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Sportsbook Game 1 NHL Betting Advice
By Angelo Montilla
Here are a few NHL playoff betting options to consider, with odds courtesy of Bovada.
The Central Division champions will try to put a four-game losing skid behind them on Thursday when the Blackhawks open the playoffs against the Nashville Predators at the United Center.
The Blackhawks stumbled to the regular-season finish line, however the club enters Game 1 as -180 favorites on home ice, where the club has only dropped 10 games this season. The Predators, who finished as the second wild-card team with a 41-29-12 record, head to the Windy City as +150 underdogs.
If you think the game will be close through 60 minutes, you may want to consider putting your money on the game going to a fourth period. Bovada is offering a +270 line that the game will need overtime to determine a winner in Game 1.
However, some sportsbooks are projecting a blowout as Bovada has a +270 line the Blackhawks will win by a margin of three goals or more.
The head-to-head series over the last 10 games has been all Chicago — which has won seven of the meetings during that stretch.
Pick: Chicago Blackhawks (-180)
If there’s a David versus Goliath matchup in these playoffs, you’re looking at it here. The Presidents’ Trophy winning Capitals will host the budding Maple Leafs in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference quarter-final on Thursday night.
The Caps, who have been nearly unbeatable on home ice this season, host the series opener as -250 favorites. Toronto heads to D.C. with nothing to lose so putting your money on the +200 Maple Leafs may not be a bad idea.
Which team will strike first and will both clubs score in the opening frame? Bovada is offering an enticing +220 line that both the Capitals and Maple Leafs will score in the first period of Game 1. Both clubs were among the highest scoring teams in the NHL so that is a good wager to put your money on.
The Caps have fared well against the Maple Leafs over their last 10 contests, winning eight of those matchups during that span.
The total goals projection is 5.5 and you can expect this game to surpass that mark with the Caps escaping with the home win.
Pick: Washington Capitals (-250) and the over (5.5)
Expect a physical series when the Anaheim Ducks and Calgary Flames begin their first-round series Thursday night at the Honda Center.
There’s some bad blood in this series as the Ducks enter action as -175 favorites on home ice, where the club has posted a remarkable 29-8-4 record this season. The Flames surged in the latter stages of the season to earn a wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Calgary heads to Anaheim as intriguing +145 underdogs.
Don’t expect any blowouts in this series as both clubs boast strong defensive units and goaltending.
Will the game go to overtime? Bovada’s +260 line that the game will need an extra period to determine a winner is very intriguing for bettors.
If you’re basing your pick on the last 10 meetings between the two Pacific Division rivals, the Ducks, who have won nine of those games, are the easy choice.
Pick: Anaheim Ducks (-175)
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