The NHL is back in full force after a quiet Wednesday night. We have 11 games on the board and there is no shortage of value to comb through.
Let’s take a closer look at a few of the plays that stand out from the pack.
Cole Caufield over 3.5 shots
Caufield had very drastic shooting splits a season ago. He registered at least four shots in 62% of his games in Montreal, a stark contrast from his 42% hit rate on the road. That trend has carried over so far.
The Canadiens’ star winger is averaging 4.3 shots per game through four in Montreal. The attempt volume is substantial, with Caufield piling up 30 in total (7.5 per). On the road, he has mustered up just one shot on goal in both games thus far.
The good news for Caufield is he gets to play at home Thursday against a weak opponent. The Blue Jackets are a bottom-10 team when it comes to limiting shots at five-on-five and while killing penalties.
Caufield skates on the top line at even strength and is the focal point of the power play, so he stands to benefit from the matchup as much as anybody.
Odds: -125 (playable to -140)
Adam Fantilli over 2.5 shots
Fantilli is quickly carving out a bigger role for himself with the Blue Jackets. He started his NHL career playing fewer than 14 minutes as a third-line center. Last time out, he played nearly 20.
Although the injury to Patrik Laine, who was being used down the middle, opened up the opportunity to take on a bigger role, Fantilli also earned it with his performance.
He has three points over his past two games and four shots on goal in each of them. His shot volume has been pretty consistent: Fantilli attempted at least six shots in four of the last five games.
Fantilli now faces a mouthwatering matchup against the Canadiens, who take a ton of penalties and are one of the league’s worst sides at suppressing shots during five-on-five play. That raises the floor and ceiling for what Fantilli can do shooting the puck.
Odds: +100 (playable to -120)
Auston Matthews under 4.5 shots
Matthews has gone under this number in 63% of his road games over the last year and change. It’s not that the Maple Leafs superstar can’t create offense away from home; his shot line is simply too high a bar to clear in such situations.
He’s averaged an impressive 4.3 shots per game, which is very good when factoring in the difficulty of his minutes, but that doesn’t get the job done when he needs 5-plus every night.
Matthews has recorded four shots or fewer in two of three road games this season. There’s plenty of reason to like his under once again versus the Stars.
Matthews will see a steady diet of Miro Heiskanen, which is about as tough a matchup as you can ask for. Dating back to last season, Dallas has allowed shot attempts, chances, and expected goals at a lesser rate with Heiskanen on the ice than any other defenseman on the roster. It’s going to be tough to accomplish a whole lot at five-on-five.
The Stars don’t take many penalties – and they’re quite good on the penalty kill – so Matthews can’t simply tread water at even strength and expect to take care of business on the man advantage, since there won’t be many opportunities.
Odds: -125 (playable to -145)
Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @ToddCordell.