Time flies by in the blink of an eye. We close out August of 2020 with a Stanley Cup playoff doubleheader tonight. At a time when players would normally be two weeks away from fall training camp, there is still lots of hockey to be played. Teams have been going hard since the qualifying round began on August 1st. Ending their series quick would be a bonus for Tampa Bay and Dallas who have a 3-1 series lead on Boston and Colorado. It may not be much of a bonus as New York and Vegas are both up 3-1 over Philadelphia and Vancouver in their series.
Playoff contests were cancelled on Thursday and Friday last week as NHL players showed support for the fight against racial injustice. Semifinal action resumed with triple-headers on Saturday and Sunday. Moneyline and puck line favorites, plus UNDER game total wagers, cashed in all three games on Saturday. Moneyline favorites went 3-0 while puck line underdogs and OVER wagers were both 2-1 on Sunday. Puck line favorites (+264.00) moneyline chalk (+322.32) and OVER (+156.10) have been the most profitable sides during the semifinal round.
Results for the standard big three betting options above are based on a mix of game day odds from DraftKings and FanDuel. They show the profit of 16 wagers on each of the three standard NHL wagering choices with $100 bets. Those are solid trends but they can end at any time. Players should consider all sides of posted odds prior to placing their bets. Country music legend Jerry Reed released his hit song “When You're Hot, You're Hot” in 1971. While that’s a tune about playing craps - it’s how I feel as I look to continue on an 18-4 recent run of success.
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NHL Semifinal Playoff Picks - Monday, August 31
Boston at Tampa Bay – 7:00 PM ET Scotiabank Arena
Tampa Bay is looking for an in-series sweep as they are up 3-1 on Boston in their Eastern Conference series. The Bruins raced out to a 3-0 lead and hung on for a 3-2 Game 1 victory. Tampa Bay outshot Boston 40-25 during Game 2 and the Lightning won 4-3 in overtime. The Bolts have not trailed since then as Tampa Bay posted a 7-1 win in Game 3 on Wednesday and a 3-1 victory during Game 4 on Saturday. The scenario here played out in the 2018 semifinals.
Boston went up 1-0 in that series before Tampa Bay won four straight to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. Several players on both teams played in that series two years ago. Led by Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov, who both have 16 points, the top six Lightning scorers have 61 points. Led by Brad Marchand (12) and David Krejci (10) the Bruins top six have 49 points. After three straight moneyline winners, I am shifting to the Bolts puck line price tonight.
Semifinal Game 5 Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning -1.5 (+230)
Dallas at Colorado – 9:45 PM ET Rogers Place Arena
Western Conference favorite Colorado is on the ropes as Dallas is up 3-1 in this best-of-seven series. The Stars jumped out to 2-0 lead with a 5-3 Game 1 win and 5-2 Game 2 victory. The Avalanche cut the lead to 2-1 with a 6-4 win in Game 3. Dallas went up 3-0, at the 10:45 minute mark of the first period, before defending a late Colorado surge to post a 5-4 win in Game 4. Dallas struggled on offense with just 180 goals (2.61 GPG) during 69 regular season contests.
Suddenly a scoring juggernaut, the Stars have averaged 3.90 GPG over their last ten playoff contests. Philipp Grubauer allowed three goals on 10 shots before leaving Game 1 with a lower body injury. Colorado isn’t the same without their starting goaltender between the pipes. Avalanche backup Pavel Francouz has allowed 15 goals (on 109 shots) and he was pulled during Game 4. No matter who starts in goal for Colorado – I see OVER bets going 5-0 in this series.
Semifinal Game 5 Pick: OVER 6.5 Total Goals (+115)
SI NHL gambling analyst Roy Larking has been posting game day playoff predictions since August 3rd, 2020. His overall record is 37-26 (+1418.35) through Sunday, August 30th, 2020. While all picks are carefully researched – predicting the future is not always easy. Bettors are encouraged to explore a variety of NHL information prior to placing any wagers. Bet smart and good luck!