Predators hope to keep rolling in second-round clash with Blues
By Angelo Montilla
Here are a couple NHL playoff betting options to consider, with odds courtesy of Bovada.
A pair of Central Division foes will meet up for a best-of-seven clash as the St. Louis Blues host the Nashville Predators in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals on Wednesday night.
The Blues — coming off an impressive series victory over the Minnesota Wild in the opening round — enter action on Wednesday as -120 favorites on home ice. The Predators have had more than a week to reflect on their massive upset victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Nashville may be the early favorite to come out on top in this series, but the Preds head to St. Louis as the even Game 1 underdogs.
Nashville shocked the hockey world in the opening round, sweeping the Cup favorite Chicago Blackhawks while averaging 3.25 goals for per game — a rating that ranks third among playoff teams. If that’s not impressive enough, the Predators held the Hawks to just three goals for the entire series.
However, things will get tighter against the defensively sound Blues, who are allowing 1.60 goals against per game heading into the second-round tilt.
Netting the opening goals can be critical in the playoffs and in some cases it can result in the only goal of a game. Who will score first on Wednesday night? Bovada has the Blues as the -125 favorites, however the Preds, who scored first in three of the four matches against the Blackhawks, are enticing -105 underdogs.
The margin of victory in this series will be interesting, but expect many games to be decided by a single goal. The Blues are +525 favorites to escape the opener with a one-goal victory.
If you’re looking for intriguing player prop bets, take Vladimir Tarasenko at +130 to score more points than Nashville’s Ryan Johansen, who is +160.
Pick: St. Louis Blues (-120)
Offense, offense and more offense. That’s what to expect when the Anaheim Ducks and Edmonton Oilers meet in the Western Conference semifinal, which begin on Wednesday night at the Honda Center.
The Ducks — coming off a first-round sweep over the Calgary Flames — enter action on Wednesday night as the convincing -135 favorites. The club is averaging 3.50 goals for per game, sitting behind the first place Pittsburgh Penguins in that department. The Oilers head to California as +115 underdogs after taking down the San Jose Sharks in the opening round.
Four of the last five meetings between these Pacific Division rivals have produced five or more goals. Bettors can expect this to be a high-scoring series starting on Wednesday night for Game 1.
The total goals projection for the opening tilt is set at 5 — a line that these two clubs should surpass.
Making his first appearance in the post-season, sophomore sensation Connor McDavid has lived up to expectations with four points through six games. Bovada has the Oilers’ star as a +115 favorite to record more points in the game than Ryan Getzlaf, who is an intriguing +150 underdog.
Zack Kassian was an integral part of the Oilers’ success in the opening round, netting two game-winning goals. Will the power forward score in Game 1? Bovada is offering a +275 line Kassian will net another goal for the Oilers — a bet worth taking.
The margin of victory is something to keep a close watch on, especially early in the series. Bovada has the Ducks as +525 favorites to win the opening clash by a one-goal margin, while the Oilers are +575 underdogs.
The Ducks will strike first in a series that is likely to go six or seven games.
Pick: Anaheim Ducks (-135)