Earlier in the season the Nashville Predators looked dead with no chance at making the playoffs. I expected them to fire their head coach and be in the basement of the NHL. Halfway through March though, the Preds turned it around and caught fire going 13-3 from March 15th to April 13th and ended the season in the fourth seed in the Central Division. They match up against the #1 seed Carolina Hurricanes in the first round, which won’t be an easy series for Nashville. Carolina had a fantastic regular season, coming only two points away from winning the Presidents Trophy with the best record in the NHL (only Colorado and Vegas beat them in that race with 82 points).
The Hurricanes have crushed the Predators in the regular season, going 6-2 against them and Nashville’s two wins coming only after the Canes had already clinched first place in the Central (that second last game with Nashville needing a win to clinch their own place in the playoffs). Besides those two Preds wins to end the season, the Hurricanes only allowed Nashville to score one or two goals in all six games prior. Besides one overtime win on March 9th, the Canes also covered the puck line in their other five wins over the Preds. The regular season trended under for these teams as well, with under 5.5 going 6-2 (with the two overs having six total goals).
Carolina’s better than Nashville in every important statistical category. They average 3.13 goals per game vs. Nashville’s 2.65 and generate more shots on goal, they’re fourth in the NHL in goals against averaging only 2.39 goals allowed per game vs. Nashville’s 2.7.
I don’t see how Carolina doesn’t win this series easily. I think the price of -270 on the series is too expensive so I’ll just play this series a bit heavier on Carolina game to game and I’ll take Carolina to win the series in 6 or less games for 3 units. Even if Nashville wins a game or two, I don’t see this series going to Game 7.
3u Carolina to win series in 6 or less games (-150)
2u Game 1: Carolina ML (-165)