I'm a shell of a man today after watching my Maple Leafs lose an extremely winnable Game 6 in overtime, but at least I won my emo-hedge bet on the Lightning.
Even with the Tampa Bay win, we finished in the red after going 2-2 with my picks. That brings my NHL Playoff record to 24-18-1 (+5.47 units) based on the odds included in my Betstamp profile.
Let's get back to our winning ways tonight. We have three games to bet on, so let's jump into it. All odds listed are via WynnBET Sportsbook.
Rangers vs. Penguins Prediction and Pick
Sidney Crosby is officially for Game 6, which is likely why the Penguins are underdogs at home in this game. They were up 2-0 in Game 5 when Crosby got hurt, and the Rangers went on to outscore them 5-1 the rest of the way.
With that being said, I'll under-react to the Crosby injury and jump at the chance to take them as home underdogs tonight.
The Penguins offense has been dominating the Rangers so far this series, averaging 19.25 high danger scoring chances per game. That's almost three more than the next best team in the postseason, and five more than the best regular season mark. The Penguins CORSI% is also at a dominant mark of 52.62%.
All signs point to the Penguins being the superior team, so I'll back them as underdogs even though Crosby is sitting out.
Pick: Penguins ML +105
Panthers vs. Capitals Prediction and Pick
I'm sticking to the most trustworthy bet to make in Panthers games: the OVER.
Both teams offenses are trending upwards. They rank in the top half of the 16 playoff games in high-danger scoring chances, as the series is beginning to open up. The Panthers are averaging 13.18 high-danger scoring chances per game, and the Capitals are right behind them, averaging 12.2.
The Capitals haven't been able to shut down the Panthers offense like they did in Game 1 and Game 3, but the Panthers offense and goaltending has also been susceptible. It's best not to overthink this one, let's just sit back and root for goals.
Pick: OVER 6.5 (-125)
Flames vs. Stars Prediction and Pick
Outside of the Colorado Avalanche, the Flames have been the most dominant team in the first round of the playoffs from an analytics standpoint. They're second in CORSI% at 60.67%, and they have an expected goals of 3.83 per game, which is over a goal more than the Stars at 2.6.
I think the Flames win in dominant fashion tonight, and I'm going to get aggressive with their -1.5 puck line.
Teams have become aggressive with pulling their goalies this postseason, and are doing it with several minutes left on the clock even if they're only down a single goal. Only three games so far in the playoffs have been decided by a single goal in regulation. I'll ride that trend to continue tonight.
Pick: Flames -1.5 (+160)
You can track Iain's bets on Betstamp here.