NHL Playoffs Betting: Second-Round Series Odds and Predictions
by George Monroy - 5/1/2014
The first round of the 2014 NHL playoffs ended with a bang on Wednesday night with three Game 7s on the schedule. The road team ended up winning two of those matchups when the Minnesota Wild topped the Colorado Avalanche 5-4 in overtime right before the Los Angeles Kings completed their monumental comeback against the San Jose Sharks after starting the series with three straight losses.
The second round of the NHL playoffs is set to start on Thursday night and head into the weekend with each series completing its first two games by Sunday. Let's take a closer look at each matchup with predictions and analysis.
Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens
Series Price: Bruins -260; Canadiens +220; BetOnline
Game 1 Lines : Bruins -183; Canadiens +166; Total: 5
Both squads looked impressive during their four- and five-game first-round matchups. Montreal surprisingly eliminated Tampa Bay in four games as the series underdog, while the Boston dominated Detroit after a shocking Game 1 loss. Montreal's offense was excellent during the first round, but the team might run into trouble scoring when it faces Tuukka Rask, who did not allow more than two goals in any game against Detroit.
Prediction : Bruins in 6
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Rangers
Series Price: Penguins -160; Rangers +130
Game 1 Lines : Penguins -145; Rangers +132; Total: 5
Pittsburgh struggled quite a bit against Columbus, a team it did not lose to during the regular season, and it split the first four games before finally closing out the series. New York, on the other hand, played an exciting-and-closely-matched series against Philadelphia that saw each team alternate wins. New York has real value here and could steal this series, especially if Henrik Lundqvist stays dominant in front of the net.
Predictions : Penguins in 7
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Minnesota Wild
Series Price: Blackhawks -265; Wild +210
Game 1 Lines : Blackhawks -192; Wild +174; Total: 5
Chicago started off its first-round series against St. Louis looking tired and a bit overmatched. The team ended it with four straight wins, however, and may be as confident and dominant as ever. Minnesota stayed gritty in the face of a 2-0 and 3-2 deficit during its first-round matchup against Colorado. The Wild scored 23 goals in seven games and showed grit and poise during the matchup. This is another series with solid value on the underdog.
Prediction : Blackhawks in 6
Anaheim Ducks vs. Los Angeles Kings
Series Price: Ducks -120; Kings -110
Game 1 Lines : Ducks -131; Kings +119; Total: 5
The Los Angeles King got hot somewhere in the middle of Game 4 and never let go of that momentum. Jonathan Quick allowed only five goals during the final four games and single handedly kept Los Angeles in the playoffs. Anaheim is the superior team in this matchup, but it is commonly known in the NHL that a hot goalie can be the biggest factor in a deep postseason run. The Ducks led the Western Conference in points during the regular season and had the league's best offense. The question is whether or not they can score on Quick?
: Kings in 6
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