Favorite time of the year… NHL Playoffs (with MLB season under way too!).
Tomorrow we kick off with 5 games from the 8 first round match ups, and it should be an exciting first night. This year is pretty much wide open in the Eastern Conference, and although the Canucks dominated most of the year in the West, it is wide open too with a lot of talented teams and goaltenders.
I have one first round pick that I think there is some value in and it will go down as an official 3 unit play (GOW size).
The pick was taken from the 5Dimes reduced juice section <– highly recommend you fund a 5Dimes account… they have the best odds for a lot of different sports and future prices. If you can’t make a deposit just call support and they will help you get your money in your account.
Just to show you an example I will compare 5Dimes to another great online betting site (sportsbook.com).
Flyers (-160) vs Sabres (+130) @ Sportsbook.com
Flyers (-155) vs Sabres (+145) @ 5Dimes
To Win Stanley Cup:
Los Angeles Kings +2500 @ Sportsbook.com
Los Angeles Kings +3200 @ 5Dimes.com
Pretty clear that 5Dimes has a lot better odds and I highly recommend you click here to sign up for an account.
On to my first round pick…
Stanley Cup Playoffs 1st Round Picks:
Tampa Bay Lightning (+130) over Pittsburgh Penguins [Series Play] – risking 3 units to win 3.90
The big story here is Sidney Crosby, who has been sidelined with a concussion for the last few months. From the looks of things I don’t think we can expect Crosby back for the first round, but you never know with the Stanley Cup playoffs. I think it is safe to say Crosby is at least a week away from returning if he returns at all. Also missing from the Pittsburgh lineup in this series is superstar Evgeni Malkin.
The Penguins knew they would need some help scoring, so they went out and made a trade adding James Neal to their lineup. Neal had scored 21 goals in 59 games with Dallas on the season, but has only scored once in 20 games with the Penguins (and has just 6 points). The puck should start going in the net here soon for Neal, but the Penguins would still be pretty far off the fire power of the Lightning, who have two of the leagues top 5 scorers in Martin St Louis (99 points) and Steven Stamkos (91 points).
The Penguins have been playing pretty solid hockey lately, winning 10 of their last 13 games, but only 2 of those wins were against a playoff team. Tampa Bay comes into the postseason winning 7 of their last 8 games, which included a 2-1 win against Pittsburgh.
Both teams have a lot of depth throughout their lineups, and are pretty similar in goal. Dwayne Roloson is 18-12-4 with a ,912 SV% and 2.56 GAA with the Lightning and Marc-Andre Fleury is 36-20-5 with a 2.32 GAA and .918 SV% for Pittsburgh.
Give Tampa Bay the edge on the powerplay, as they converted at a 20.5% rate compared to the Penguins 15.8% rate during the season. Taking advantage of powerplay opportunities is key in the playoffs, and could be a big help to the Lightning if they continue at that rate.
These two teams match up pretty evenly, but the edge offensively goes to Tampa Bay and I think they can get enough pucks past Fleury to win this best of 7 series. Give me the +130 on the Lightning, who will win in 6 or 7 games.