NHL Playoffs Series Wager
Tampa Bay +145 over Florida

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smallbet365 +145           small888 +145     SIASMALL +120

Odds posted at 2:00 PM EST and before Game 1. They are subject to change. 

NHL Playoffs Series Wager

Tampa Bay +145 over Florida

7:00 PM EST. OT Included. We could write a few paragraphs outlining this series/game but what could we possibly discuss that you can’t read about in a million other places? That Brayden Point is likely to miss a few games and for sure Game 1? While most publications/pundits will insist that Point being out increases Florida’s chances, we’ll point out that it increases the value on Tampa Bay. Of course Point is a key player but dude missed almost the entire Game 7 in Toronto and Tampa still found a way to win.

Tampa’s first line of Palat/Kucherov/Stamkos is still intact. Its second line of Cerelli/Point/Killorn is not. Its third and fourth lines of Hagel/Paul/Colton and Maroon/Bellemare/Perry are so one can expect Jon Cooper to do a little bit of line shuffling to make up for the loss of Point. This is a deep team that prepared itself for something to go wrong when they picked up Nick Paul and Brandon Hagel at the deadline. You see, Tampa Bay’s own MVPs of Round 1 weren’t the usual suspects either. According to Game Score, the team’s two best forwards were actually deadline acquisitions Nick Paul and Brandon Hagel, both of whom had really impactful series against Toronto. Once again Tampa Bay has found the perfect pieces to augment its core, culminating in Paul taking over in Game 7 to be the hero. All of a sudden, Paul’s confidence is through the roof and Hagel’s confidence isn’t far behind. Paul is one of those playoff pest type players, like Dale Hunter, Darcy Tucker or Claude Lemieux for instance.

Annoying. Irritating. Skilled. Cheap-shot-taking. Throughout the history of the game, there have been players that have crawled into the brains of their opponents and set up camp for 60 minutes and, in some cases, personally changed the course of a postseason series like Nick Paul did against Toronto.

We’re not sure how the lines will shake out when the puck is dropped but you can be 100% sure that Paul earned more ice time and so did Hagel. Cirreli is likely going to center the first line while Paul will likely be moved to Line 2 between Palat and Killorn. Regardless, Point will be missed but not in the way the media is projecting it. Furthermore, it’s possible that Brayden Point is back at some point in this series. Let the injury chasers pay the inflated price on the Panthers.

With all due respect to Florida’s offense, it takes a complete team to move on past the second round. Florida played a much weaker team in Round 1 and barely survived. In fact, with Washington up 2-1 in the series and holding a 2-1 lead in Game 4, cosmic bad luck found Garnet Hathaway and the Caps. Hathaway’s shot, which looked perfectly on-line on television, either hit the left goalpost or the goal frame behind it, causing an icing. He missed out on an empty-net goal by an inch or two. Literally, a minute later, the Panthers tied it up. Had that sequence of good fortune not hit the Panthers between the eyes, we’d likely be discussing Tampa as a 4-1 favorite against Washington. We are not suggesting that Washington was the better team but if you watched that series, the Panthers with the weight of expectations on its shoulders, looked tentative.

Defensively, Florida is a highly flawed team that had to crawl out of deficits all season long and also had to crawl out from under a big deficit in the first round against Washington. They were down 3-0 in one game and came back to win. This is a Panthers’ team that is playing with fire. You know the cliche. In goal, the loss of Point, doesn’t even come close to compensating for the edge that Tanpa has in net.

Offensively, the Panthers are complete. Defensively and in goal they are not. Add in a few intangibles in Tampa’s favor, not to mention the fact that being an underdog is insulting, and it sets up the Bolts as an outstanding value play, both in the series and in Game 1. Therefore, we have two bets here.

Tampa in Game 1 @ +145

Tampa in the Series @ +145

Play:


Our Pick

Tampa Bay +145 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.90)

NHL Playoffs Series Wager
St. Louis +310 over Colorado

bet365 operates pursuant to an agreement with iGaming Ontario.

smallbet365 +310            small888 +300     SIASMALL +300

Odds posted at 2:00 PM EST and before Game 1. They are subject to change. 

