This series has seen 18 goals scored already and while only one game has technically hit the over, the last two were extremely close (and unlucky) not to go over as well. The bottom line is that we have two of the league's top scoring lines playing against each other here and some of the most talented offensive defensemen in the league in play as well. With Game 4 being pivotal for both teams, I like the chances for a higher-scoring affair and the +100 being offered here is more than reasonable to make the over a bet.
Marchessault heads into this game having already scored points in the first three games of this series. With Nazim Kadri out, one area of weakness for the Avs is their lack of depth at forward and the Golden Knights' second line has been productive in this series as a result. Marchessault has scored 48 points in 65 games and if I like a higher-scoring game to break out here I have to like the price on the Golden Knights’ best second-line forward to grab a point.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Top Line Stack
Winnipeg Jets at Montreal Canadiens
Paul Stastny ($3,700 - questionable) — Kyle Connor ($6,100) — Blake Wheeler ($5,600)
The Jets are coming into Game 3 reeling, especially after getting shut out in Game 2 by Carey Price ($7,900). They could be getting some help up front for Game 3, though, as the veteran Stastny (questionable) did make the trip to Montreal with the team. His presence would certainly help the Jets, who are going to be without Mark Scheifele for a couple more games. Stastny is not certain to play in this game (so check back before lock to see if he’s in the lineup) but he’s a decent playmaker who has had success playing alongside the Jets' top winners in the past.
Both Wheeler and Connor have talent edges over the Canadiens' top six forwards (for the most part) and they should break out at some point before the series ends. Connor comes in averaging 3.5 SOG and has 11 points (seven goals) in his past 10 games, while the Jets captain Wheeler has fired three or more SOG now in five straight games. I’d expect pride and skill to win through tonight for the Jets who do carry a potent first line and would likely get a decent jolt if Stastny plays. Watch the last-minute updates on his status as the Jets' top line is in a good bounce-back spot here.
Superstar to Target
Nathan MacKinnon ($9,200)
MacKinnon was held off the scoresheet for the first time in this series in Game 3 as he fired four SOG and recorded just 6.0 DKFP. The Avs center still played over 21 minutes of ice time, though, and with a win, the Golden Knights have now set up a rather pivotal Game 4. There’s zero doubt here that the Avalanche will be trying to do whatever they can to not have the series tied going back to Colorado, so a quick bounce-back here by MacKinnon should be expected. With Vegas now starting to score and the Jets' top line also an interesting target today, stacking the Avs’ first line may not be a huge necessity but you won’t want to fade all of their top players.
MacKinnon continues to play big minutes and bounced back from his last pointless game of these playoffs with a multi-point effort against St. Louis. The difference in salary between the center and the rest of the players on this slate is large, but with four multi-point games in just seven playoff games the extra salary is worth it for the kind of upside he brings. Paying up for Colorado’s entire first line on a short slate like this is fine, but if you’re choosing one player to target, MacKinnon should be it today.
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Value on Offense
Reilly Smith, Vegas Golden Knights vs. Colorado Avalanche ($4,000)
As mentioned above, I do like targeting the Golden Knights’ second line today in what could be a big scoring affair between two top offensive teams. Smith has now found points in two straight games for the Golden Knights and is part of a second line that has found more skating room of late after getting blown out in Game 1. He’s more goal-dependent than other forwards in this range but remains an easy target here at just $4K and is a good stacking target with either or both of Jonathan Marchessault ($5,700) or William Karlsson ($5,200).
Joonas Donskoi, Colorado Avalanche at Vegas Golden Knights ($3,600)
Donkskoi is never a bad value target when he’s priced this low. The winger does play on a third line for Colorado, but he also sees legit PP1 time/exposure as well. Whenever you can get a player who sees regular man-advantage time beside MacKinnon for well under $4K in price, you have to consider it. Colorado’s power play remains the most efficient unit in these playoffs and Donskoi’s an easy and cheap way to get exposure to it. While he’s yet to score in this series he is staying busy and averaging 2.4 SOG and 9.7 DKFP over his past 10 games.
Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets at Montreal Canadiens ($7,400)
Hellebuyck has been outplayed thus far by his counterpart on the other end in Price, but he certainly shouldn’t be criticized for his effort in Game 2, when he stopped 27 of 28 SOG faced. The Jets enter this game as +110 underdogs on DraftKings Sportsbook today but these teams are undoubtedly close in terms of skill and both teams are extremely close in terms of xGF% and scoring chances allowed in the playoffs.
For his part, Hellebuyck was actually much more effective on the road this year, posting a 15-7-1 record in road games (with four shutouts) and a .931 save percentage. The underdog has won the first two games in this series and I can see that trend continuing here. Hellebuyck gives you big salary flexibility and should be lower-owned after getting outplayed in the first two games.
Value on Defense
Derek Forbort, Winnipeg Jets at Montreal Canadiens ($3,500)
The Jets don’t have huge depth on defense and their top four defensemen all get good minutes as a result. Forbort doesn’t bring you huge offensive upside (13 points in 62 games), but he does play on one of the Jets' top pairings with Neal Pionk ($4,600) and has averaged over 22 minutes a game over his past 10 starts. The defensive-oriented Forbort has hit the blocked shot bonus now in three of his past nine games and has also recorded three or more SOG in three of his past four games. As the series grows closer, expect to see Forbort’s role keep growing as he remains one of the Jets' most reliable defensemen. He’s not likely to grab you multiple points but he is likely to threaten the bonus for you in at least one category and would likely return huge value if were to record an assist here today.
Alex Pietrangelo, Vegas Golden Knights vs. Colorado Avalanche ($6,000)
There’s a handful of elite defensemen on this slate, but for me, Pietrangelo is still the preferred pay-up target. He’s now played over 25 minutes of ice time in each of his last two games and has accumulated 11 blocked shots over just those two games alone. The blocked shot volume on its own makes him a great target, but he’s also getting man advantage exposure and is still averaging 3.5 SOG over his past 10 games. He was outscored by teammate Shea Theodore ($5,600) during the regular season but the playoffs have turned Pietrangelo into the better fantasy producer where he’s a perfect pay-up target at just $6K here again.
Neal Pionk, Winnipeg Jets at Montreal Canadiens ($4,600)
I like the Jets’ offense for a bit of a bounce-back here in Game 3 and that fact alone should make Pionk an interesting fantasy target. The versatile defenseman had 36 points in 60 games this year and has been playing big minutes for the Jets in the playoffs as he comes in averaging over 24 minutes in the past 10 games. He’s grabbed assists now in three of his past four starts and makes for a nice mid-tier target here, especially if you’re stacking the Jets' top forwards today.
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