avs hope to close things out at home against an opponent this good, they’ll probably need another elite effort from Makar.
Artturi Lehkonen – Over 0.5 Points (-105)
Nearly every over on the player prop market comes with a chalky price, so Artturi Lehkonen’s prop is noteworthy because he’s the only Avalanche player with a prop priced in this range.
When reconciling his advanced metrics with the NHL odds market, there’s no reason to pass up this implied value.
Lehkonen has been a significant contributor for Colorado throughout the playoffs. The trade deadline acquisition from the Montreal Canadiens has been impactful from the start, tied for seventh on the team in scoring while skating on the power play and PK units.
Two-way play drives Lehkonen’s success. He ranks sixth on the team with a 63.6 percent scoring chance rating, as well as seventh in high-danger opportunity rating at 60.7 percent. Lehkonen’s made the most of those chances, recording seven goals and six assists, with seven of those points coming across the past seven outings.
Part of the appeal with Lehkonen is that he skates on the Avalanche’s top powerplay unit with Makar, Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog. Colorado is doing just fine when it comes to scoring at five-on-five, but its power play is on another level.
The Avs are scoring at a 34.5% rate on the man-up advantage, and Lehkonen is getting a piece of the action.
Power play notwithstanding, Lehkonen is a threat every time he skates, with 10 of his 13 points coming at five-on-five. Although he’s not the most attractive name available in the prop market, his price makes his points prop to sweet to pass up.
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