NHL Betting Previews: Key Games November 20th-23rd

With the NHL regular season going at full speed now in it’s second month, the week of November 17th features some key matchups in both Conferences.  While some teams like the Tampa Bay Lightning are looking to surge atop the Eastern Conference, teams like the Maple Leafs are trying not to be stuck in mediocrity.

Leafs vs Lightning Odds and Preview (November 20th)

Thursday nights matchup at the Air Canada Center will feature two teams that are trending in opposite directions as the Lightning (13-5-2) will look to get back into the win column against, well, one of the most pathetic teams in the league. The Maple Leafs (9-8-2) are mired in a three game losing streak and have been blown out by a combined score of 15-4 in their last two losses to Buffalo and Nashville.  Hometown boy Steven Stamkos is back in town where he has always found success against his childhood team, and tonight should be no different as Stamkos has already potted 12G so far this season.  Bet365 has the moneyline at a juicy (1.83) for the Bolts while the Leafs are paying an even (2.00).  It’s hard to not favour the Lightning in this contest considering how porous Toronto’s goaltending has been of late and how atrocious the defense corps has been most of the year.  It’s not all bad for Toronto however, as sniper Phil Kessel is tied for 3rd in league scoring (11G 11A) in 22 games.

Penguins vs Islanders Odds and Preview (November 21st)

On Friday night Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins (13-3-1) will play host to the New York Islanders (12-6).  This will be a battle of the top two teams in the Metropolitan division as the Pens currently sit three points up on Isles.  This game features two of the brightest stars in the NHL facing off against each other as Sidney Crosby leads the league with 26 points while John Tavares is sitting with 18 points in 18 games.  Fellow forwards Kyle Okposo and Brock Nelson are both tied with Tavares for the team lead at 18 points apiece.  The Penguins are the hottest team in the league right now as they have picked up 18 of a possible 20 points with an impressive 9-1 record in their last ten games.  There’s no doubt the Islanders face a tough test trying to pull out a win in Pittsburgh however winning on the road is something New York has excelled at this season with a record of 7-4 away from Nassau Colosseum. When the puck drops on Friday night there is certainly no shortage of skill on either side of the ice, so this game will likely be decided in the crease as two of the hottest goalies in the league will square off.  Isles G Jaroslav Halak has settled into his new home quite nicely this year with an (8-4) record and 2.54 GAA.  Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is playing unbelievable well this year and is proving his recent contract extension valid with an impressive (11-3) record with a miniscule 1.98 GAA.

Canucks vs Blackhawks Odds and Preview (November 23rd)

On Sunday two of the stronger teams in the Western Conference face off as the Vancouver Canucks play host to the Chicago Blackhawks. Although we’re only about 20 games into the regular season it seems like the Chicago Blackhawks (10-7-1) are still trying to find their groove after an exhausting playoff run this past summer.  The Canucks on the other hand are looking like a team that is ready to contend for a Stanley Cup this year after a tumultuous couple of years the previous two seasons.  Vancouver is (13-6) and currently sits one point back of Anaheim for the Pacific Division lead. Vancouver has begun to resemble what it looks like to “rebuild”.  Bringing Hall of famer Trevor Linden back into the organization has begun paying immediate dividends on the ice.  The hiring of a new General Manager and Head coach, has essentially revitalized the front office.  The Sedins seem to be rejuvenated (both with 19 pts in 19 games).  They also managed to trade disgruntled American C Ryan Kesler to the Ducks and one of the pieces coming back was third leading scorer Nick Bonino.  Perhaps the biggest offseason move was bringing in veteran goalie Ryan Miller, who has been nothing short of brilliant this year and is leading all goalies with a 12-3 record. The Blackhawks have been horrible on the road this season with a 3-4 record away from United Center and Vancouver may be just chomping at the bit to keep their good times rolling.

Stanley Cup Final Betting – Game 5 Odds

2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game TwoWith the Stanley Cup Finals now tied at two games a piece, it’s quite obvious that the Bruins have managed to close the gap that we saw between these two teams during the regular season. And with that gap being closed, the hockey betting public seems to be grasping for a sense of direction. The online sportsbooks that are offer Stanley Cup betting in Canada are still giving Chicago the benefit of the doubt. Just looking at the game 5 Moneyline from Pinnacle Sports, you notice that the Hawks are way ahead at 1.680 while the Bruins are hanging back at 2.360. However, as stated before, the hockey betting community is less decisive and only 52% of the money is sitting on the Chicago Blackhawks at the moment.

