Back today after passing on the first few days of the second round.
Whether it’s because the odds are so tight (oddsmakers have only a few games to line each day, rather than the occasional 12 or 13 game boards during the season), because the games are so tight or for some other reason, we’ve always found handicapping playoff hockey to be much more difficult than the regular season. So we like to just try to pick spots, rather than take a shotgun approach and hope to hit more than we miss.
Today, however, we like situational angles in both matchups and think there’s good value in a pair of plus-money plays. Good luck if you’re tailing along.
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.
The betting lines in this series have been very interesting. Nashville was close to even money on the road in Game 1 and 2, with the Blues short favourites. Now, with the series moving to Nashville, the Preds are in the -150 range and St. Louis is +130ish. The Predators obviously deserve a lot of respect after their first-round sweep of Chicago, but are they clearly a better team than the Blues – a team that was one of the best in the NHL since Mike Yeo took over the team (best goal differential since the coaching change) and then took down the Wild in Round 1? We’re not so sure about that, and think the value in this series is on St. Louis.
Minnesota is just as tough a barn to play in as Nashville, and St. Louis won all 3 games at Minny in Round 1. We’ve also looked to bet against the Predators in first periods at home this year, where they’ve been outscored by nearly 0.2 goals per game in the first 20 minutes. With St. Louis coming off a come-from-behind win in Game 2, we like the chance for the Blues to carry that momentum into this afternoon. Getting +122 odds on the Blues to win the first period looks like great value.
Bet this game at Pinnacle – The best NHL odds online!
Anaheim was the hottest team in the NHL going into Round 2, but lost its first two games at home against Edmonton. We’re not ready to give up on the Ducks yet, though. It’s possible that the week off between their sweep of the Flames and the start of the Edmonton series cost them a lot of momentum.
Last year,the Ducks were in a similar spot in the first round, losing their first two games at home and heading out on the road in an 0-2 hole. They responded with a pair of wins in Nashville and even took a 3-2 series lead, though they went on to lose the series. Our point is that we don’t see Anaheim’s veteran bunch panicking here. The Oilers should have a lot of confidence as they take their home ice for the first time since Game 5 of last series, but there’s no question who the more motivated team is tonight. Edmonton will have to manufacture some intensity on its own to match what Anaheim brings to the table tonight. We think the Ducks have better than a 50% shot at a win here, so the +115 odds is nice value.
Bet this game at 5Dimes
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