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Stanley Cup Playoff Betting Tips For Thursday, April 11

Jon and Derek

The Stanley Cup playoffs got off to an amazing start last night with 5 great games, 4 of which were decided by 1 goal.

Underdogs carried the night with 4 victories, highlighted by the Blue Jackets’ improbable rally from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Lightning in Tampa Bay.

It was also a decent start for our playoff bets, splitting the Game 1 plays (winning the Sharks Team Total Over, losing the Blues 1P moneyline) but having the Stars get out to a 1-0 series lead over the Preds (we’ve got Dallas +1.5 on the series handicap).

Nashville once again struggled to finish around the net and it’ll be interesting to see how the Preds respond Saturday in what will be billed as a ‘must-win’ affair.

Tonight, the three other playoff series get underway as Toronto visits Boston, Washington entertains Carolina and Calgary hosts Colorado.

We’re in action on two of those games and have also weighed in on what we’re looking for in the Caps/Canes series.

Thanks for following along, and good luck on whatever you play.

Odds below are at the time we made the pick.

Today’s Picks

Today’s picks are below, including a writeup on our Best Bet.

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Best Bet >>> Leafs/Bruins Over 6 -105 (5Dimes)
Pick > Avalanche Team Total Under 2.5 +101 (Pinnacle)


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Hurricanes Logo VS Pick Capitals Logo
Game: Hurricanes @ Capitals
Time: 7:30PM ET
Opinion: None

After years of being Corsi darlings, the Hurricanes finally lived up to the expectations of analytics this season with their first postseason appearance since going to the Eastern Conference finals in 2009. Once again, the Canes dominated shot counts, leading the NHL in shots on goal and ranking second in Shot Attempts Percentage playing 5 on 5. Yet, Carolina was just 16th in the NHL in goals for. At some point, you’ve got to put the puck in the net, and in this series they’ve drawn a foe that excels at preventing that.

Washington uncharacteristically finished middle of the pack in goals allowed this year, but those numbers are skewed by a poor start to the year defensively. Whether it was a Stanley Cup hangover or not, the Caps gave up at least 4 goals 7 times in their first 12 games, and Braden Holtby went into the all-star break with a goals-against average of 3.10. In 24 games since the break, however, Holtby’s posted numbers more in line with his career averages (2.42 GAA, .920 save percentage in the second half.)

We’re not touching the series opener here as the price on side (Washington -140) and total (a balanced 5.5) look about right. But as the series progresses, we don’t see Carolina generating enough offense to advance. Hopefully there will be betting opportunities later in the series to take advantage.

Avalanche Logo VS Pick Flames Logo
Game: Avalanche @ Flames Pick
Time: 10:00PM ET
Pick: Avalanche Team Total Under 2.5 +101 (Pinnacle)

There’s a lot of criticism of Calgary’s goaltending going into this series. On one hand, it’s understandable, since it certainly looks like the Flames’ weakest link. But on the other, Mike Smith and David Rittich haven’t been that bad. In fact, Smith (the confirmed starter for Day 1) has been on a nice roll of late, allowing 2 goals or less in 6 of 7 starts before Saturday’s meaningless 3-1 loss to the Oilers in the season finale. Going back even further, he’s allowed 2 or less in 10 of his last 13. Smith should also be motivated to prove his nay-sayers wrong, and the veteran shouldn’t be unnerved by the weight of expectations this Flames team is saddled with.

Colorado closed the year with a strong spurt (8-1-2 in its last 11 games), but nearly all of that was due to the Avs’ defensive play. In those 11 games, the Avalanche beat opposing goalies for 3 goals in regulation just three times, and they’ve potted two or less non-empty netters in seven straight on the road. Recent meetings with the Flames haven’t gone well, either, with Colorado losing eight of the last nine — including five straight trips to Calgary.

When the Avalanche loses, it’s typically because they didn’t generate enough offense. Colorado scored more than 2 goals in just 14 of its 44 losses this year, and we don’t like their chances of generating much offense tonight. We like Calgary to win the game, but betting the Avs under their Team Total 2.5 gives us a chance to cash a ticket at a plus-money price instead.

Bet this game at Pinnacle – The best NHL odds online!


Good luck!