Ducks, Preds set to square off in Western Conference Final
Who will in advance to the Stanley Cup final?
By Angelo Montilla
Here are a few betting options to consider, with odds courtesy of Bovada.
The Nashville Predators have shocked the hockey world but they’ll face a dose of reality when the club prepares to face the Anaheim Ducks in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final beginning Friday night at the Honda Center.
The Preds have knocked off two Western Conference giants and will be looking to do the same when they take on the Ducks, who enter action on Friday as the -115 favorites on home ice.
When it comes to scoring goals, there aren’t many teams better than the Ducks, who are averaging 3.18 per game. Only the Pittsburgh Penguins have a better rating. Bovada has set a projected total goals line of 2.5 for the Ducks — a bet worth taking considering the club has netted three or more goals in seven of their 10 playoff games so far.
It won’t be an easy task against a Nashville team that boasts a goals-against per game average of 1.40. Much of that defensive success can be attributed to the strong performance of goaltender Pekke Rinne, who leads every statistical category from goals against average (1.37), save percentage (.951) and wins (8).
Will Game 1 go to overtime? Bovada is offering a +305 line that Friday’s contest will need extra time to find a winner. Both teams have yet to lose in OT in these playoffs — the Ducks are 2-0 while the Preds are 1-0.
If you’re basing your Game 1 pick on previous meetings, you may want to rethink your plan. In the last 10 meetings between the Ducks and Predators, each team has skated away with five wins apiece.
During that stretch, four of the 10 matchups have produced over results. With a total projected line of 5 set for Friday night, expect a higher-scoring game and the Ducks prevailing on home ice to take the early advantage in the best-of-seven series.
Pick: Anaheim Ducks (-115) and the over (5)