NHL Daily Gambling Preview – 5/12/23

My daily plays on yesterday’s NHL games were finally profitable, going 2-3-1 to win .4 units. I’ll take it. Still a losing day though with series bets, as the Devils were eliminated. That does make my Hurricanes Cup future look more fantastic though, so I’ll take it. Tonight we have another two huge Game 5s.

Game 5: Maple Leafs vs. Panthers (7:00)

The Panthers are a game away from facing off against the Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Finals and after missing their chance to sweep the Leafs with a win at home in Game 4, they’ll have another chance to win the series tonight on the road in Toronto. In Game 1 of the series, the Panthers surprised a lot of people, continuing the momentum of beating the Bruins, as they picked up a huge 4-2 win on the road. The Leafs outshot Florida 36-28 and outplayed them by an expected goal rate of 5.8-2.8, but with a huge performance in goal from Sergei Bobrovsky, they couldn’t get the win. Toronto didn’t adjust in Game 2, still trying to be too fancy, and lost 3-2 in Game 2 at home to get into a 2-0 hole going back to Florida. In Game 2, they scored twice in the first 5:10 of the game, blew that lead to go down 3-2 in the game just 1:06 into the second period and after not seeing any more goals from either team for the remainder of the game, it’s looking like Toronto’s going to need a miracle to find a way to win this series. They outshot the Panthers 37-29 and outplayed Florida by an expected goal rate of 4.12-2.89, yet still couldn’t win again. They were bad on the defensive blue line and just tried too much rather than simplifying their offensive play. In Game 3 as the series shifted to Florida, the Panthers put the Leafs on the brink of elimination with a 3-2 win on Sam Reinhart’s game-winner 3:02 into overtime. They outshot Toronto 29-24 and outplayed the Leafs by an expected goal rate of 3.57-2.33. The core four for Toronto, Mitch Marner, Auston Matthews, William Nylander, and John Tavares had not scored even one goal in this series. In Game 4, they turned that around though and avoided the sweep, picking up a 2-1 win in a tight game in Florida on the road. Off a lucky bounce off the official, Nylander scored his first goal of the series in the second period and Marner scored the eventual game winner with less than ten minutes left in the game, on the way to a 2-1 win for Toronto. Although both teams had 25 shots on goal, the Panthers outplayed the Leafs by an expected goal rate of 3.02-2.66 in the losing effort. Going into this series, I thought the Leafs had gotten the monkey off their back, getting out of the first round for the first time since 2004. But the Toronto curse seems to have followed them to the second round, as Florida has been the better team in this series. Although the Leafs were the better team in the first two games of the series, Florida still found a way to win both of those games and then the Panthers were the better team in Games 3 and 4 to take the commanding lead in this series. That’s not to discredit the Panthers at all, as they’ve played great on both ends of the ice. Sergei Bobrovsky has been incredible in goal and Florida’s defense has been a great job at limiting the scoring of the Leafs, holding Toronto’s core four scoreless through the first three games of the series. In Game 4, the Leafs grinded out a 2-1 win on the road to avoid getting swept. I see no way that the Maple Leafs find a way to get out of this series and I expect it to end with a Florida win on the road tonight. To make it even sweeter, we’re getting fantastic value at +145 for Florida on the road and I’ll take them for half a unit to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals to face off against the Hurricanes. I expected the games in this series to trend over, just like both teams trended over in the first round. The over went 6-1 in the Bruins/Panthers series and 4-2 in the Leafs/Bolts series. Game 1 of this series should have hit the over, with so many great opportunities for both teams, especially Toronto to score. Games 2 and 3 should have hit the over as well, both coming a tying goal short. Both offenses have been fantastic across the playoffs. The Leafs have scored the ninth-most goals in the NHL, having generated the eighth-most expected goals and the fourth-most high-danger shots in the league and they scored the third-most goals in the first round of the playoffs. The Panthers scored the sixth-most goals in the NHL. They generated the most expected goals and the most high-danger shots in the league. In their first-round series against Boston, they scored the fifth-most goals in the first round. In this series both teams have been generating plenty of good scoring chances, that just haven’t come through with goals. With this being an elimination game for Toronto, I expect there to be chaos in the third period, especially if Florida is up in the third period, which they’ve been in the first three games of this series (they were down 2-1 in the third period of Game 4). That should help push this game over the total and finally hit in this series. I’ll stupidly go back to the over for a unit.

