We opened Round 2 of Stanley Cup playoff betting with a push on the Sharks First Period Moneyline -122. Colorado looked a lot sharper than we expected the Avs to be in their first game in nearly a week, opening the scoring early in the first period. Fortunately, the Sharks notched the equalizer later in the frame and Martin Jones came up with a couple of big saves, allowing San Jose to eventually pull away with a 5-2 victory.
Our opinion on the Hurricanes +125 cashed as Carolina pulled out a 1-0 OT win over the Islanders, who were also at the disadvantage of having not played in a long time. New York will probably be a popular bet tomorrow as the Isles will be desperate to avoid an 0-2 series deficit headed back to Raleigh.
The Stars/Blues and Blue Jackets/Bruins series resume today with Game 2 slated in each. We’re passing on the Columbus/Boston affair entirely but do have a play in the matinee in St. Louis. Good luck on whatever you play, guys!
Odds below are at the time we made the pick.
In any series between relatively even-matched teams, it’s almost instinct for many of us to look to back the loser of Game 1 when Game 2 comes around. Series are a lot tougher to win when you drop the first 2 games, so it’s common to expect the loser of the opener to come back with a lot more desperation and intensity to square the series.
There’s more reason than that for us to like the Stars here, though. Dallas plays the type of game that translates to success on the road, keeping the crowd out of it by playing a methodical, low-scoring style and having the ability to protect a late lead. The Stars are 26-19 on the road this season if you were to give them half a puck in regulation, including 2-0-1 in Round 1 against Nashville. They also outshot St. Louis 29-20 in the series opener and aren’t intimidated at all by the Blues, a division rival they’re extremely familiar with.
St. Louis just keeps on winning games, but as we noted when backing the Jets +0.5 in Game 3 of Round 1, the Blues don’t exactly blow teams out of the water. They’re 26-16-3 at home this year, but that record looks a lot different if you apply -0.5 to all their home games. Five of the Blues’ 21 home wins came in OT, making them 21-24 when laying half a puck in regulation.
Jordan Binnington’s also been a bit more human lately, allowing 2+ goals in 6 straight starts and 16 of his last 19. If Dallas scores at least 2 goals this afternoon — something the Stars have done in each of their last 5 games and 13 of their last 15 — that might well be enough to get this one into an extra session, if not the outright win.
To be honest, there’s not a whole ton of line value at this -128 price, and we wouldn’t recommend tailing this exact bet if the best you can get is -140. At that point, you should probably consider the Stars Moneyline +129 instead. But regardless of which way you might back Dallas today, we certainly expect the Stars to come to play.
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