NHL Player Props

It’s prime hockey season, and bettors love seeing the red light from a goal to the winning green entry in a sports betting account with NHL player props.

Goalscoring wagers – highlighted by first, last, and anytime options – anchor the prop-betting backbone of hockey’s wagering world. We’ll take you through the realm of hockey gambling choices, the significance of props, and how to zero in on a target betting range.

Today’s NHL Player Props

The following table shows live odds for NHL players across the top sports betting apps. The “Shots on Goal” prop is displayed by default, but you can also view goalscorer, points, assists, and more. Search for a specific player to compare their odds. Click on the odds you like to sign up for the sportsbook and place your bet.

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The timing is perfect for the linking of hockey and betting. The sport gains increased popularity at the sportsbooks whenever hockey-rich states launch online betting. In recent years, this has included New York and the wagering base from its three storied franchises (New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Buffalo Sabres), Massachusetts (Boston Bruins), Michigan (Detroit Red Wings), and Illinois (Chicago Blackhawks).

The expansions increased the size, scope, and magnitude of hockey wagering. Within that scope, betting props like goalscoring have given the sport an enormous wagering boost.

The NHL now graces its largest stage of the season with the second half of its campaign followed by the electrifying Stanley Cup playoffs.

GT NHL Coverage: Stanley Cup Odds | Hockey Betting Promos | Best NHL Betting Apps

Why NHL Player Props Have Become Popular

Bettors assess moneyline, puck-line, over-under totals, and prop wagers in their quest to find an edge. There are reasons prop wagers like anytime goal scorers become a logical play for them.

Moneyline bets involving a strong favorite often require too much juice. For example, when the New York Rangers hosted the Washington Capitals in mid-January, they lost to Washington at the front end of a home-and-home series.

The same teams were meeting 24 hours later. And the Rangers were  -245 against a team that had just beaten them. They were also -175 on the “puck line,” signifying a team giving 1.5 goals.

Who wants to wager $245 or $175 to win $100 on these bets? High risk, low reward.

The books pegged the game correctly, as the Rangers prevailed 2-1. But there was nowhere for Rangers moneyline players to go at that price.

And the puck line players who laid heavy juice did not even cash their tickets. Puck lines often don’t pay what you think they will because of the empty-net goal factor. They are priced to reflect the strong chance a team leading by one goal can tally an empty-net marker to win by two.

The next betting avenue is the over-under total. But so many results land on 5, with the line placed at 5.5 either way, that bettors see no edge.

And when high-scoring teams meet, books push the total to 6.5 or 7: same effect, no edge.

That brings bettors to the next realm – NHL player props centered around goals. Composed of first, last, and anytime segments,  goalscoring props provide an excellent game within the game. They are an alternative to moneyline, puck-line, and game-total gridlock.

Here is a look at this important category and some ideas to approach them.

Anytime Goal Scorers

Gamblers can separate the forest from the trees by seeking out name players who give them a reasonable chance to cash a ticket.

A few players around the league are a threat to score in every game. They are listed in the books as -120 (betting $120 to win $100) to +120 (A $100 wager returns $120 in profit) when their team plays.

These are the star performers on the team and are often centers. Keep this in mind when deciding on an anytime goalscorer prop.

Top Goalscorers (as of Feb. 14):

  • Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs, 42 goals
  • Sam Reinhart, Florida Panthers, 39
  • Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning, 34
  • David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins, 33
  • Zach Hyman, Edmonton Oilers, 32
  • Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche, 32
  • Artemi Panarin, New York Rangers, 31
  • Brock Boeser, Vancouver Canucks, 30
  • Mikko Rantanen, Colorado Avalanche, 29
  • Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins, 28

Gamblers like playing this wager because there is a better-than-average chance the above players will light the lamp. Even if the ticket pays in the range of even money or a little higher, top players will prompt sizable wagers from gamblers.

For additional razzle-dazzle, gamblers can also parlay two or more selections. This trades the difficulty of hitting every parlay leg for the thrill of a larger payout.

Regardless of who’s on this list, gamblers can consult NHL scoring stats to look at the top scorers and the number of games they have played before making a bet.

First Goalscorer

The first goalscorer works similarly to the first touchdown prop in the NFL. Prices are significantly higher for an event with a limited shelf life.

Gamblers like to play major stars in this bet, as the top players are on the ice first and have the most chances to notch a goal. Expect payouts in the +600 range or higher for top-name players who score first.

Some good picks involve Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers. He often sets the tone for the Oilers, especially at home.

Second and third-level players who tally the first marker notch payouts above +1000.

