I just got from my honeymoon last night and to say I need a distraction from the real world is an understatement. I cannot be expected to jump right back into things right away. The NHL playoffs starting tonight is going to be a much needed distraction and I cannot wait for some of these first round match ups. I’ll admit that the regular season format was getting a little dry, but now that the playoffs are here, I couldn’t be more excited.
*All odds are based off FanDuel Sportsbook*
Pittsburgh Penguins -146 vs New York Islanders +118
I am really liking the Islanders at plus money. Everyone is on Pittsburgh and rightfully so. They have earned that top spot in the Mass Mutual Division. Islanders have been gearing up for the playoffs since last year. They are best coached team and can play a lock down system that can suffocate any team in the NHL. This will be a battle for Pittsburgh. I’m not sure if the horses for Pitt can win a 7 game series against an Islander team that will be on a mission.
Pick: New York Islanders +118 in 7
Boston Bruins -154 vs Washington Capitals +126
How this isn’t closer to a pick em is beyond me. Are the Bruins really that much better than the Caps at -154? I’m not so sure about that. The Capitals seemed to get bored down the line and played some sloppy, scumbag hockey (yea I’m looking at you Tom Wilson). Boston couldn’t steady the ship all season, until the very end, which is certainly a case to be made picking Boston. But I am all over the Caps here at +126. A team that had a few come together moments at the end of the season. If they turn out to be healthy, I think they beat Boston in 6 games.
Pick: Washington Capitals +126 in 6
Vegas Golden Knights -230 vs Minnesota Wild +182
I hate taking big favorites because it usually isn’t worth your money. The Knights might be the exception to my rule. They are a beast and can beat you in so many different ways. The narrative of the Wild, has been a little Cinderella for me to put money on them. The Knights are hungry for a shot at the cup and I don’t think they will fall victim to the fairy tale story that the Minnesota Wild are looking to write. Could be a tough series though.
Pick: Vegas Gold Knights -230 in 6 games
Colorado Avalanche -380 vs St. Louis Blues +290
I love love love this match up for the Blues. I love their heavy style. I think they are team built for the playoffs and I think they will knock off one of the most gifted teams in the NHL. There is no denying the Avalanche team that is the definition of explosive. They can outscore you 10-9 if needed. But the Blues have the pieces to wear you down and grind out games. At +290 how do you not take the Blues here. Remember, we are finding value in the projected winner, not just the better team. -380 is insane and never worth the bet.
Pick: St. Louis Blues +290 in 7 games
Tampa Bay Lightning -162 vs Florida Panthers +130
How can anyone possibly bet the Florida Panthers to beat the Stanley Cup Champions? It hurts me so much to say this but I have 0 faith in the Panthers to do anything against Tampa. Forget the regular season. Tampa has been waiting for this day to come. The Panthers making it to the playoffs is their Stanley Cup. Tampa will be moving on to bigger and better things in 4 (maybe 5) quick games. This kills me to say because I will be pulling for the Panthers hard.
Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning -162 in 4 games
Carolina Hurricanes -280 vs Nashville Predators +225
Let me just keep this as simple as I can. I believe the Carolina Hurricanes can win the Stanley Cup. I love them so much that I almost feel like the hockey Gods will crush me emotionally to teach me a lesson. I am so confident with this team and I love HOT BOD ROD behind the bench, that I scare myself. I will shut my mouth from here on out, but you heard it here first. This team can win a Stanley Cup.
Pick: Carolina Hurricanes -280 in 4 games
Toronto Maple Leafs -310 vs Montreal Canadiens +240
This is a hell of a match up and will be so fun to watch. I really like Toronto to win the series, but the value isn’t there. I don’t think they are a mortal lock like most of the hockey world. They are an explosive team and with one of the best goal scorers in the league in Matthews, the Leafs are never out of a game. I do think the Habs are outmatched, but they do have some horses that could make for tight series. If they get some confidence and can split the first two games, I think we see a full 7 game battle. I’m taking some value here with an underdog.
Pick: Montreal Canadiens +240 in 7 games
Edmonton Oilers -184 vs Winnipeg Jets +150
All season long I said that the Jets just needed to make the playoffs. I would not want to be either Toronto or Edmonton playing them first round. Here we are and my feelings have never been more validated. The Jets have the playoff experience to make this a really tough series for the Oilers. The only doubt I have in my pick is that Conor McDavid can win you a hockey game. Can he win you 4 out of 7? Yes! Will he? He is in for a tough series and will need some help from the rest of his team. I will always put my money on a team rather than an individual when it comes to betting playoff series. Jets being underdogs and giving me much better value for my dollar is making my decision very easy.
Pick: Winnipeg Jets +150 in 6 games