NHL Daily Gambling Preview – 4/18/23

I opened the NHL playoffs last night pretty much breaking even going 3-2 with a big swing on the Oilers overtime loss, finishing the night losing 0.1 unit. Tonight the other four series begin, let’s crush them!

I also added 1.5 units on the Bruins to win the series in five games or less after yesterday’s game. They’re going to throttle the Panthers.

Game 1: Devils vs. Rangers (7:00)

I am expecting this to be an awesome back-and-forth series between these teams with the series likely going six or seven games in this rivalry matchup. I broke it down in depth in my blog I published yesterday. I’ll take the prop on this series to go over 5.5 games for 2 units. I think the winner of this series ends up going on to beat either the Canes or the Isles and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals to play the Bruins. I already have futures on both of these teams to win the Stanley Cup with a unit on the Devils at +1600 from early in the year and a unit on the Rangers at +1300 from a few days before they acquired Patty Kane. Of course one of those will lose but it guarantees solid value on a future heading into the second round, regardless of the result of this series. I give a pretty big edge offensively in this series to the Devils and expect them to beat the Rangers, with the only way I see New York winning it is if Igor Shesterkin stands on his head and dominates the playoffs. I still like the value in taking a Devils future if you don’t already have one (which of course has gone down since I got mine), but the way I would approach a Rangers future at this point is to take the much better odds of Shesterkin to win the Conn Smythe. As I said though, expecting the Devils to win the series, I will take them for a unit. Since I expect the Devils to win this series and most teams that win Game 1 go on to win the series, I’ll take the Devils to win at home for half a unit. I have no idea what way I’d lean on the totals for this game, with both teams playing pretty well on both ends of the ice this year. My gut feel tells me the under, especially with the playoffs favoring defense over offense, but three of the four games in the regular season between these teams hit the under. I will stay off the total in Game 1 and evaluate it after the first few games of the series.

Game 1: Maple Leafs vs. Lightning (7:30)

This series has been set for quite a long time in the Atlantic Division as the #2 seed Toronto Maple Leafs and the #3 seed Tampa Bay Lightning in a rematch of last year’s fantastic first round series where the Bolts won in seven games. I broke the series down in depth last night and as I said in that blog, if the Leafs don’t finally advance out of the first round this year, I don’t know when they ever will. They finished the regular season 23 points ahead of the Lightning. If they don’t get out of this series, this era for Toronto will be over. Kyle Dubas and Sheldon Keefe will both get fired, Auston Matthews is gone, and the roster will likely be re-worked. I expect them to finally do so and win this series, and I’ll take the Leafs to win it for 2 units. I think they do so in six or seven games and I’ll take the series to go over 5.5 games for a unit. I don’t see either of these teams winning the Cup or even the Eastern Conference. The Bruins will beat whoever comes out of this matchup in the second round, so I’m not adding any futures on either of these teams. In Game 1, expecting the Leafs to win the series, I like them to open the series with a win at home and will take them for a unit. I also like the overs in this series, expecting each game to be high scoring and will start the series off with a unit on the alternate over 5.5.

Game 1: Golden Knights vs. Jets (9:30)

The Western Conference leading Vegas Golden Knights will face off against the second Wild Card Winnipeg Jets in the first round of the playoffs. I broke the series down in depth in the blog I published this morning. I have two units on a future from very early in the season for the Golden Knights to win the Stanley Cup at +1200. Although I don’t see them winning the Cup, I like that value on them to get to the West Finals and be able to use that future as a decent hedge and could see them making a run at winning the West with how wide open the whole Western Conference is this year. I expect Vegas to win this series. They’ve quietly played well all season and the Jets really struggled in the second half of the season, playing at a level below .500. Along with letting my future on the Knights ride, I’m also going to add them to win the series for 1.5 units. From a game by game perspective, these teams match up pretty well with an edge offensively to the Golden Knights. Expecting them to win the series I will also take Vegas to win Game 1 at home in the fortress for a unit. Along with Vegas to win, I expect Jack Eichel to shine in his first playoff appearance after years and years of waiting and leading the Knights in points in the regular season. I’ll take him to score and to have over 2.5 shots on goal for half a unit each. I’m expecting the games between these teams to trend under, with two good defenses  and the Jets really struggling offensively. Both teams have trended under on the season, with the under going 51-24-7 in Jets games and 42-35-5 in Knights games. I’ll take the alternate under 6 in Game 1 for half a unit.

