This week I will be putting out my picks for the play in round series of the 2020 NHL playoffs. My first post will be the Western Conference and then later on in the week I will release the Eastern Conference. The fact that I am writing this post is getting me jacked up and I cannot wait for August. The past few months without hockey have been absolutely miserable. I didn’t even want to talk about coming back because I didn’t think it was a reality. We aren’t in the clear yet, but there is light at the end of the tunnel and I’m confident that the NHL will pull this off in safest possible way. Now let’s get to making some money.
*Odds and picks will be changing like crazy if players start testing positive closer to puck drop. Be cautious. Have a plan. And only gamble as much as you’re willing to lose.
*Here is a note on how the numbers work. -150 would mean you have bet $150 to win a $100. +150 means you need to bet $100 to win $150. Calculate accordingly.
Chicago Blackhawks +134 vs Edmonton Oilers -164
This series will be a lot tighter than a lot of analysts are saying. Everyone is enamored by the McDavid and Draisiatl. I’m not. The playoffs takes an entire team to win and I don’t believe two guys will be able to do this themselves. I like the Blackhawks experience mixed with youth and a new found energy after basically being mathematically out if this were a regular season. Remember, you bet the odds, not the team. At +134 I really like the underdog and see a lot of value. Patrick Kane will be money this series. I can see him taking over the playoffs.
Pick: Chicago Blackhawks +134
Arizona Coyotes +110 vs Nashville Predators -134
I hate this series. But it doesn’t take a lot of brain cells to see that this can only go one way. As much as I love Arizona, this is Nashvilles series to lose. Even Vegas thinks so given the numbers. -134 is kind of high for them but the Yotes sitting at +110 is not worth taking as an underdog. Nashville has the experience, they have the players, and I think they know that the light coming from the Stanley Cup window is fading slowly. Nashville goes to work and takes care of business.
Pick: Nashville Predators -134
Minnesota Wild +112 vs Vancouver Canucks -136
I love love love love these odds. The Nucks should sweep this series. Vancouver should be sitting in the -150-170s range. Minnesota should be hovering around +140. The Wild are going to struggle coming back. They have an older roster that will certainly not play well into coming back so quickly. I don’t even need to explain myself. Nucks have youth, talent, and the hunger to prove themselves in this league. If you are betting one series in the West, this is the one. I am so confident in these numbers that I am actually worried the Wild will sweep. Jk.
Pick: Vancouver Canucks -136
Winnipeg Jets -106 vs Calgary Flames -116
This series is YUCK! I don’t trust either of these teams at all. My heart is telling me the Flames can play physical game and grind out this series. But my gut is saying that the Hellebyuck will stone the Flames and steal this series. The Jets lost a lot on the defensive end and I bet against them for total points in the season (that bet was obviously scratched). This team has overachieved the whole season. They play a smart game and I think they can pull this off as slight underdogs. I don’t trust the Flames offense to be consistent enough to beat one of the best goaltenders in the league this season.
Pick: Winnipeg Jets -106
These are my picks for the Western Conference play-in round. Again, these lines are based off the current line up. With Covid, anything can happen. One player being out changes the lines for good or bad. Once teams get to the hub, I think we will be in the clear for the most part. So be careful going all in on a series that you like.
Lastly, I love hearing how awful my picks are. Please drop your picks in the comments. Maybe we can make a friendly. I am always down for some action!