NHL Eastern Conference Round 1 Series Bets

Adam Boothe

Monday, April 8, 2019 8:00 PM UTC

Monday, Apr. 8, 2019 8:00 PM UTC

The real important markets that everyone wants to predict and have a piece of; who is going to progress in the playoffs!

<p>I am going to preface this article by saying it's not meant to write off the potential of ANY team, nor hurt anyone's feelings. As someone with no stake in the race and handling these markets from a purely investing and betting perspective, I am approaching each series the same way. If sports were entirely predictable, no books would be operational; so expect the unexpected!</p><p> </p><p><strong>Tampa Bay Lightning v Columbus Blue Jackets</strong></p><p>This is the only David v Goliath match-up we're likely to see throughout the entire post-season. That said we've seen David win many of these; look up the 2006 President's Trophy Detroit Red Wings against a lowly Edmonton Oilers. An aging, washed-up goalie by the name of Dwayne Roloson evolved into a wall. The Wings out-shot the Oil 238 to 156 and still lost in 6 games. Now this Jackets team is better than the Oilers were that year, but the Bolts are also better than the Wings of 06. There are two players that will not only need to be the best players for the Jackets, but most outstanding on the ice; Sergei Bobrovsky and Artemi Panarin. These two players have both been the focal point of some negative public attention this year, for issues off the ice, however down the stretch they did enough for the club to retain the 8th spot. The season series was swept by the Bolts 3-0, not exactly astonishing considering the season they had. However Columbus out-shot Tampa heavily in two out of three but got destroyed in the goal differential; 17-3. If you followed me at all during the regular season you know I am always looking to play an underdog, however this isn't a match-up I like for the Jackets. If they prove me wrong and get the upset here then we can look at them in the future, but I won't roll the dice with them against the powerhouse Bolts.</p><p><strong>Betting Tip: Lightning (-2.5) @ 2.60 at <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&amp;a=4fd3c129-b898-4816-9a61-9f7e8f34295a" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Join Unibet Today!">Unibet</a></strong></p><p>So this wager requires Tampa to win 4-0 or 4-1. If you want to play it more 'safe' you can look to take the Lightning -1.5 but if you think Columbus is winning two games then you should be looking at Jackets +1.5 or for them to win a game at home!</p><p> </p><p><strong>Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders</strong></p><p>Unsurprisingly the Pens are moderate-sized favourites for the series price. They were the first organization to win back-to-back Cups since the 97-98 Red Wings and still possess many of the players that got them there; Crosby, Malkin, Murray, Letang, Schultz, Kessel, Hornqvist, Maata, and Dumoulin. This is an experienced team with many of the right pieces. I am not going to make grand assertions that they're worn out or aging or too top-heavy like we've seen happen to recent Kings and Blackhawks rosters. This team is still capable of grand things and this is the time of year that they usually show up most. That said they're overpriced! It is on name alone (and pedigree to a certain extent) that we see a 1.66-1.71 at most books. As usual, Sid led the way on both ends of the ice and had a solid year as did Jake Guentzel . However the numbers behind Malkin and Kessel were nothing to be proud of. 'Geno' had a career worst in terms of goals and +/-. The latter stat here is the more important one heading into playoffs. He's still gonna have his offensive chances, but if he's a liability on the back-end that centermen depth becomes less potent. The Isles remind me a lot of Vegas last year but with a defensive focus. Other than Barzal, they have a lot of players who have been somewhat discarded. Additionally coach Barry Trotz made the loss of captain and all-star John Tavares something of a banner for them to rally around. While I am sure there are a few teams they would've loved to pair up with in the first round, this is a sink or swim scenario. I am a bit concerned with their ability to score; this became quite apparent in the second half of the year when teams started gearing up for making the playoffs. That said they hold the leagues best defensive numbers without having any real all-stars or household names back there! I also like the fact the Isles will be starting at home, though I expect the hostility to remain about the same, expectations will be higher given the season they had!</p><p><strong>Betting Tip: New York Islanders (ML) @ 2.38 at <a href="http://affiliate.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=155&amp;a=6a145d2b-505f-491b-a70e-2f5f31742828" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="A+ Rated Bookmaker!">Pinnacle</a></strong></p><p>I could see this one going 6-7 games as well, so it might be worth looking at the over 5.5 games if you have a book that offers those markets!</p><p> </p><p><strong>Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins</strong></p><p>In the <a href="https://www.oddsmarket.com/tips/hockey/nhl-playoffs-eastern-conference-preview/89731/" target="_blank" title="NHL Playoffs Eastern Conference Preview">Eastern Conference Preview article</a>, I spoke at length about the recent history of the Bruins and Leafs and how they'll match-up this year once more. My closing comments there proposed that a fair price for the Bruins would be between 1.66-1.71...unfortunately the article got shared among all the bookmaker friends at their weekly Friday social and played a practical joke on us opening the line almost smack in the middle of that range. There's a few ways to handle a line you think is correctly priced; wait till an opportunity to find a better one, play the other side [<a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&amp;a=3e56a0bf-7bdf-4fe1-b9a6-d22c7cc3dd2c" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Get in game with Betway!">Betway </a>has the Bruins at 1.55], find an alternative market, or pass altogether. If the Bruins and Leafs each play their best in every game of the series I think Boston edges out some close games but in five or six. It is Toronto's challenge to prove that their potent offensive threat is not the ONLY thing the makes them a quality team. However not of my projections favours Toronto in this series and though they could win it in 7, I'll wait till then to jump on the Bruins moneyline.</p><p><strong>Betting Tip: Boston Bruins (-1.5) @ 2.5 at <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&amp;a=4fd3c129-b898-4816-9a61-9f7e8f34295a" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Join Unibet Today!">Unibet</a></strong></p><p>I know Boston won't be looking passed the Leafs, but if they don't want to be heavily out-skated by the Lightning they'll need to take care of business here in six games tops.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;Playoffs Media Day | TJ Oshie &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/hashtag/CapsCanes?src=hash&amp;amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#CapsCanes&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"https://t.co/wxMRwIJdAz\"&gt;pic.twitter.com/wxMRwIJdAz&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/Capitals/status/1115313362483798016?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;8 de abril de 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;"}[/]</p><p><strong>Washington Capitals v Carolina Hurricanes</strong></p><p>The Caps owned Carolina this season, sweeping the season series. Carolina is an interesting team; they weren't really that exceptional in any area this season, they have very average numbers in all areas of the ice. The top line of Teravainen and Aho were a bright point this season, as was veteran netminder Petr Mrazek. The Canes had many games in which they heavily outshot the opposition, but if you watch the game or look at the actual scoring opportunities it is a very misleading stat. In one goal games the Caps were 10-5, 5-5 at home, while the Hurricanes were 8-6, 2-5 at home. Carolina could make this a series or they could get swept, however my numbers have Washington winning the series approximately 66% of the time. Given the many advantages the favs have here, the most important one is in net. Last year the Caps found themselves down 0-2 heading to Columbus in the opening round. They swapped in their true number one tendy and he led them to their first Stanley Cup. I am getting different projections on the amount of games this series could go, so I won't mess with any additional plays.</p><p><strong>Betting Tip: Washington Capitals ML @ 1.71 at <a href="http://affiliate.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=155&amp;a=6a145d2b-505f-491b-a70e-2f5f31742828" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="A+ Rated Bookmaker!">Pinnacle</a></strong></p>
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