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Red Wings vs. Sharks

Game 7

NHL Conference Semi Finals

5/12/11

The Detroit Red Wings thoroughly outplayed the San Jose Sharks Tuesday night winning a 3-1 decision while outshooting the Sharks by a whopping margin of 45-25 and forcing a game 7 on Thursday night in San Jose. Leading offshore sportsbook 5Dimes was the first to post a line on game 7. They have the Sharks favored at home at a price of -135 with the total goals at 5.5.

We've all heard how tough it is in every sport, to come back from being down 3 games to zip in a best of 7 series and win. It is, in fact, a rare event. But it has happened 4 times in the NHL and very recently, as the Flyers came back from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Bruins last year. The Blackhawks came back from being down 3-0 this year in their series with Vancouver before losing game 7.

Historically, home teams win game 7 62% of the time in the NHL. If you converted 62% into a money line, it would be about -165. That would suggest that the value might be with the home team Sharks here at -135. The home ice advantage in the NHL may not be as evident as the home court in the NBA, but it's still significant. Consider this as well. While this of course is not the finals, there have been 15 game 7's in the finals, in NHL history. The home teams are a whopping 12-3 in those game 7's. Again, this isn't the finals, but that simply illustrates the significant home ice advantage that exits in the NHL playoffs.

San Jose outshot Detroit by 20 in 2 of the 3 games played in San Jose but all 3 games were decided by 1 goal with 2 of those games decided in overtime. The price on this game, San Jose favored at -135, is just about right when you take into account history and this series specifically. The Sharks outplayed Detroit in 2 out of the 3 games played here. They should be favored. If anything, the price is too short based on history and this series to date.

But you may as well flip a coin here. Hockey is a game of inches. A fluke goal here, a hot goaltender there. All  signs point towards San Jose as the right side but we're going to go out on a limb here and take the Red Wings. These are two even teams with one of them being hot at just the right time. We're going to make two plays here:

Red Wings +115

Will the game go into OT? Yes at odds of +270 or better

Enjoy the game. Game 7's are a blast in all sports, but nothing quite compares to game 7 in the NHL.

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