NHL Betting Trends To Note Ahead Of Western Conference Playoffs

Dana Lane

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 10:25 PM GMT

Tuesday, Apr. 12, 2016 10:25 PM GMT

Let's take a quick look at each Western Conference playoff series in regard to facts you should consider before making your NHL picks.

Because the Western Conference is the stronger of the two conferences in the NHL playoffs you can anticipate some plus money opportunities.

 

Series Analysis
The Chicago Blackhawks will start their first round series in unfamiliar territory as it's fair to assume that Chicago will go off as the underdog.  I anticipate the opening number will be around -115.  It appears that most are expecting Blues money which is different than what I would have expected considering the Hawks are the defending champions and a huge public team. This is an opportunity to grab Chicago at a small price or even money.  They face a Blues team who has never been a solid postseason play losing eight of their last 10 quarterfinals games. The Blackhawks may drop game one but when Duncan Keith returns in game two you should see Chicago settle down.  I'm siding with the Chicago pedigree with my NHL picks in this one.  

The Minnesota Wild, Dallas Stars series provides an interesting dynamic.  I anticipate this opening number to be around -160 which is a bit lower than I would have expected.  This price would suggest that the difference between Minnesota and Dallas is around the same as Anaheim and Nashville.  I agree with the Ducks number but for a Western Conference champion to be just a -160 favorite on the NHL odds board against an average Wild team is cause for concern.  Move with caution here.  The Wild have dropped 22 of their last 27 road games at Dallas. Antti Niemi will most likely start in goal.  Niemi has played as well as he has all season stopping 30 shots or more in three of his last four games.  With that being said I'm not sure the loss of Tyler Seguin should be impactful enough to warrant a surprisingly low number.  Dallas in seven.

As numbers are finally starting to trickle in we see Los Angeles as a -135 favorite in game one against the San Jose Sharks. This line will move up as the Kings are a public favorite. I have the Sharks as a tick better in my power rankings a fact that may be wiped out as a road team but the Sharks are considerably better on the road with a 28-10-3 record.  They own a better road record than the Kings home record at 26-12-3. The Sharks have won 25 of their last 35 games.  The Kings have not been a team that has built on success as of late.  The Kings are just 1-4 after allowing less than two goals in the previous game.  Los Angeles has not been as aggressive with their defensemen in the offensive zone. We are going with the Sharks in seven.

The last of the Western Conference opening round starts on Friday when the Predators open at Anaheim. The Ducks will open up at -160 which I think is a solid number.  Any movement in this number will be around five cents.  The Ducks will get by in this series but moving forward their lack of offense will hurt the Ducks.  Anaheim in six.  

Overall I'm very leery of the Stars in the first round but after they squeeze through the opening round I look for them to win the West.

 

NHL Western Conference Winner Odds[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":2862660, "sportsbooksIds":[1096,93,1602,169,180,139], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

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