Today’s NHL Prop Picks and Best Bets: MacKinnon Keeps Momentum Going vs Coyotes

Our NHL betting picks will choose one player from each side in the highly-anticipated Stadium Series showdown between the Rangers and Islanders, and focus on the recent exploits of Nathan MacKinnon as we highlight the best player props available.

Feb 18, 2024 • 12:30 ET • 4 min read
Nathan MacKinnon NHL
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There are only three games on the schedule today but plenty of appealing NHL player props to choose from with stars like Nathan MacKinnon and Mathew Barzal hitting the ice.

The Colorado Avalanche skate into Sunday as a huge home favorite against the lowly Arizona Coyotes in the NHL odds, which makes a MacKinnon bet all the more appetizing.

Here are my free NHL picks for Sunday, February 18.

NHL prop picks and best bets for February 18

Picks made on February 18 at 12:30 p.m. ET.
Read full analysis of each pick.

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Today’s NHL prop picks and best bets

Prop bet #1: Mac comes up big

Nathan MacKinnon has collected four assists over his last two outings but has failed to find the back of the net in his last five games, though that’s not for lack of trying. The Colorado Avalanche center has thrown five shots on net in back-to-back contests and is averaging 4.33 shots per game since returning from the All-Star break. He should be extra motivated to snap his goal-scoring slump.

MacKinnon will be skating against the Arizona Coyotes, who rank 25th in the league in shots against per game this season (32.1) and have given up at least 34 shots in six of their last seven contests. Arizona has been especially porous defensively since January 24 — the start of their current eight-game losing skid. The Coyotes are allowing 69.64 shot attempts per game and 34.01 scoring chances against per game per Natural Stat Trick — both ranking second-worst in the NHL over that span.

MacKinnon has been playing huge minutes over the last couple weeks, averaging a monstrous 23:10 of ice time per game since the All-Star break, so he should get plenty of opportunity to throw tons of rubber on net tonight against the Coyotes.

Nathan MacKinnon prop: Over 4.5 shots on goal (-125 at Bet99)

Prop bet #2: Special K

The New York Rangers and New York Islanders are set to play at MetLife Stadium as part of the Stadium Series this afternoon in what should be a memorable rendition of the Battle of New York. I like the Chris Kreider odds for him to be one of the key players for the Rangers, as he’s been a goal-scoring and shot-producing machine since the All-Star break.

Kreider is fresh off a hat trick against the Canadiens on Thursday where he also registered six shots. The Rangers winger has tallied six or more shots in three of his last five outings and is tied for third in the NHL over that span with exactly five shots per game.

While normally a solid defensive squad, the Islanders have been anything but that since Patrick Roy took over behind the bench. They’ve allowed 30-plus shots in four of his eight games as coach and 36 or more in three of those contests, so Kreider should find some space to get four or five pucks on net.

Chris Kreider prop: Over 3.5 shots on goal (+110 at Bet99)

Prop bet #3: Mat's entertainment

At the other end of the rink, Mathew Barzal is quietly having a strong season for the Islanders, notching a team-high 56 points through 52 games. The center enters Sunday on a seven-game point streak while racking up four multi-point performances over his last nine contests, and I like him to pick up at least two more points in this afternoon’s Stadium Series tilt.

Barzal has been seeing a ton of ice time since Roy took over, averaging 23:33 since January 20 — tops among all forwards. He hasn’t slowed down at all with the increased responsibility, notching a team-leading 10 points over that span, which is three more than any of his teammates. 

Barzal has also recorded a team-high (tied) 13 multi-point games this season, including four three-point outings and three four-point outings, so he’s got a propensity to pop off with big performances. What better time to post another big game than the Battle of New York in front of 70,000 fans?

Mathew Barzal prop: Over 1.5 points (+175 at Bet99)

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