With every day that passes we get one day closer to (hopefully) getting hockey back. Meaning it is about time to start putting away a couple of dollars in preparation to get back to our gambling ways.
Right now some of the lines for the play-in series are out and while I’m not taking ant at the moment there are some that I am looking to target.
*All lines were found on Forbes.com*
Pittsburgh Penguins (-205) vs Montreal Canadiens(+175)
Carolina Hurricanes (-140) vs New York Rangers (+120)
New York Islanders (-120) vs Florida Panthers (+100)
Toronto Maple Leafs (-160) vs Columbus Blue Jackets (+120)
Edmonton Oilers (-160) vs Chicago Blackhawks (+140)
Nashville Predators (-140) vs Arizona Coyotes (+120)
Vancouver Canucks (-130) vs Minnesota Wild (+110)
Calgary Flames (-120) vs Winnipeg Jets (+100)
New York Rangers (+120)
The only reason I think the Rangers are the underdog in this series is simply that they had fewer points than the Hurricanes did. However, this Rangers team now has something that no other team in the league has. That would be Igor Shesterkin.
Shesterkin made his NHL debut back in January and made 12 starts for the Rangers. Of those 12 starts, he won 10 of them and I fully expect Shesterkin to have the reigns in this play in series. If that is the case the Rangers should be a slam dunk pick. Not to mention their dynamic duo of Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad leading the way on offense.
New York Islanders (-120)
This one isn’t really about how much I trust the Islanders as it is to how much I don’t trust the Panthers. Sergei Bobrovsky currently in the middle of the worst season of his career, making his freshly signed $70 million deal look like a waste of money.
Of the 24 teams that still have life, the Panthers are the team that allows the most goals per game. Either way, I see this being a very sloppy series between a team that struggles to score against a team that doesn’t play defense. One of them will prevail and the instincts are calling for the Isles based on the pure lack of faith in Bobrovsky.
Arizona Coyotes (-120)
Things for the Coyotes took a bad turn once Darcy Kuemper went down with an injury in late December. However, with him looking like he will be between the pipes for the Coyotes in the play-in series, I’ll give the goaltender edge to the Yotes.
The main question for the Yotes will be does the offense show up. The mid-season trade for Taylor Hall did absolutely nothing for the team as it looked like Hall forgot how to score. But then again so did the rest of the team. However, I think not only Hall, but the rest of the team would be more motivated than ever when they play in the series comes. Pair that with a healthy goalie and voila. The Yotes (should) take 3 of 5 against the Nashville Predators.
Vancouver Canucks (-130)
When it comes to this series the trend of the goalies continues. Alex Stalock should get the call for the Minnesota Wild but Jacob Markstrom will be between the pipes for Vancouver. First of all, Markstrom is one of the more underrated goalies in the league. Second of all, the Canucks are the better team offensively.
These two teams are virtually identical in the standings and the way things were trending the Canucks looked like they were going to squeeze into the 2nd wild card spot. Now with the new format, they have a much more favourable matchup in this play in series. At the end of the day, the Canucks have the advantage in all 3 categories against the Wild. If that isn’t enough evidence to side with them, then I don’t know what is.
Again I am not saying to take these bets. Not yet anyway. However, it finally feels nice to be able to look at lines again as we wait for the best sport in the world to start again in the not too distant future.
The time will come soon enough to start placing bets again and once it does you won’t find a better place to find betting content then right here at Tarps off Hockey.