Game 5: Golden Knights vs. Oilers (10:00)

This series has been so unpredictable and from that standpoint has been great, with the two teams trading wins for a tied 2-2 series…but the actual games haven’t been entertaining and one team has been dominant in all four of these games. In Game 1 in the fortress on Wednesday night, Vegas got a huge 6-4 win to start off the series. The Knights outshot the Oilers 34-27 but for the game Edmonton slightly outplayed Vegas by an expected goal rate of 3.22-3.1. Vegas absolutely dominated 5 on 5 play, and although by the advanced statistics it was only by an expected goal rate of 2.11-1.64, they were the way better team. The Knights took all the momentum out of the Oilers offense, answering back from two of Edmonton’s goals within a minute. The Oilers got held without a shot for 12 minutes at one point, but they still scored four goals, despite their bottom 9 forwards only having just 12 combined shots all game with Leon Draisaitl scoring all four of Edmonton’s goals. In Game 2, the Oilers answered back in a huge way on Saturday night, winning 5-1 on the road in Vegas. They of course, were lead by none other than Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, who each scored twice (along with an assist for McJesus). Edmonton outshot the Knights 36-31 and outplayed them by an expected goal rate of 4.38-3.07. On Monday night in Game 3 as the series shifted to Edmonton, the Golden Knights took back home ice advantage, dominating with a 5-1 victory on the road. Led by Jack Eichel (1 goal, 2 assists) and Jonathan Marchessault (2 goals), they were the far better team, outshooting the Oilers 33-28 and outplaying them by an expected goal rate of 3.61-2.29. Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid, the two best players in the world right now were completely held off the score sheet. The Oilers scored 2:45 into the game to open the scoring and were shut out the remainder of the game. After losing starting goalie Laurent Brossoit to injury 11:44 into the game, Adin Hill came in and had a 24 save performance without giving up even a goal. The Oilers answered right back in Game 4 at home on Wednesday, with a big 4-1 win in a chippy, physical game that saw some dirtbag plays that caused a lot of controversy in the hockey world. That was the first regulation loss on the road for Vegas since early March. They were outshot 33-26 and outplayed by an expected goal rate of 2.99-1.2. In Game 5 tonight, each team will be missing a key player with Darnell Nurse and Alex Pietrangelo both suspended a game. The Oilers win cashed my big ticket on this series to go at least six games, and I think the chances of it going to Game 7 are pretty high. With the series shifting back to Vegas, I expect them to win at home tonight to take a 3-2 series lead and will take them for half a unit as a home dog. Vegas has been the much better team 5 on 5 in this series and as long as they stay disciplined, they should win. I’m also going right back to the over a 6.5, but scaling down a bit on it to just half a unit. I’ll go right back to Draisaitl to score as well for half a unit and am adding McDavid to score too, for a half unit also.

Game Bets

.5u Panthers ML (+145)

1u Maple Leafs/Panthers over 6.5 (-125)

.5u Golden Knights ML (+115)

.5u Oilers/Golden Knights over 6.5 (-137)

.5u Leon Draisaitl over .5 goals (-162)

.5u Connor McDavid over .5 goals (-139)

Series Bets

2u Stars to win series in six games or less (+105)

2u Stars to win series (-120)

.5u Oilers/Golden Knights over 6.5 games (+200)


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

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

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

2u Dallas Stars – Stanley Cup Champions (+815)

1u Seattle Kraken – Stanley Cup Champions (+1360)

.5u Sergei Bobrovsky – Conn Smythe Trophy Winner (+4000)

Record: 788-654-35 (-72.86 units)

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