Best NHL player prop bets for today 6/3: Big players step up in Game 1

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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

Fans are in store for a great Stanley Cup Final. The Panthers are as hot as any team rolling into the Final as any team in a long time. Their opponent, the Golden Knights, have smothered their opponents on their road to clinching the Western Conference. Although Vegas is a 1-seed and Florida is an 8-seed, this series appears to be much more even than the seeds would indicate. With plenty of star power up and down a couple of fantastic rosters, there will be plenty of entertainment in this series.

If you are looking to have some action in Saturday night’s Game 1, check out the player props below.

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Matthew Tkachuk over 0.5 goals (+125)

What an animal Matthew Tkachuk has been this postseason. He just continues to produce. Similar to the Panthers as a whole, Tkachuk has given us no reason to jump off the wagon now. For any offense that the Panthers generate, it’s difficult to see Tkachuk not being right in the thick of it. He leads the Eastern Conference Champions in goals this postseason with 9, in assists with 12, and thus points with 21 in 16 games played. Of those 9 goals, game-winners have accounted for 4 of them. That is a heck of an encore to a 40-goal and 109-point season in 79 games played. As the games get more and more important, Matthew Tkachuk continues to come through in the big moment. There is no reason to expect his play to drop off.

The Golden Knights are great at shutting the door. But so too were the Bruins, Maple Leafs, and Hurricanes. That is a gauntlet that the Panthers have absolutely rolled through led by Matthew Tkachuk. The point is that just because Florida is playing a defensively sound team does not mean that Tkachuk’s production will just halt. Could it? Sure, it could. But he has proven time and time again that regardless of the quality of the opponent, he can get the job done with a great supporting cast. The Panthers are a very hot team and Matthew Tkachuk is the most productive player on said hot team. He is the second most likely to score in this game according to sportsbook odds and +125 is good value for cashing.

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Mark Stone over 0.5 points (-145)

Mark Stone entered the playoffs as a bit of a question mark as his last regular season game played was January 12th, ironically against the Panthers. It is no easy task to nurse an injury for 3 months, not play in a single game, and then return for opening night in the playoffs. Despite the adversity, Stone looks like he has not missed a beat. In 17 games played in these playoffs, he has 6 goals and his 15 points is good for 3rd on the team. He is on a line with Chandler Stephenson and Brett Howden, as well as on the top power play with Stephenson, Jonathan Marchessault, Shea Theodore, and Jack Eichel. Mark Stone is already a heck of a player in his own right. Factor in the teammates with which he is consistently on the ice only amplifies his opportunities to produce.

In addition to just plain being a good player in a good situation on a good team, Stone has a little extra chip on his shoulder being the captain of the Golden Knights. In Vegas’ inaugural season in the NHL, they reached the Stanley Cup Finals and fell to the Capitals. Several of these Golden Knights players were on that roster including Mark Stone. Emotions will be running high in Game 1 for the Golden Knights in their home barn. The added adrenaline will give Stone and his teammates a little pep in their step. The added chip on Stone’s shoulder complementing his strong form is a good recipe for him tallying at least a point.

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