2021 NHL Playoff Round One Matchups: Betting Preview And Picks
The 2021 NHL Playoffs are set to begin today with eight first-round best of seven series matchups. The series with Canadian teams will start on May 19. The winners will be reseeded for the second round. Games will air on NBC, NBCSN and USA, all networks owned by Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA).
There are many ways for people to bet on the NHL Playoffs. Bettors can place wagers on individual games, each series, and how many goals will be scored. Bettors can also bet on the exact outcome for each best of seven series and how many goals will be scored in each series. For this article, we will look at betting on the winner of each series (odds from DraftKings Inc (NASDAQ: DKNG).
Here is a look at the first-round matchups.
Colorado Avalanche (39-13-4, 82 points) -400 vs. St. Louis Blues (27-20-9, 63 points) +300
The St. Louis Blues had a goal differential of -1 on the regular season with 169 goals scored and 170 goals against. That could be bad news in a matchup against the Avalanche who had the second best goal differential of +64 and led the league with 197 goals scored. The Avalanche are 8-2 in their last 10 games and only lost back to back games a handful of times in the season.
Prediction: Avalanche 4-1
Vegas Golden Knights (40-14-2, 82 points) -240 vs. Minnesota Wild (35-16-5, 75 points) +190
The Golden Knights led the league with a goal differential of +67 in the regular season. Mark Stone led the team with 61 points in 55 games. The Golden Knights posted an impressive 21-5-2 record at home. The Wild struggled on the road with a 14-11-3 record, which means they would have to play excellent to steal at least one away game to win the series.
Prediction: Golden Knights 4-2
Toronto Maple Leafs (35-13-7, 77 points) -315 vs. Montreal Canadiens (24-21-11, 59 points) +240
The Maple Leafs come into the matchup as heavy favorites after posting a 7-2-1 record against the Canadiens during the regular season. The Canadiens snuck into the playoffs and could have trouble shutting down the offensive fire power of the Maple Leafs. Canadiens goalie Carey Price would have to play his best to steal the series. The Canadiens are 4-4-2 in their last 10 games.
Prediction: Maple Leafs: 4-2
Related Link: NHL Returns To ESPN After 16 Years Away
Edmonton Oilers (35-18-2, 72 points) -186 vs. Winnipeg Jets (29-23-3, 61 points) +150
The Oilers are led by Connor McDavid who led the league with 104 points in 55 games played. The team’s offensive power doesn’t stop with McDavid, with teammate Leon Draisaitl finished second in the league with 83 points in 55 games. The Oilers are 8-2 in their last 10 games and on a three game win streak.
Prediction: Oilers 4-2
Pittsburgh Penguins (37-16-3, 77 points) -141 vs. New York Islanders (32-17-7, 71 points) +115
The Penguins posted a great 22-4-2 record at home this year so it’s hard to bet against them with home ice advantage in the first round. The Islanders struggled on the road with an 11-13-4 record but also had a great 21-4-3 record in home matchups. The Islanders are 3-4-3 in their last 10 compared to the Penguins who are 8-2 in their last 10 games and on a three game win streak. The trends support the Penguins here but it could be a longer series.
Prediction: Penguins 4-3
Washington Capitals (36-15-5, 77 points) +130 vs. Boston Bruins (33-16-7, 73 points) -162
NHL superstar Alexander Ovechkin has played minimally in the last few weeks of the regular season. Ovechkin has 42 points in 45 games this year. Ovechkin has a career 131 points in 136 NHL Playoff games. The Bruins were one of the better teams in the league in not allowing goals with a total of 136 allowed in the regular season. If the Bruins' goaltending can hold the Capitals in check, they could win the series.
Prediction: Bruins 4-3
Carolina Hurricanes (36-12-8, 80 points) -250 vs. Nashville Predators (31-23-2, 64 points) +196
The Hurricanes are heavily favored in this matchup and it could have a lot to do with the team winning six of eight matchups against the Predators this season. The Predators have been led by their goaltending in the second half of the season. The Hurricanes rely on heavy goal scoring, which makes this an interesting matchup.
Prediction: Hurricanes 4-1
Florida Panthers (37-14-5, 79 points) +123 vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (36-17-3, 75 points) -152
The Panthers come in with the higher seed and had the better regular season record. The Lightning are favored by sportsbooks and a lot of it could be because they are getting Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos. Kucherov missed the entire regular season after posting 85 points in 68 games last year and back to back 100 point seasons prior to that. Stamkos had 38 points in 34 games during the regular season. Kucherov has a career 95 points in 90 playoff games and Stamkos has 54 points in 71 playoff games.
Prediction: Lightning 4-2
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