Daily NHL Picks: Finding Value As Stanley Cup Playoffs Begin

Doug Upstone

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 7:33 PM UTC

Wednesday, Apr. 13, 2016 7:33 PM UTC

Take into account these NHL picks becasue the author and sports betting expert finished No.1 in the league three times from 2012-13 season to 2014-15 completion campaign at Cappers Monitor.

The Stanley Cup playoffs have arrived and it is going to be a fun ride for the next couple months. The range of emotions from game to game, heck, period to period will be breathtaking. And this is not only for the players, but those generating NHL picks on a nightly basis.

Studying the NHL odds for the playoffs is a completely different animal if you read my other article here at Sportsbookreview about - Betting Tips for First Round Games. Upsets happen all the time and you have to able to roll with the punches and spot them.

Since I will be covering two Western Conference series in the First Round, my plays on the Blackhawks/Blues and Wild/Stars will be in other articles here, so check those out, otherwise, I will offer thoughts on the totals of those games or pass all together.


Pittsburgh Holds On For Victory Over Rangers
Pittsburgh has been scalding hot in winning 14 of 16, to finish with the second-most points in the Eastern Conference. Lead by Sidney Crosby, who ended up third in points after a dreary start, the Penguins finished third in the league in scoring at 2.9 goals a game. With more attention focused on Crosby, this has opened up more chances for others and they have come through.

What makes this Pittsburgh team different is their commitment to defense, ending up sixth at 2.4 goals allowed. With the New York Rangers banged up on offense, this appeared to be a rather easy win in my opinion for the Penguins, until the news broke goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is unclear starter for tonight, having been out since March 31 with concussion affects. Even after practicing the last two days, he admitted publicly he's not 100 percent. Whether he is being completely honest or a little coy is purely speculation.

Based on the sportsbooks recent line history, with Pittsburgh at -145, the assumption is Fleury will play and if the money line starts coming down, you know his status has changed. For one game, if Pitt has to use backup netminder I believe they will hold up defensively and let's not forget, the Rangers finished 26th in killing penalties, something the Pens can exploit.

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Free NHL Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins -170
Best Line Offered: at William Hill


Detroit Stuns Tampa Bay in Opener
If both rosters were at full strength, Tampa Bay might sweep Detroit in four games or at the very least pull off a "Gentleman's Sweep" (five games), however, that is not the case. The Lightning enter this fray missing their top scorer (Steven Stamkos), No.2 defenseman (Anton Stralman) and second-line center (Tyler Johnson), which helps level the playing field.

There are many reasons to like Tampa Bay to fire the opening salvo, they still have a great deal of depth and can incorporate players who can step up and even without their important contributors, still likely have better talent then the Red Wings. The home team won all four games this season and Tampa Bay has taken eight of 10 on home ice over Detroit.

Why then would I be crazy enough to back the Wings as +135 underdogs at JustBet? Besides the injuries, let's be honest, Detroit was very fortunate to extend postseason streak to 25 years, thus, while they want to and seemingly expect to win, they also know if Boston wins one of two home games as large favorites last week, they are finished. Without pressure or expectations, the Red Wings should play loose and they were 19-22 SU on the road this season overall.

For Detroit it is about making a break or two and beating outstanding goalie Ben Bishop. For my money, this is possible, especially in the playoffs and the Red Wings move to 15-7 playing with double revenge.

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Free NHL Pick: Detroit Red Wings (+142)
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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