NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: Conference Semifinals Betting Update
by Dave Schwab - 5/7/2012
It has been anything but predictable in this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs as one by one the favorites continue to bite the dust. The top two favorites from each conference -- Pittsburgh in the East and Vancouver in the West -- did not even make it out of the first round. The upstart eighth-seed Los Angeles Kings, who barely made it into the postseason in the West, just sent the St. Louis Blues packing in four games and both Phoenix in the West and New Jersey in the East have a 3-1 stranglehold in their series.
The only real drama that remains is in the Washington vs. New York series that is knotted at two games apiece heading into Monday night’s Game 5.
Philly’s first-goal fizzles
According to past statistics, the team that scores first exponentially increases its chances to win a particular game. However, do not tell that to the Philadelphia Flyers. Through a total of 10 postseason games they are now 1-5 when scoring first and a perfect 4-0 when spotting their opponent the early lead. The Flyers scored the first two goals in Sunday night’s Game 4, but gave up three unanswered scores to New Jersey along with an empty-netter in a 4-2 loss as -109 road favorites.
Nashville started its semifinals series against Phoenix with two straight losses but decided to suspend two of their top players for Game 3 for undisclosed violations of team rules. Andrei Kostitsyn and Alexander Radulov had combined for 10 points in the playoffs, but sat and watched their team blank the Coyotes, 2-0, in Game 3 as a -151 home favorite last Wednesday night.
Nashville Coach Barry Trotz was so pleased with the result; he decided to make the pair a healthy scratch for Friday’s Game 4. The brilliance in this move resulted in a 1-0 Predators’ loss as -155 home favorites that have them in the 1-3 hole heading into Monday night’s Game 5.
Rangers’ turn to win
The Washington Capitals and the New York Rangers have been taking turns winning games against one another since last year’s playoffs. The Capitals’ 3-1 victory as -178 home favorites in Game 5 of last season’s first-round matchup was the last time one of these teams won back-to-back games against one another. Each has taken turns winning four of the last eight meetings.
Given the fact that the Capitals posted a 3-2 victory this past Saturday as -109 home favorites, it could be a great time to lay down a few units on New York in Monday night’s Game 5 as a -145 home favorite.
Washington vs. New York
The Capitals are 1-5 in their last six games following a win, but they are 4-1 in their last five road games. The total has stayed ‘under’ in six of their last nine games as underdogs on the road.
The Rangers are 16-7 in their last 23 home games against an opponent with a losing road record but just 3-8 in their last 11 conference semifinal games. The total has stayed under in three of their last five games at home.
Head-to-head, Washington has won six of the last 10 meetings overall and the total has ended as a push in three of the last four games in New York.
Nashville vs. Phoenix
The Predators are 1-4 in their last five conference semifinal games, but 4-1 in their last five games as underdogs on the road. The total has stayed under in three of their last four games as road underdogs.
The Coyotes are 6-2 in their last eight home games and 12-3 in their last 15 games overall. The total has gone ‘over’ in three of their last five home games.
The road team has now won seven of the last 10 meetings and the total has gone over in seven of the last eight games in Phoenix. The Coyotes are 6-3 in the last nine meetings overall.
New Jersey vs. Philadelphia
The Devils are 9-3 in their last 12 games following a win and 7-3 in their last 10 games after giving up two or less goals in their previous outing. The total has gone over in six of their last eight Atlantic Division games.
The Flyers are now 1-7 in their last eight conference semifinal games and 2-5 in their last seven games overall. The total has gone over in 12 of their last 17 games.
The home team is 43-20 in the last 63 meetings and New Jersey is 4-10 in its last 14 games in Philadelphia. The total has gone over in three of four games in this series.
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