Keys for Game 5

  • One of the biggest keys for Chicago is Corey Crawford. Of the twelve goals that  Boston has scored on Crawford in this series, Crawford has let in ten of them on his glove side. This could be more of a short term statistical anomaly, but when your opposing goal tender is Tukkaa Rask, any small nick appears like a gaping wound.
  • And speaking of Tukka Rask, the Boston defense will have to be better than they were in game four if the Bruins wish to hoist Lord Stanley’s Trophy once again. Despite giving up six goals in last game’s overtime loss, Rask managed to put up his second best save percentage for a game in these playoffs. That translates into the Blackhawks taking 14 more shots on goal than the Bruins did in game four and still only coming away with an overtime win. If the Bruins want Rask and his exceptional play to get them past the favorites, they’re going to have to give him a break in game 5.
  • Jonathon Toews is still roughed up from game four, but is definitely trending upwards after he broke his ten game scoreless streak in Wednesday’s game. If the Blackhawks want to continue the magic from Wednesday, they’re going to have to see more scoring from players like Toews.

Alternative Stanley Cup Betting Opportunities:

Despite the fact that we are three or fewer games from a final conclusion to the NHL’s 2012/13 season, you can still bet on the outright winner of the Stanley Cup. Unfortunately for Boston fans, the odds on the Bruins winning the cup have come down significantly. When we brought you the Stanley Cup Futures odds earlier in the playoffs, the Bruins were being offered up at 8.00. Now a bet on Boston will yield just 2.220. If you want to go with the Blackhawks. Pinnacle Sports is offering odds on them at 1.741.

Click Here to Bet on Stanley Cup Hockey at Pinnacle Sports

Stanley Cup Final Game 5 Odds from Pinnacle Sports – Chicago vs. Boston

Puck Line:

Boston Bruins +1.5 (1.417)

Chicago Blackhawks -1.5 (3.190)


Boston Bruins 2.360

Chicago Blackhawks 1.680

Total Goals:

Over 5 (2.340)

Under 5 (1.690)

NHL Stanley Cup Final Betting – Chicago Blackhawks vs. Boston Bruins

Boston vs Chicago Stanley Cup Final BettingBetting on the Stanley Cup playoffs is going to be tough after what happened in the Boston vs. Pittsburgh series. Statistics and past history may now seem of little value to us in predicting a Stanley Cup winner. Still, with little else to go on, we must look at how these two teams have performed in hopes of gaining some insight into their future.

The favorites to win the Stanley Cup right now are the Chicago Blackhawks. The Blackhawks dominated the regular season standings and, with the exception of their series with the Red Wings,  have had little difficulty navigating their way to the Stanley Cup Finals. They won the cup as recently as in 2010 and have been on top of the Stanley Cup Futures odds for months now.

Although pegged as the underdogs, the two things that Boston has on their side right now are momentum and goal tending. Tuukka Rask, goalie for Boston, managed a mind boggling 0.44 GAA in their last series that included two shutouts. And the momentum is quite obvious given that they swept the Pittsburgh Penguins to win the Eastern Conference in a series where they were severe underdogs. The Chicago Blackhawks may be the second highest scoring team in the NHL, but if Rask can keep up his incredible performance, we may just see a Boston goal tending repeat of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final where Tim Thomas continually stunned the Canucks.

As expected, the online sportsbooks that offer NHL hockey playoff betting in Canada are offering a lot of game, futures and prop odds for the final series of the season. Every single book has futures odds for the Stanley Cup winner and we’ve posted those odds from a few of the best sportsbooks around. Books like William Hill are offering a wide range of game props that include 60 minute betting, double chance odds, as well as period by period markets. Bet365 has a different take on the series futures betting and is also offering futures props like what game the series will finish on and what the correct score of the series will be. Game one starts on Wednesday in Chicago.

Stanley Cup Win Odds from William Hill

Chicago Blackhawks – 1.67
Boston Bruins – 2.25

Stanley Cup Win Odds from Bet365

Chicago Blackhawks – 1.74
Boston Bruins – 2.15

Stanley Cup Win Odds from Pinnacle Sports

Chicago Blackhawks – 1.735
Boston Bruins – 2.230

Stanley Cup Game 1 Odds from Pinnacle Sports

Chicago Blackhawks 

Spread -1.5 (3.210)

Moneyline (1.704)

Boston Bruins

Spread +1.5 (1.412)

Moneyline (2.310)


Over 5 points (2.300)

Under 5 points (1.709)

NHL Eastern Conference Final Futures – Pittsburgh vs. Boston

Bruins vs Penguins NHL Playoff BettingIt’s difficult not to have some prejudice against the Bruins after they felled my beloved Canucks just two years ago, but unfortunately for Boston, no prejudice is necessary to show their lack of promise in this series. The stats, as well as public opinion, are all stacked in Pittsburgh’s favor.

