2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs - First Round Betting News and Update
by Dave Schwab - 4/17/2012
The first round of this season’s NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs presses on and there have already been a number of shocking developments among the eight matchups. The top favorites in both the Eastern and Western Conference find themselves on the brink of elimination and a few unexpected long shots appear poised to make a serious run at trying to bring home this year’s title
The following is a re-cap of a few things we have learned along the way as well a look ahead to the upcoming games this week:
Both the Philadelphia Flyers in the East and the Los Angeles Kings in the West have a chance to pull out a four-game sweep in the opening round. Each team is a -130 home favorite to finish things up on Wednesday night as they have both completely dominated their opponents Pittsburgh and Vancouver, respectively.
The NHL is the type of sport where a team can get hot at the right time and go on a deep run in the playoffs. But what makes this development so shocking is the fact that Pittsburgh was the clear favorite to come out of the East and the overall favorite to win the Cup this year while Vancouver was a massive favorite to come out of the West and the second-favorite to win it all.
Only three teams in the history of the NHL have ever come back from 3-0 deficits so the oddsmakers will be reshuffling the decks on this tournament once both these series become final.
The first goal in the series between the Boston Bruins and the Washington Capitals was not scored until overtime in Game 1 with Boston getting the win. Game 2 also went to overtime with the Capitals knotting the series with the 2-1 victory. Things finally broke open in Game 3 with the Bruins claiming the 4-3 win.
The first two games between the New York Rangers and the Ottawa Senators saw their fair share of goals with New York claiming a 4-2 win in Game 1 and Ottawa evening the series at a game apiece with 3-2 overtime win in Game 2. Rangers’ goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who has been one of the best between the pipes all season, decided to shut things down in Game 3 by stopping all 39 Senators’ shots to help his team preserve the 1-0 win to take a 2-1 edge.
Home Ice Advantage
As a rule, home ice advantage in the NHL playoffs tends to be overrated until you get into a seventh game of a series. So far in these playoffs that has clearly been the case. The home team lost at least one of the first two games in six of the eight series and the Penguins and Canucks each lost both of their first two games at home.
The road team has won four of six Game 3’s so far, with Philly and LA as the only two posting a win at home.
First Round Betting Trends
The New Jersey Devils will look to take a 2-1 edge over Florida with a win on Tuesday night. They are 28-9 in their last 37 games as home favorites, while the Panthers are 2-6 in its last eight road games as an underdog. The total has gone ‘over’ in five of the last seven meetings in New Jersey.
Detroit has been opened as a -170 home favorite for Tuesday night’s Game 4 against Nashville with the total set at five. The Red Wings are just 2-12 in its last 14 games against a team with a winning record and the Predators are 4-1 in their last five games on the road. Nashville currently holds a 2-1 lead in this series.
The Chicago Blackhawks vs. Phoenix Coyotes series shifts to Chicago for Tuesday night’s Game 3 with the Blackhawks opened as 150 home favorites and the total set at 5.5. Chicago is 13-5 in its last 18 home games while Phoenix is 4-10 in its last 14 games as an underdog on the road. This series in knotted at on game apiece.
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