NHL Playoffs Series Wager

St. Louis +310 over Colorado

9:30 PM EST. We’ll start with the Avalanche, as absence makes the heart grow fonder. We’ve not seen them in some time after they made quick work of the Predators in a four game sweep in the first round. That result was not unexpected, as the Preds were without their savior in net, Jusse Saros. Think of the Stars without Jake Oettinger. Not pretty, is it?

The Avalanche are loaded with name brand talent. Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar, Mikko Rantanen, Nazem Kadri, Gabriel Landeskog and Andre Burakovsky all went in the first few rounds of playoff drafts. MacKinnon and Makar are the co-leaders for the Conn Smythe trophy at the one quarter post (+500, each). There is a long way to go, but market perception is reality. The Avs are being given more respect than the President’s Trophy-winning Panthers and the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning.

A quick look over to the Florida/Tampa Bay series shows some similarities to this matchup on the surface. Both are a #1 versus #3. In the regular season, the Lightning finished 12 points back of the Cats. The Bolts also posted a +54 goal differential. Solid. Well, what about the Blues? St. Louis finished 10 points back of Colorado and posted a +69 goal differential. That’s impressive. However, the Blue Notes are already being written off before the puck has dropped. How can that be?

We’re going to stick with our Bolts/Cats comparison when dissecting the extreme value that appears to be on offer here. If the Lightning are +140 in Sunrise in Game 1, how can the Blues be +180 in Denver? What about the series price? Tampa is +145. St. Louis is +310. What. The. Hell. Man? Somebody tell us what we’re missing here. The price on the Blues as an underdog appears to be inflated to the max. For some more perspective, Colorado is the odds on favorite to win the Stanley Cup at about +190 depending on where you shop. The Bolts are +650 and the Blues at +1700.

There could be a couple of reasons for the disrespect. First, the Blues were swept under the rug by the Avalanche in last year’s playoffs, but that recent result only matters because it has caused Colorado’s stock to skyrocket. Another factor is that the Blues are mostly void of well known commodities in the market. For the most part, much of the roster that won the Cup with the Blues in pre-pandemic times have moved on. That was just three years ago, although it feels like 13.

Before we get to their forwards, the Blues feature one of the best defense cores in these playoffs and they’ve got a 1-2 punch in net with Ville Husso and Jordan Binnington. Husso put the team on his back to end the regular season, while Binnington came in and shut the door on the Wild in Round 1.

On the front end, Vladimir Tarasenko, Brayden Schenn, Ryan O’Reilly and David Perron are still around, as is the great agitator and player you love to hate, Tyler Bozak (you don’t think he’s excited to get some dirt under his fingernails in this series?). Aside from Tarasenko, who might be the most undervalued superstar in the league, at the top of the Blues scoring chart, you are going to find new names like Robert Thomas (a bit of a late bloomer), Pavel Buchnevich (who had his best season after five years in New York), Jordan Kyrou (who enjoyed a breakout season at 24) and Ivan Barbashev (ditto to Kyrou, but at 26). Those two (Barbashev and Kyrou) play with Brandon Saad. They make up arguably the best third line in hockey. While most of those names are not household regulars today, by the end of this series, that could change dramatically.

The Blues played a tough Minnesota team in a six game series that wrapped with a 5-1 win in St. Louis on May 12. Meanwhile, the Avalanche have played a meaningful minute of hockey since May 9. That three day difference may not seem like much, but it could be the difference between some well-needed rest and healing and getting a little rusty. For the Avalanche, they’d probably argue for the latter, as starting goaltender Darcy Kuemper almost had his eye carved out in Game 4, with Pavel Francouz mopping up. Kuemper was lucky to be sure. He’s expected back between the pipes for Game 1, but one has to wonder if his heart rate will be up in the first few scrambles in front of him.

We're going to play the Blues in both Game 1 and in the series.

Play:


Our Pick

St. Louis +310 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 6.20)

RangeWLP+/- (Units)
Yesterday110.00+1.00
Last 30 Days17240.00+14.38
Season to Date591030.00-14.18