It’s been difficult to find any betting edges worth exploiting over the last few days in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which is why we haven’t posted a wager for nearly a week. Today, however, we think we’ve found an angle with some value, so we’re back in action for this afternoon’s Mother’s Day clash between the Hurricanes and Bruins in Boston.
The playoff unit count now stands at +3.6 units, following Monday’s frustrating loss on the Sharks/Avalanche Under 6. That game was 1-0 with 6 minutes left in the second period and 1-1 with 2 minutes to go in the second, and the teams combined for just 48 shots — an extremely low number in an overtime game. However, the Sharks got 3 goals from their defensemen, including Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s second marker of the night that tied the game 3-3 and sunk our Under play with 2:28 to go.
Hopefully, better luck’s in store today. We’ve got a play on the First Period total as well as a heads-up for a potential angle to attack on the Third Period total. Good luck whatever you’re betting, and don’t forget to call your Moms — before or after the game, of course.
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.
Carolina led 2-1 going into the third period of Game 1, and our first instinct is to back the Hurricanes as they look to avoid a 2-0 series deficit. But do you really want to step in front of the Bruins right now? Since falling behind Toronto 3-2 in the opening round, the B’s have won 7 of their last 9, losing just once in regulation time during that span (they’d be 7-1-1 in their last 9 if this were the regular season).
Rather than pick a side between a pair of hot teams, we’re more interested in supporting the way these squads are playing defensively right now. Boston’s held 9 of its last 10 opponents to 2 goals or less in regulation time (the only exception being the Bruins’ wild 4-3 win over Columbus in Game 5 last round, when Boston led 1-0 going into the third period), while the Canes had allowed 2 or less in 7 of 9 before Thursday’s Game 1 loss. The Bruins’ 5-goal outburst in that game is obviously misleading as Boston scored a pair of powerplay goals early in the third period, then added an empty netter and then a quick meaningless strike right after that to pull away.
Carolina’s recipe for winning on the road has been playing defensive-minded hockey, not getting into a track meet. The Hurricanes have scored just 12 regulation time goals in their 7 road games in these playoffs and averaged just 2.73 goals per game on the road this year — well below their full-season average of 2.97. They’re also 23-16 to the Under following a loss, supporting the notion that they look to clean up their own end of the rink when trying to turn things around.
Why the First Period Under 1.5 -124, rather than the full game Under 5.5 -127? Well, in poking around the stats when trying to come up with an angle to attack in this one, we noticed how consistently these teams are playing high-scoring third periods. Carolina road games have seen an average of 2.34 goals per scored in third periods this season — nearly a full goal higher than any other period — while Bruins home games have seen an average of 2.26 goals scored in the final frame — significantly higher than their 1.63 first-period average and also a lot more than the 1.89 average in second periods. After Boston exploded for four unanswered third-period markers in Game 1 to turn a 2-1 game into a 5-2 final, we’ll look to avoid similar late-game shenanigans by backing the First Period Under instead.
In fact, those third period stats might open us up to the potential of an added play: the Third Period Over 1.5. You can bet that pregame at 5Dimes (the Over 1.5 is listed at -145 odds), or you may want to attack that through Live Betting for a chance at more favourable odds. Even if the game flow leads you to pass on this wager in Game 2, it’s something to keep in mind for games played in Boston later in this series.
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