This year’s NHL regular season is in the books to set the stage for the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Eight teams in both the Eastern and Western Conference will battle it out for a spot in the best-of-seven Stanley Cup Finals. It all starts with the best-of-seven opening round which are also known as the conference quarterfinals.
One of the best things about the NHL is the unpredictability of playoff hockey. The top seeds do not always win and upsets happen all the time. When it comes to betting on NHL playoff series prices at the best online sportsbooks, there is often some excellent value to be found in the posted odds.
Another great thing about betting on series prices is the ability to further hedge your bets once the series gets underway. If you did bet on an underdog before Game 1 and they win right out of the gate, this could actually add value to the updated series odds for the favorite ahead of Game 2. Hedging series price bets between underdogs and favorites is a betting strategy that can sometimes result in a winning play regardless of which team goes on to win.
Stanley Cup Playoffs Opening Round Value- Eastern Conference
One of the more interesting opening round matchups in the Eastern Conference has the Pittsburgh Penguins listed as -145 favorites against the New York Islanders as +125 underdogs. Pittsburgh lost a home-and-home series as a heavy favorite in each game early in the season. The Penguins went on to win their final two games against New York in the season series, but that was back in early December.
More recently, Pittsburgh lost three of their last five regular season games with the Islanders ending things with four victories over their last five games. The Penguins get the edge as the veteran playoff team, but there is still some solid value in New York as an underdog with the home ice advantage.
Stanley Cup Playoffs Opening Round Value- Western Conference
Another series with a veteran playoff team facing an opponent with limited experience in the postseason is the Western Conference’s Central Division showdown between the St. Louis Blues and the Winnipeg Jets. The Blues’ series price odds to win this best-of-seven matchup are set at -120. The betting odds for the Jets are set at an even-money +100.
Each team tallied a total of 99 points in the regular season. Winnipeg has the 3-1 edge in the season series, but all four of those games were played rather early in the 82-game schedule. The difference in this one could be current form.
The Blues have been on a solid roll over the entire second half of the season and they come into Game 1 of this series with five wins in their last seven games. The Jets have been one of the bigger surprises with a second-straight trip to the postseason following just one playoff appearance in the previous 10 years. However, they stumbled down the stretch with five losses in their final seven games to finish second in the division standings behind Nashville by one point.
Shopping the Series Price Odds
All eight opening round playoffs series offer an interesting array of options when it comes to series price bets. This sets up an excellent opportunity to shop the odds across a wider array of online sportsbooks. This is a great way to lower some risk betting favorites or increasing your return on investment betting underdogs. This is also great way to add even more excitement to the action on the ice. The opening round gives you the ability to cash in on multiple winners before the 16-team field is cut in half.