Let’s first take a look at their recent head to head record. In the last 10 games these two teams have played against each other, the Pittsburgh Penguins have recorded 8 wins and 2 losses. Boston gets a bit of credit for one of those losses being a regulation time tie, but it means little under the circumstances. It’s also important to note the Boston has lost their last five games in a row to Pittsburgh. From a scoring perspective, both teams are nearly identical on defense allowing 2.28 and 2.48 goals on average. Offense is a very different story though. The Penguins were the highest scoring team in the league this year on a per game basis and averaged 3.44 goals per game. The Boston Bruins still stayed in the positive on this stat, but were only able to rack up 2.73 goals per game.

Moving our way on to the betting odds for the NHL Conference Final, the series win odds from Pinnacle Sports have the Penguins going off at 1.529 and the Bruins going off at 2.700. This is for a straight up series win, but Pinnacle is also offering you the chance to bet on the series outcome with a spread. This is something that you have to do before the series gets started though so be quick if you want to take advantage. Right now they have the Bruins at +1.5 games with odds of 1.752 and the Penguins at -1.5 games with odds of 2.200. Looking to game one of the series, public opinion is heavily weighted towards the Penguins. Right now approximately 70% of the betting community in Canada has their money on Crosby’s crew. With the odds being so tight on a Pittsburgh win right now, you might consider betting the over/under as an addition or alternative. The total at over 5.5 is paying odds of 2.070. With Pittsburgh being the highest single game scorers in the league, they might be your best bet for an over.

Bet on NHL Hockey at Pinnacle Sports Online Sportsbook for Canadians

Pittsburgh vs. Boston Game 4 Odds

Boston Bruins -1.5 (3.480)
Pittsburgh Penguins +1.5 (1.365)

Boston Bruins to win 1.820
Pittsburgh Penguins to win 2.130

Total Over 5.5 (2.150)
Total Under 5.5 (1.800)

Eastern Conference Final Series Win Odds

Boston Bruins 2.700
Pittsburgh Penguins 1.529

Series Win Odds with Spread

Boston Bruins +1.5 (1.752)
Pittsburgh Penguins -1.5 (2.200)

NHL Western Conference Final Futures – Chicago vs. Los Angeles

Blackhawks vs. Kings NHL Playoff BettingDespite the majority of the NHL betting community in Canada siding with the Chicago Blackhawks in game one, this series is going to be incredibly tough to call. Every time we dig up a statistical advantage for one team, we seem to find something from their opponents that cancels it out. On one hand you might side with the Kings by touting the fact that they are the defending Stanley Cup Champions. This isn’t a terrible notion, but the only problem is the Blackhawks won it just back in 2010. You could once again go with the Blackhawks as they have, what is hard to argue, the very best offense in the NHL this year. On the flip side, the Kings have one of the very best defenses. Jonathan Quick, goaltender for the Kings, has kept an incredible goals against average during this year’s playoffs of just 1.50. I’m sure you’re starting to get the picture here.

What we can give you some definite answers about are the betting odds for the NHL Western Conference Finals. Right now the Blackhawks are favored to win the series. Bet365 has set their win odds at 1.71 and the Kings are being offered at 2.20. You’ll find a similar pattern in each team’s futures to win the Stanley Cup. The Hawks are being given odds of 3.80 and the Kings are at 4.10. As mentioned earlier, public opinion is tilted in quite the same way. For game one in Chicago, just a hair over 65% of the money is sitting on the Blackhawks winning it straight up. If you manage to get your wagers in before the series kicks off on Saturday, you can take advantage of some of the more unique NHL playoff futures that Bet365 is offering. Two markets of note that we’ve listed below are the Series Lead after 4 Games odds and the Correct Score after 4 Games. If you look carefully you’ll notice you can get a small edge on a tie bet if you bet with the Correct Score rather than the Series Lead.

After all of this, if our total lack of direction has caused you to crave some stats to help you make a betting decision, here are a few about each team.

1) The Blackhawks pummeled the Kings in regular season stats this year. Chicago finished first in the league with 77 points and the Kings were six places back with just 59.

2) These two teams have been fairly evenly matched in recent play, but the Hawks have a slight advantage. In their last ten games against each other, Chicago has 6 wins, 3 losses, and 1 tie. This tie resulted in a loss for the Kings.