Game 1: Avalanche vs. Kraken (10:00)

I’m anticipating a surprisingly fun, well matched first round series between the Central Division leading Colorado Avalanche, defending their Stanley Cup and the first Wild Card team in the West, the Seattle Kraken, who are in the playoffs for the first time in their short existence. I broke this series down in depth earlier today. Like I said in that blog, I don’t expect either of these teams to win the Stanley Cup this season, although it wouldn’t shock me to see the Avs once again win the Western Conference in their defense of the Stanley Cup. I just don’t see them as being quite as deep and dominant as they were last year. They’re the favorite out of the West but at +575 to win the Cup and +225 to win the West, I don’t see any value in adding any futures here. I think the Avs are the much deeper team here and have a significantly better defense, but these teams are much more evenly matched than the series line at -305 is. All three games between these teams in the regular season were determined by just a goal, with two of those matchups needing more than 60 minutes to decide. I don’t see the Kraken winning it, but it wouldn’t shock me if this series goes six or seven games. I’ll stay off any series bets for this one at the prices its at. Expecting Colorado to win the series, the Avalanche should definitely win Game 1 at home. The moneyline I think is too expensive at -210, but I’ll take the Avs in regulation for half a unit. I’d lean the games in this series trend under. All three regular season games between these teams stayed under and both teams trended under in the regular season. The under went 43-34-5 in Avs games and 40-38-4 in Kraken games. Colorado has allowed just the ninth-fewest goals in the NHL, having given up the tenth-fewest expected goals and the 13th-fewest high-danger shots in the league. The Kraken, despite allowing the 14th-fewest goals in the league, have given up just the eighth-fewest expected goals and the tenth-fewest high-danger shots in the NHL. That being said, I don’t love it enough to bet it in Game 1.

Game Bets

.5u Devils ML (-134)

1u Maple Leafs ML (-157)

1u Maple Leafs/Lightning over 5.5 (-136)

1u Golden Knights ML (-157)

.5u Golden Knights/Jets under 6 (-130)

.5u Jack Eichel over .5 goals (+138)

.5u Jack Eichel over 2.5 shots (-165)

.5u Avalanche in regulation (-122)

Series Bets

1u Bruins to win series in six games or less (-177)

1.5u Bruins to win series in five games or less (-125)

1.5u Hurricanes/Islanders over 5.5 games (-162)

1.5u Stars to win series (-150)

2.5u Stars/Wild over 5.5 games (-167)

.5u Stars/Wild over 6.5 games (+220)

1.5u Oilers to win series in six games or less (-112)

2u Devils/Rangers over 5.5 games (-167)

1u Devils to win series (-125)

2u Maple Leafs to win series (-177)

1u Maple Leafs/Lightning over 5.5 games (-162)

1.5u Golden Knights to win series (-175)


1u Boston Bruins – Stanley Cup Champions (+1000)

1.5u Boston Bruins – Stanley Cup Champions (+1100)

2u Vegas Golden Knights – Stanley Cup Champions (+1200)

1.5u Carolina Hurricanes – Stanley Cup Champions (+1300)

1u New York Rangers – Stanley Cup Champions (+1300)

1u New Jersey Devils – Stanley Cup Champions (+1600)

.5u Minnesota Wild – Stanley Cup Champions (+2000)

1u Minnesota Wild – Western Conference Champions (+800)

2u Edmonton Oilers – Stanley Cup Champions (+800)

Record: 736-569-29 (-23.06 units)

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