Not even having five days off between games couldn’t slow down the Nashville Predators, who opened up the Western Conference final last night with a 3-2 win over the host Anaheim Ducks.
Nashville outshot the Ducks 46-29 and is now a -250 favourite to win the series and advance to the Stanley Cup Final. But Anaheim was playing two days after finishing off a 7-game series win over the Oilers on Wednesday, and we’d be surprised not to see a much better effort from the Ducks tomorrow in Game 2.
The Eastern Conference final between the Penguins and Senators gets underway tonight, and we’re taking a shot at a big price in the first period of that matchup. We also think there’s great value on Ottawa in both tonight’s Game 1 (the Sens pay +170 or higher at most books) and the series (Ottawa pays +222 at Pinnacle).
Good luck and enjoy the game!
Odds below are at the time we made the pick. Be sure to check out our live odds page for updated odds on today’s games.
Betting against the Penguins in first periods at home has been one of our favourite things to do all year. The Pens are usually pretty significant favourites on their home ice, so they’re also often laying a pretty heavy price in the opening 20 minutes. But their first period stats are nowhere close to as good as they are over a full three periods. That’s especially true at home, where they’ve been outscored 37-32.
Contrast that with the Senators, who have been road warriors all year (26-19-2 away from home). Their strong road record has been keyed by solid first period play. In fact, the first period is the only period in which Ottawa has outscored opponents this year (other than overtime).
This bet isn’t just based on season-long first period stats. We also like the belief level and confidence that the Senators are playing with right now. It was very impressive how they went into New York in Game 6 and quickly took control of that game with two first-period goals.
While the Sens have had a few days off to lick their wounds and prepare for this game, the Penguins are coming off an emotionally-draining Game 7 road win over the top team in the NHL this year, the Capitals. From a psychological and motivational standpoint, we can see Pittsburgh sleepwalking a bit to start this game, while the Senators can just do what they do best – play a solid road game in the first period.
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