NHL Playoff Picks: Saturday Game 2s in Round 1 Ice Action Series Offer Top Betting Value

Nikki Adams

Friday, April 17, 2015 6:32 PM GMT

We are through to Game day 2 in Round 1 of the NHL Playoffs Series. Join us as we preview Saturday's NHL betting card in our game-by-game analysis with corresponding NHL picks. We've got you covered on the money line and puck line.

Game 1 in Round 1 Recap
Wednesday's NHL betting card saw us go 1-3 SU and 3-1 on the puck line. Admittedly, a so-so handicapping record. Thursday's offering of series openers saw us tally up 2-2 SU and 1-3 puck line record, bringing our record up to 3-5 SU and 4-4 puck line at the close of the Round 1 Series game openers.  

With our preview for Friday's serving of Games 2 already up, we turn to Saturday's serving in this column all while looking to better our handicapping record. Let's get cracking.
 

Red Wings +1.5 (-200), +155 vs. Lightning -1.5 (+170), -175
Analysis:
Is it time to jump fence in this series? Few NHL experts were predicting the Red Wings would beat the Lightning in Game 1 of their Series, let alone make a fist of the series itself. Yet, the Red Wings are up 1-0 in the NHL Playoffs Round 1 Series following a big upset in Game 1. Great coaching, veteran experience and a tradition of success in the postseason over the last two decades clearly made an immediate impact at the start of this series. That and some stellar defending to stifle the Lightning's talented roster.

Despite trailing 0-1 in the NHL playoffs, the Boltz remain the favourites going into Game 2, matched at -175 NHL betting odds with home advantage. They'll have to play a lot better than they did in Game 1 to come through for the NHL backers. To have seven power plays go begging and a 46-14 edge on shots prove pointless is quite disheartening.  Clearly, the Red Wings have upped the ante in this series, and the Lightning need to work those kinks or else they may be in very real danger of the upset in Round 1.

NHL Picks Money Line: Red Wings +155
NHL Picks Puck Line: Red Wings +1.5 (-200)

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Wild +1.5 (-250), +125 vs. Blues -1.5 (+210), -145
Analysis:
Minnesota Wild deserve a ton of credit for the 4-2 win in game 1 that has tipped this series on its head. The Blues were the form team going into the NHL playoffs and expected to get off to a flying start at home. Turns out the Wild have other ideas and they go into game 2 riding the momentum of game 1. The question is whether they can repeat the performance and put in another defensively sound account. The NHL betting lines haven't changed much since game 1, which isn't surprising really. After all, it's just one game and now that the initial excitement of the NHL playoffs is behind us, teams are expected to settle in. Besides, the game was closer than the scoreboard suggests. The Blues will take that positive as they level the series 1-1 on Saturday.  Take the Blues to win SU on your NHL picks.

NHL Picks Money Line: Blues -145
NHL Picks Puck Line: Wild +1.5 (-250)

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Penguins +1.5 (-180), +165 vs. Rangers -1.5 (+160), -185
Analysis:
The opening game of this series went according to expectations; that is, the Rangers won. Penguins, went down 0-2 pretty quickly at Madison Square Garden and looked to be out of sorts, before getting one back. More opportunities came to equalise, but the puck just didn't bounce their way and they ran out of time. If the Penguins are to make a series of this they'll need to burst out of the gates in game 2. The slow start on Thursday really undid them and allowed the Rangers to tenaciously hold on to their slim lead. That said, the Rangers came out to play and did the job. They'll be looking to finish the home stretch on a positive note and take a 2-0 lead to Pittsburgh.

Obviously, the NHL betting lines for this game remain unchanged with the Rangers continuing to hold the advantage on the NHL odds board. At -185 to win outright, the Rangers are a tad pricey. Nevertheless, they are our recommended NHL pick to win straight up.  

NHL Picks Money Line: Rangers -185
NHL Picks Puck Line: Penguins +1.5 (-180)

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Jets +1.5 (-245), +120 vs. Ducks -1.5 (+205), -140
Analysis:
The Anaheim Ducks underscored their favouritism on the NHL odds board with a 4-2 win over the gutsy Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night. Predictably, they enter game 2 as the NHL betting favourites at -140 to win outright; however, the Jets are in with a shot at reasonable +120 NHL odds to pull of the upset in game 2.

The Jets took the early lead in the opening game, and even looked to be on the verge of pulling off the 2-1 upset before the Ducks scored three-times in quick succession to snatch the victory back. That the Jets came out of the gates with verve and swagger bodes well for them in Saturday's renewal of hostilities and makes them the tempting NHL pick at +120 to win outright. That said they showed their inexperience late in the game. If they hope to get back into this series they'll need to close out games better.

This is going to be a gritty series between two teams that aren't averse to grinding the victory and Saturday's game should be another thriller. Look for the Jets to give the Ducks another run for their money, only for the Ducks to pull it out in the end. The Ducks remain the smart NHL pick to win outright in our books.

NHL Picks Money Line: Ducks -140
NHL Picks Puck Line: Jets +1.5 (-245)

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