Game 1 NHL Playoff Betting Tips On Thursday
By Angelo Montilla
Here are a few NHL playoff betting options to consider, with odds courtesy of Bovada.
First place in the National Hockey League doesn’t guarantee success in the playoffs. The Washington Capitals will attest to that.
Nonetheless, the Capitals, who have captured the Presidents’ Trophy for a second consecutive season, will host the Toronto Maple Leafs in the opening round of the playoffs teeming with confidence.
The Capitals enter action on Thursday as the -245 favorites on home ice, where the club lost just seven games all season. The doesn’t bode well for the young Maple Leafs, who head to the nation’s capital as the +195 dark horse.
Washington has not made it past the second round in their last eight playoff appearances and the pressure will certainly be on the Caps as they prepare to face a Maple Leafs team with nothing to lose.
The offensive production will always be there for the Capitals, who have Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom leading the charge. However the Maple Leafs will find it extremely difficult to break Washington’s stingy defensive core, which allowed the fewest goals against in 2016-17.
You can’t avoid the fact the Leafs were among the highest scoring clubs — fifth overall — in the NHL this season. The Maple Leafs were led by likely Calder Trophy winner Auston Matthews, who netted 40 goals in his rookie campaign.
If you’re betting the total goals, take the over on Bovada’s projection of 5.5.
Pick: Washington Capitals (-245) and the over (5.5)
Two Central Division rivals square off in what is sure to be a heated contest as the Chicago Blackhawks host the Nashville Predators in Game 1 of their Western Conference quarter-final Thursday at the United Center.
The Blackhawks, who finished first in the Western Conference standings with a 50-23-9 record, enter action on Thursday as -180 favorites. The Predators — the second wild-card club in the conference — are +150 underdogs.
Chicago will try to forget about a four-game losing streak to end the regular season as the club prepares to win its fourth Stanley Cup crown in the last seven yeards.
The head-to-head matchup over the last 10 games hasn’t been much of a contest as the Hawks defeated the Preds seven times during that stretch.
If you’re betting the total goals projection, keep in mind that five of the last 10 games have resulted in over outcomes.
That will be the case on Thursday as the total goals projection is set at 5.5.
Pick: Chicago Blackhawks (-180) and the over (+150)
If you’re craving old-school hockey, you may want to tune into the Anaheim Ducks-Calgary Flames series, which gets underway on Thursday night.
The Ducks, who topped the Pacific Division with a 46-23-13 record, enter action on Thursday night as -160 favorites. The Flames, who struggled down the stretch, head to California as +130 underdogs.
Anaheim goes into the post-season riding an impressive four-game winning streak while earning a 8-0-2 in the club’s last 10 matches.
The head-to-head contest over the last 10 meetings isn’t good news for the Flames, who have lost nine of those games to the Ducks — the last coming on April 4 when Anaheim earned a 3-1 victory over Calgary.
The Ducks will want to stay out of the penalty box against the Flames, who have been strong on the power play this season with a conversion rate of 20.2 — good for 10th overall in the NHL.
If you’re betting total goals, take into consideration six of the last 10 games has produced over outcomes. With a total goals projection of five, it’s safe to say these two clubs will surpass that mark.
Pick: Anaheim Ducks (-160) and the over (5)
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