Best NHL player prop bets for today 12/21: Take the star players on Wednesday

Cale Makar Celebration
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Ryan Hodges


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.Born and raised in St. Louis. My sports fandom started with my local teams and has only grown broader and broader since day 1. I love having action all around the sports world, but my primary betting interests and handicapping lie with the NHL and MLB. I combine experience playing and coaching those sports with obsession, fandom, observations, trends and more to bring you the most knowledgeable insight possible for your picks. For Ryan Hodges media enquiries, please email
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With 3 days left before a 3-day Christmas break, Wednesday has a decent 7-game schedule with a couple very good nationally televised games. Urgency increases game by game for most teams in the league as we are are beyond the first few weeks of the season where points are not as meaningful. It is scramble mode for fringe teams and acceleration mode for contending teams.

With a lot to watch for on a star-studded slate, there will be great hockey all night coast to coast. If you are looking to have some action, here are our favorite NHL player props for Wednesday. Also be sure to also check out our NHL picks for each of today’s games.

Anthony Cirelli over 0.5 points (+120)

Anthony Cirelli has been a very key piece of this Lightning team that has gone to 3 consecutive Stanley Cup Finals and won 2 of them. He missed the first month and half of this season due to injury, and has 7 points in 8 games since returning. Cirelli has moved up to Tampa’s 2nd line centering Brayden Point and Brandon Hagel. He is back up to full speed and played over 17 minutes in Tuesday’s heavyweight tilt against the Maple Leafs. The Lightning have scored the 3rd most goals per game in the NHL, and Cirelli will be right in the mix among Tampa’s top players. Logging top 6 forward minutes and playing with good players on a good team, Cirelli has a solid chance to get on the score sheet against a struggling Red Wings team.

The Red Wings are winless in their last 6 games and have dropped their last 5 home games. In their current 0-4-2 run, Detroit has allowed an average of 4.00 goals per game. Tampa has scored 4+ goals in 7 of their last 9 games. If both the Lightning and Red Wings hold to their recent averages, Tampa should be able to generate plenty of offensive chances and pop 4 goals again. It’s difficult to see Tampa’s top 6 not involved if the Lightning put up 3+ goals. In that case, Cirelli will log enough minutes with the star players on a good team to tally a point against a struggling team.

Be sure to check out our full Tampa Bay Lightning vs Detroit Red Wings predictions.

Cale Makar over 1.5 points (+150)

This season has not been as glamorous for the Avalanche as last season. They have been dealt several blows in the form of injuries to key players, but still find themselves in a playoff spot. Cale Makar has maintained his status as one of the best players in the NHL by helping with the heavy lifting until Colorado can get healthy. Makar averages a ridiculous 27+ minutes of ice time per game, and played over 31 minutes on Monday in a 1-0 shootout win. Makar and Devon Toews are among the best defensive pairings in hockey if not the best. They log crazy minutes for a strong team that has a favorable matchup against most other teams in the league. Makar has 28 points in 30 games, and has a good opportunity to pad his stats against a weaker team on Wednesday.

The Canadiens rank 24th in the NHL in goals allowed per game, 26th in shots allowed per game, and 25th in goals allowed 5 on 5. They have allowed 5 goals in 2 of their last 3 games, and allowed 4+ goals in 5 out of their last 9. The Avs are 4-1-1 in their last 6 games, and they are playing with added urgency now with teams nipping at their heels for a playoff spot. Colorado is in good form and they get a favorable matchup on Wednesday night. Makar will continue to get plenty of ice time and will have ample opportunity to generate and be part of offense against Montreal.

Be sure to check out our full Montreal Canadiens vs Colorado Avalanche predictions.

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