2014 Stanley Cup Finals Totals Betting: Value in Over or Under?
by George Monroy - 6/3/2014
The Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers have been backed by the excellent goaltending of both Jonathan Quick and Henrik Lundqvist, respectively, throughout the 2014 NHL playoffs. Both squads have allowed an average of less than three goals per game and have relied on their defense to shut teams down and win games. Handicapping such a close series might be a difficult proposition, so focusing on the totals lines may be the best opportunity to find value throughout the series.
The totals line for Game 1 opened at five goals at Sportsbook.ag and has not moved off of that number over the first few days of betting action. The Stanley Cup Finals are set to begin on Wednesday, so let's take a closer look at the totals record for both teams through the first three rounds of the 2014 playoffs.
New York Rangers totals
Overall record : 7-8-5
Round one : 3-2-2
Round two : 2-4-1
Round three : 2-2-2
Goals allowed : 45; average through 20 games: 2.25
Goals scored : 54; average through 20 games: 2.7
Total average goals : 4.95
New York has stayed near the .500 mark for its totals throughout the playoffs. The team's "over/under" has been set at five goals for every single playoff game so far, and it has hit that exact mark five times while going over seven times and staying under eight times. The Rangers have averaged only 2.7 goals per game and continue to rely on their defense and the excellent goaltending of Lundqvist.
During New York's victories the team tends to stay under, going 3-5-4 in its 12 postseason wins, and it tends to go over during its losses, with a 4-3-1 record in its eight postseason blemishes. New York is stuck firmly on that five-goal mark and rarely strays too far from that number. When the Rangers control the pace of the series-most likely at home-the team will probably end up with a total score of slightly less than five goals.
Los Angeles Kings totals
Overall record : 13-5-3
Round one : 5-1-1
Round two : 2-3-2
Round three : 6-1
Goals allowed : 60; average through 21 games: 2.85
Goals scored : 73; average through 21 games: 3.47
Total average goals : 6.32
The Kings have been an over machine mainly because of the oddsmakers refuse to open up a line at anything other than five goals. Every Los Angeles total throughout the playoffs has been five goals, with only the vig being adjusted from game to game. The team is averaging over six goals per game (combined for both teams) and has gone over the total in six straight games and in seven of its last eight matchups.
Los Angeles is essentially allowing what New York already scores, and unless the Rangers find a way to drastically cut down the King's offense, taking the over on five goals is probably the way to go. During its losses, Los Angeles has a 6-2-1 totals record and 7-3-2 record during its victories. In essence, the Kings allow a lot of goals when they lose and score a lot of goals when they win. The over seems to be the best wager to make on the totals lines heading into the series. New York is already stuck near the five-goal mark, and Los Angeles is well above it.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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