NHL Picks: Sunday Picks of the Day

Swinging Johnson

Sunday, May 18, 2014 2:02 PM GMT

Sunday, May. 18, 2014 2:02 PM GMT

The Western Conference Finals are upon us and the Chicago Blackhawks will play host to the LA Kings tonight but after reviewing the NHL odds, where is the value in both the side and total in this Game 1?

Swinger's 2014 NHL Playoff Record (25-22-1, +1.75 units)
So we are now 4-0 over our last four plays and plus 1.75 glorious units. Sure, it's not much over the course of almost 50 NHL picks but hey, we'll take it. I guarantee there are plenty of punters who would gladly trade places with us but we're not going to sit idly by, wallowing in our mediocrity. Oh no sir, we are nothing if not determined to be the best of a very average lot. 

But in fairness to my pedestrian record, this entire postseason has been largely decided by one goal games that could have gone either way. However, as this postseason has ambled on, we have been picking up the slight nuances and subtle angles that make one team or total a better value than the other and have been consistently improving our record because of it. So now we roll on to the Conference Finals and have to decide upon a course of action that will allow us to not only stay on the plus side of the ledger but far in front. Let's try to do a little scoring ourselves tonight in the opening game of the Kings/Blackhawks Series.


Los Angeles Kings vs. Chicago Blackhawks
It's a case of déjà vu as the Blackhawks host the same team they eliminated in five games in last year's Western Conference finals, the LA Kings. This year the Kings will have to travel halfway across the country after their seven game grind with Anaheim which comes off the heels of a seven game series with the San Jose Sharks. The Kings have not made it easy on themselves as they have won six elimination games in just two series. That's right, they have been on the verge of elimination on six occasions starting with the four consecutive wins over San Jose that they needed after falling behind 3-0. They then fell behind to the Ducks 3-2, only to win the next two.

This is a tired Kings team and they must now take on the defending World Champs who have caught fire at the right time. Chicago shook loose of the St. Louis Blues in the opening round, advancing by a series score of 4-2. They then defeated a very gutsy and gritty Minnesota Wild by the identical series score and are now ready to lock horns with an LA Kings team that gets it done on defense. 

Both teams have excellent goaltenders (seems to be a theme in the postseason - hear that Pittsburgh?) while boasting a solid defensive corps. But the Hawks have arguably the best offense in the NHL while the Kings do not. Chicago defeated the Kings last year in the conference finals in only five games and this season they have won all three regular season meetings between the clubs. In addition, the Blackhawks are undefeated at the United Center in the postseason.

I'm not sure how you pick against the Blackhawks. The NHL odds being dealt on this contest favor the Hawks -150 and it seems to be a reasonable price considering the fact that LA must be completely burnt from their schedule while the Hawks have been perfect in front of the fan friendlies. Let's also consider that both teams have been suffocating their opponents defensively and that may very well continue in this one. Therefore, after reviewing the NHL odds we're going Hawks and 'under'.

Play the Blackhawks -150 at WilliamHill.com.

Play 'under' 5 (-110) at Bet365.com.

[gameodds]7/291762/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

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