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Wednesday NHL Playoff Betting Analysis
Who To Back In Game 1
By Angelo Montilla
Here are five NHL playoff betting options, with odds courtesy of Bovada.
You could hear the collective sigh of relief after the Bruins discovered they wouldn’t have to face the Washington Capitals in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Instead, the B’s will open their post-season schedule Wednesday night on the road against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre.
The Bruins head to the nation’s capital as -135 favorites to win Game 1 after closing the regular season dropping the final two games. The Senators locked down second place in the Atlantic Division and earned home-ice advantage for the opening round. Ottawa heads into its home match as intriguing +105 underdogs.
The Sens have played their best hockey on home ice this season, posting a 22-11-8 record. Both clubs have similar numbers in the defensive zone as the Bruins are allowing 2.55 goals against per game compared to Ottawa’s 2.56 average.
The head-to-head history over the last 10 meetings between these two clubs has tilted in favor of the Senators, who hold an 8-2-1 record against the Bruins during that stretch. Ottawa has won the last three games over the Bruins.
The total goals projection for Wednesday night’s clash is set at 5, but don’t expect a high-scoring game in the series opener.
Pick: Ottawa Senators (+105) and the Under (5)
The Canadiens can’t afford to fall early in their series against the Rangers, which kicks off Wednesday night at the Bell Center in Montreal.
After finishing first in the Atlantic Division with a 47-26-9 record, the Habs enter Game 1 on Wednesday night as -155 favorites. The Rangers, who finished fifth in the ultra-competitive Metropolitan Division, head to Montreal as +125 underdogs.
Having to start the series away from Madison Square Garden may not be a bad thing for the Rangers, who were one of the best road teams during the 2016-17 season. The Rangers were 27-12-2 on the road — a stat that bettors should take into consideration heading into Game 1.
The Habs are 7-3-0 over their last 10 meetings against the Rangers.
If you’re betting the total, pick the over on Bovada’s projection of 5 with the Rangers coming out on top in Game 1.
Pick: New York Rangers (+125) and the Over (5)
The Penguins are seeking a second consecutive Stanley Cup crown, however no team has won back-to-back titles since the Red Wings accomplished the feat in 1997 and 1998. The odds will be stacked against them when the Pens open their playoff series against the Blue Jackets Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.
The Pens are -160 favorites heading into Game 1 at PPG Paints Arena, where the club has posted an incredible 31-6-4 record this season. Don’t count out this scrappy Blue Jackets club, which heads to Pittsburgh as compelling +130 underdogs.
In four matches between the Metropolitan Division rivals this season, the Penguins own a 2-1-1 record over the Blue Jackets.
This series will be wide open and in some cases will produce high-scoring games. Pick the Penguins to cover the -1.5 point spread in Game 1 and pick up the win.
Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins (-160) and cover -1.5
Two clubs that ended the regular season on a high note will face off on Wednesday as the Minnesota Wild host the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of their first-round series.
The Wild, who closed out the regular season riding a four-game winning streak, are -165 favorites on home ice, where the club has posted a 27-12-2 record. The Blues also heated up at the right time, winning their last three games of the regular season. St. Louis heads to Minnesota as enticing +135 underdogs in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series.
Vladimir Tarasenko will be the difference maker for the Blues , who need the Russian sniper to ignite their offense early on in this series. Tarasenko capped off a remarkable year having scored 39 goals and 75 points in 82 games played.
If you’re betting the spread, take the Blues at +1.5 to cover and win Game 1 on the road.
Pick: St. Louis Blues (+135) and cover +1.5
The Connor McDavid playoff era will officially begin on Wednesday night when the Edmonton Oilers host the San Jose Sharks in Game 1 of their first-round matchup.
The Oilers earned home-ice after finishing second in the Pacific Division — four points ahead of the Sharks.
Edmonton enters action as -150 favorites on home ice, where the club posted a 25-12-4 record this season. The Sharks, who were Stanley Cup finalists a year ago, are +120 underdogs.
The head-to-head history over the last 10 meetings has been fairly even, with each club winning five games apiece during that stretch.
The total goals projection for Wednesday night is 5 — a mark McDavid and Co. will help surpass with a convincing win.
Pick: Edmonton Oilers (-150) and the Over (5)
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