NHL Playoff Picks
Current Series Odds
Tampa Bay Lightning (97 points) vs. Detroit Red Wings (93 points)
Series Price – Tampa -150 Detroit +130
These teams met in the first round last year and the Wings almost stole the series, but the better team eventually won as the Lightning went on to fall short of the Stanley Cup by just two wins.
This year, it’s a bit different situation with Tampa Bay dealing with key injuries and having lost five of its last eight Games. Not to say Detroit has been better, who backed into the playoffs, losing its final two Games.
Neither team was great ATS this year (Detroit 30-52, Tampa Bay 34-48) and they split in the regular season. However, the Lightning won the last two Games by a 9-3 Scoreline in Games back in March and February.
Our Pick – Redwings +130
Pittsburgh Penguins (104 points) vs. New York Rangers (101 points)
Series Price – Pittsburgh -155 Rangers +135
These teams seem to play each other every year in the playoffs as of late with the Rangers taking down the Penguins in each of the last two years.
But Pittsburgh has been one of the hottest teams in the league in the past month, having only lost two of its last 16 Games. Two wins in that period came in New York, one 5-3 and the other in overtime 3-2. In all, the Penguins have taken three straight Games between these teams with the Rangers winning 3-0 in Pittsburgh back in early February.
Our Pick – Penguins -155
Washington Capitals (120 points) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (96 points)
Series Price – Capitals -290 Flyers +245
The Capitals were beyond impressive this year, easily finishing with the best record in the NHL, but this won’t be an easy first round matchup. The Flyers snuck into the playoffs after winning their final two Games against playoff-bound teams (Penguins, Islanders).
In addition, these teams split the season series with Philadelphia having won most recently in a shootout just a couple weeks ago. The last three Games between these teams have been decided by one goal if that says anything. Philly could show some resistance, especially in its home Games.
Our Pick – Capitals -290
Florida Panthers (103 points) vs. New York Islanders (100 points)
Series Price – Panthers -155 Islanders +135
This is a battle between teams with little playoff experience. Florida clinched just its second playoff berth in 15 seasons, while New York hasn’t been to the second round since 1993.
The Panthers closed the season on a solid run, winning five of their final six Games, while the Islanders slipped up a bit, losing their final two home Games.
These teams met three times this year with Florida taking the series, but the Islanders winning the last meeting just over a month ago, 3-2 in New York.
Our Pick – Panthers -155
St. Louis Blues (107 points) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (103 points)
Series Price – Blues -115 Blackhawks -105
The Blackhawks have won two of the last three Stanley’s and three of the last six. They didn’t have the best regular season, but none of that matters now as they take on the Blues, who haven’t made it past the first round in three straight years.
St. Louis ran through March with a stretch of just two losses in 13 matches. Maybe more importantly, took down the Blackhawks a few days ago in Chicago, a 2-1 overtime win. Taking that further, the Blues won the season series 3-2, although none of their wins came in regulation (two OT, one shootout)
Our Pick – Blackhawks -105
Dallas Stars (109 points) vs. Minnesota Wild (87 points)
Series Price – Stars -215 Wild +185
This is one of the more lopsided matchups in the first round with the Wild only at 87 points, yet not really having much competition behind them. Meanwhile, the Stars led the league in goals — by 17 — and won’t be easy to stop.
The Stars come into the playoffs having won six of their last seven, while the Wild have lost five straight, with three of those coming at home. There’s not a whole lot to like about Minnesota in this series, also considering Dallas won the season series 4-1. Granted, three of those came in overtime. The road team did win Four of those meetings as well.
Our Pick – Stars -215
Los Angeles Kings (102 points) vs. San Jose Sharks (98 points)
Series Price – Kings -150 Sharks +130
The Kings followed up a Stanley Cup-winning season last year by failing to make the playoffs. They’re back with one of the best defenses in the league (2.34 goals allowed per Game), which will come in handy against San Jose, one of the best at scoring (2.89 goals scored per Game).
Not much separates these teams, although Four of their meetings this season were decided by at least two goals with the road team winning Four. The Sharks took the series 3-2, with the Kings needing overtime to win one of those Games.
The Sharks come in a little hotter as well, winning five of their last seven, while the Kings struggled to close the season, losing seven of their final 11 Games.
Our Pick – Sharks +130
Anaheim Ducks (103 points) vs. Nashville Predators (96 points)
Series Price – Ducks -175 Predators +155
Anaheim had just one win in the first month of the season, but clawed back to the top of the Pacific thanks to a dominant defense that led the league with only 2.29 goals allowed per Game. The Predators don’t come into this meeting on the best run, having lost five of their last seven.
These teams haven’t met since November and only played three times anyway, so there’s not much to look at from those matchups, as Nashville won two of them, both coming at home.
Most of the money is flying in on the Ducks to take this series.
Our Pick – Ducks -175