Game 1: New York Rangers vs Carolina Hurricanes
Bet 1: 2.3% wager on total goals over 5.5, including overtime @ -115 odds
We were very very close to pulling the trigger on Carolina to win this game, we do have them as our sleeper pick to win the cup. However, we were just not getting quite enough value from the betting markets, which was surprising to us. The Rangers have demolished the Canes this season going 4-0 against them with a combined 17 goals scored and 9 goals scored against. Interestingly enough, Shesterkin is the projected starting goalie and he has only played the Hurricanes once in his career and beat them 5-2. The 3 previous matchups showcased Lundqvist in net giving up 3,2, and 2 goals respectively in those games. Therefore, with the rookie goalie in net and the betting markets not helping us out enough we stayed away from sides. In the end, we found some nice value on the over, three of the last four games these teams have played have gone over 5.5 goals. On top of that, Shesterkin has yet to have an NHL shutout and in his 12 games played, he has only let up less than 2 goals twice. That fact combined with New York's ability to rack up goals on Carolina with the likes of Zibanejad and Panarin should make the over a very reasonable bet.
Game 2: Chicago Blackhawks vs Edmonton Oilers
Bet 1: 1.0% wager on Chicago to win, including overtime @ +128 odds
Bet 2: 0.75% wager on the parlay of Chicago +1.5 on the puck line including overtime and game total goals over 6, including overtime @ +205 odds
We are all over this series and game. We feel people are riding so high on McDavid and Draisaitl that they are not even paying attention to who they are playing. Trust us, we get it, McDavid and Draisaitl were one of the best tandems we have ever seen in a single season and they are poised to continue for a long time together. Nevertheless, in this one series, in this one game, we love the fact that we are getting plus odds to take Kane, Toews, Keith, Seabrook, Saad, and Crawford to win. These veterans who have won just about everything you can win in the NHL will be ready to show the youngsters they aren't done yet. Yes, McDavid is a machine and we are sure he was putting in major work in his time off, but the entire Chicago team are pretty much veterans who got time to heal and recharge for a playoff run. The Blackhawks have beaten the Oilers 3 of their last 4 matchups scoring 16 goals and allowing 11 goals ( the one loss they had accounted for 5 of those 11 goals). Also, that 1 game that the Oilers beat the Blackhawks, Connor McDavid didn't even play and the very next game they played with McDavid in the lineup, he posted 0 points and a -2. We like Chicago in this game so much and our model gave us a ton of value on them, that we decided to put a tiny wager on a parlay. Three of the last four games these teams of played have gone over 6 goals and our model spit out the same thing for this game. Therefore, we combined the two bets giving us +205 odds and we all about lost it when we saw that line. No one at Phull Plate are fans of Chicago or Edmonton, but we all realize this will be must watch TV.
Game 3: New York Islanders vs Florida Panthers
Bet 1: 0.5% wager on the tie in regulation @ +325 odds
Bet 2: 1.5% wager on total goals under 5.5, including overtime @ -120 odds
This was a tough game to analyze, our gut instinct as well as our model have these squads very close to each other in ability and talent. We really like the idea that the Islanders will come out more prepared than most teams with Barry Trotz behind the bench, that guy knows how to have a team ready. However, Florida has played very well this year and on paper, they have a very good team with the likes of Bobrovsky, Barkov, Dadanov, and Ekblad. The Islanders have won the last 4 games against the Panthers, but 2 of those games were shootout wins, one game was 2-1 in regulation and the other game was 3-1 (goal three was an empty-netter). Backing up all of this tight play between the two teams, our model came up with identical scores for each team. Consequently, we decided to stay away from sides bets and took the tie (we have a very strong history of picking NHL ties, so hopefully that can hold true) and we took the under because we have this game ending 1-1 or 2-2 going into overtime.
Game 4: Pittsburgh Penguins vs Montreal Canadiens
Bet 1: 1.0% wager on Pittsburgh to win in regulation @ -106 odds
Picking the Pens to win this series was locked in for us, well, until we saw the odds; it was in the -200s. Clearly, the betting markets and ourselves are not giving Montreal much of a chance to win this series. However, we did get some nice value to take the Pens to win straight up in regulation for game 1, we love this bet and it should not be an issue. Although, one of our owners did bring up a good point, if there was a game to steal, it would be game 1, it just all depends on what Carey Price shows up. When talking to all of our NHL and betting friends, we gathered their thoughts and the most common statement was, "If Carey Price shows up and plays to his top form, he can steal a 5 game series." Much like the Chicago Blackhawks, we expect the veteran Penguins with Crosby, Malkin, and Letang to be ready to fly out there after some rest and healing. The Penguins have taken 3 of the last 4 games from Montreal and those 4 games showed, whoever wins...dominates; 3 of the 4 games were won by 3 or more goals. In the end, it is Jarry/Murray vs Price to decide the series.
Game 5: Winnipeg Jets vs Calgary Flames
Bet 1: 3.0% wager on Winnipeg to win the series @ +105 odds
Last bet of the NHL day for us. In game one of the series we were not receiving heavy value on any bets according to our model. However, when looking at the series winners, we noticed plus odds for the team we all thought was going to win and then our model backed us up with the numbers. Winnipeg is a big team with some very nice talent in Scheifele, Laine, Wheeler, Ehlers, and Connor. The Flames have to choose between goaltenders Rittich and Talbot, while the Jets are locked in with Hellebuyck, who is the better between all three goalies mentioned. We feel the only 2 players Winnipeg needs to keep an eye on are Giordano and Matthew Tkachuck, we honestly do not expect Gaudreau to do much in this series. These squads are pretty evenly matched and have a 4-4 record in their last 8 meetings, therefore we like Winnipeg to edge this one out with size and goaltending.
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