A wild opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs continued last night as the Stars became the fourth lower-seeded team to advance to Round 2. The Leafs, Golden Knights and Hurricanes can bump that number to 7 if they can find ways to win their respective Game 7s on the road.
Speaking of the Stars’ victory, their 2-1 OT win easily cashed the Under 5 and improved us to 9-5 for +3.7 units in the playoffs. Unfortunately, it was the last chance to fade the Predators’ struggling offense, and it’ll be interesting to see what offseason changes might come in Nashville after the Preds’ disappointing second half and early playoff exit.
There’s potential for some tremendous drama tonight as we get a pair of Game 7s with the Leafs visiting Boston, followed by San Jose hosting the Knights. We’re passing on the Toronto/Boston affair but are involved on the total in the nightcap.
Good luck and enjoy the games!
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Best Bet >>> Golden Knights/Sharks Over 6 +102
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We’ve been wrestling back and forth today between backing the Sharks First Period Moneyline -110, First Period Over 1.5 -120 and the Over 6. To be honest, we’ll probably have a piece of each of those bets in our pocket tonight, because they’re all related to one common thread: we expect the Sharks to score a few goals.
It’s what they’ve done all year at home, after all. San Jose averaged 3.66 goals per game during the regular season when playing in its own rink, and the Sharks have followed that up in the playoffs by posting goal totals of 5, 3 and 5 in their first 3 home dates of the playoffs. The building will be especially electric tonight after the Sharks battled back from a 1-3 series deficit to force a Game 7, and San Jose’s been particularly explosive in the opening frame at home – averaging 1.32 goals in the first period. They’ve either led or been tied at the end of the first period in each of their three home games in this series as well. Meanwhile, Vegas has been much more vulnerable defensively on the road all year, allowing 3.23 goals per contest.
We’re reluctant to back the Sharks on the moneyline, however, because we just don’t trust Martin Jones. Yes, even after his sensational effort in Game 6 (stopping 58 of 59 shots), which came on the heels of a strong 26-save effort in Game 5. We’re still talking about a guy who posted a goals-against average of 2.96, save percentage below .900 and goals saved above average of -23 during the regular season. Playing in the pressure of a Game 7 may just be enough to unravel Jones again, especially if the Golden Knights are forced to play catch-up from an early deficit.
The total in this game opened at 5.5 before moving to 6 (you may be able to find 5.5s at some sportsbooks in the range of -125 juice), a sign that we’re on the right track with this Over play. There’s always the possibility of a couple late empty netters to pad the final score in a do-or-die Game 7, but we’re not sure we’ll need them. Let’s cheer for a high-scoring, entertaining affair, regardless of who wins.
Bet this game at Pinnacle – The best NHL odds online!