Last Goalscorer

Last goalscorer pays similarly to the first scorer and is difficult to hit. Bettors often handicap who could score an empty-net goal or the overtime game-winner.

But this one is always tricky. In a blowout game with no empty-net scenario, one can’t be confident if a goal scored halfway through the third period by his/her player will stand up.

In overtime, everyone gains a bonus chance at the last goalscorer. In a shootout, no goals count toward this wager. 

Shootout goals do have their place for bettors, however. They impact the over-under total.

Thus, an Over 6.5 betting line is a guaranteed winner for a game tied 3-3 at the end of overtime. There will be a goal scored.

If it’s in overtime, the individual goal scorer also will pay out to bettors.

If it’s in the shootout, the tally will provide the 7th goal, but the player scoring the decisive marker will not pay out.

Angles to Cross Reference Anytime Goal Scorers

One major boost to potential goalscorers is their presence on the power play. This gives them additional chances to score with one less opponent on the ice.

There is another value to this angle. Players like Steven Stamkos and J.T. Miller, not listed among top goal scorers, may be overlooked and have value with power play points.

That’s another NHL player prop, and it often pays well. Power-play points are often above +200, even for star players, because the scoring window is limited.

Finding the Diamond in the Rough for NHL Player Props

Watch the Shots Total 

It’s a good idea to follow teams you like to watch over a week or two, even when you’re not placing bets on them. Then, when someone gets hot, you might find it.

That’s what happened with Warren Foegele of the Edmonton Oilers.  His lifetime statistics put him in the 10 to 13 goals-per-year projection amongst NHL analysts.

But something shook him out of that comfort zone last December. The slumping Oilers made a coaching change, inserting new coach Khris Knoblauch. The then-under-achieving team went on a roll, winning 16 straight games and coming up just short of the league record.

They had also tied the longest win streak by a Canadian hockey team, matching the Montreal Canadiens mark set in 1967-68.

And Foegele caught fire during that stretch, starting with a burst of three goals and five assists for eight points in four games in late December. Then he stopped scoring but hinted that lamp-lighting days would come again.

He had three consecutive games right after the hot streak with four shots on goal.

Shot totals like these indicate players who are gaining opportunities. When you see a sample of work like this, a goalscoring binge may be coming.

Foegele remains under the radar, easy to miss with studs like McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Zach Hyman on his team.

But Foegele plays on the second line of Edmonton’s talented offense along with Draisaitl and Evander Kane and will get his chances.

The Connection Between Goal Scorers and Shots on Goal

Pastrnak leads the NHL with an average of five shots per game. Others with over four shots per game include Mackinnon, Kucherov, and Panarin.

One name you have to look deep to find is  Jack Eichel of the Las Vegas Knights. He is not among the league leaders in goals and points. But he averages just more than four shots per game.

These players are more likely to score than those who take fewer shots, and they can help bettors cash popular NHL player props.

Shots on goal have become one of the better props for NHL bettors. Gamblers can compare a player’s shot average with the game’s price on the board.

Props on them often vary by one shot from game to game. Panarin,  for instance, has been an excellent play for gamblers who take him above +2.5 at slightly plus numbers. Because he often hits three shots on the nose, Panarin’s prop market remains consistent.

But gamblers must be careful when the books drop their number to 2.5 with serious juice, like -140 or more. When that happens, it’s best to pass.

NHL Player Props: Unique Markets

FanDuel occasionally offers a large payout on nailing the first goalscorer among a group of games that start simultaneously.

Some books offer the total amount of goals scored in the NHL for the entire day. This one is fun and exciting. It provides action literally every minute of the schedule and often comes down to whether a late goal is scored in the final game of the day on the West Coast.

Keep a good eye on goalie saves as well. This is something that can be charted. At last count, the Columbus Blue Jackets give up the most shots on goal in the league.

If you see a save total in the high 20s, even 30 for a Blue Jackets goalie, that’s a bet worth considering.

Final Thoughts

Do at least the first level of research. It will provide insight into how teams and players are performing. The work will also give you a feel about what bets are worth playing, which ones are worth skipping, and which should be played more heavily.

Good luck!

About the Author
Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo is an award-winning writer and broadcaster, who has covered the sports industry since the 1970s. He won the Sam Taub Award for Excellence in Boxing Broadcasting by the Boxing Writers Association of America in 1997, and is in the New Jersey and Atlantic City Boxing Halls of Fame. Bontempo has broadcast major fights all over the world. The advent of legalized sports wagering shifted his focus to this exciting new industry in 2018.

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