3) The Kings average 2.77 goals per game and allow 2.46. Their defensive stats have been much better in the playoffs as seen from Jonathan Quick’s numbers. The Blackhawks average 3.23 goals per game and allow just 2.13.

4) Home Games! – The Blackhawks are 7-1 at home in their last 8 games. The first game on Saturday is in Chicago.

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NHL Western Conference Final Game 4 Lines

LA Kings -1.5 (3.50)
Chicago Blackhawks +1.5 (1.32)

LA Kings to win 1.80
Chicago Blackhawks to win 2.05

Total Over 4.5 (1.74)
Total Under 4.5 (2.15)

Series Win Odds

Chicago Blackhawks: 1.28
LA Kings: 3.75

Stanley Cup Win Odds

Chicago Blackhawks: 2.20
LA Kings: 9.50

Series Leader After 4 Games

Chicago Blackhawks: 2.75
LA Kings: 3.25
Tie: 2.37

Correct Score After 4 Games

Kings 4-0 (17.00)
Kings 3-1 (3.75)
Tie 2-2 (2.40)
Blackhawks 4-0 (11.00)
Blackhawks 3-1 (3.25)

2013 Stanley Cup Series Futures – Kings vs. Sharks

kings-vs-sharks-second-round-stanley-cup-playoff-bettingThe Los Angeles Kings started out this series with a bang, but are quickly losing momentum. After winning game one by a score of 2-0 and game two by a goal, they lost game three. The Sharks took advantage of a couple of late penalties by the Kings that pushed game into overtime and eventually led to Logan Couture scoring the game winner. Now with game four looming and San Jose having home ice advantage, the majority of online  sportsbooks and hockey sports bettors are siding with the idea that the Sharks will come away with a victory on Tuesday. Bet365 has the moneyline on San Jose set at 1.74, while the Kings are at 2.15. With this one being somewhat of a tough call, you can always go with the NHL hockey betting community that is putting about 65% of their cash on the Sharks right now. The Kings are also getting a goal and a half bump on the puck line, but with this match up being so close, the odds aren’t all that desirable. Bet365 is giving 1.33 on the puck line for Los Angeles.

What’s most interesting about the betting for this Conference Semi-Final is that, even though the Sharks are pegged to win game 4, the Kings are still favored to win the series outright. A lot of this has to do with the fact that they have a one game lead in the series, but it’s an interesting situation considering all of the talk about San Jose’s momentum. The Kings are getting odds of 1.28 to move on to the next round while the Sharks are at 3.75. If there were any series where you were going to bet on the underdog, this might be the one. When it comes to the Stanley Cup futures, both these teams started out around the middle of the pack when we posted the odds in the regular season. Los Angeles was at 15.00 and San Jose was at 21.00. Now Bet365 has the Kings sitting at 6.0 and the Sharks at 17.00. Visit Bet365 and Bet on Stanley Cup Playoff Hockey

Series Win Odds

Los Angeles Kings – 1.28

San Jose Sharks – 3.75

Game 4 Moneyline Odds

Los Angeles Kings – 2.15

San Jose Sharks – 1.74

Game 4 Puckline Odds

Los Angeles Kings (+1.5) @ 1.33

San Jose Sharks – (-1.5) @ 3.40

Game 4 Totals Odds

(Over 4.5) @ 1.71

(Under 4.5) @ 2.20

2013 Stanley Cup Series Futures – Chicago vs. Detroit

blackhawks-vs-red-wings-stanley-cup-playoff-bettingChicago’s domination spilled over from round one when they took down their first game against Detroit by a score of 4-1. Their series lead however, was not to last. The Detroit Red Wings, who finished the regular season a full 21 points behind the Blackhawks, took down game two  by a score of 4-1 as well. Now tied at one game a piece, we’ll have to wait for game three in Detroit on Monday to see who breaks away into the lead.

Looking to the betting on their next game, William Hill has quite predictably set the Chicago Blackhawks as the favorites. One the moneyline right now, the Blackhawks are sitting at odds of 1.71 while Detroit is at 2.20. Obviously Detroit’s win on Saturday was enough to bring the odds a lot closer than they were in game one.  Still, despite any success from the Red Wings, the hockey betting public in Canada is siding heavily with Chicago on this one. Right now about 65% of the money is sitting with the Blackhawks to win this game outright. William Hill is also offering puckline odds and totals betting for this match up.

If you’re looking at some futures betting for this Stanley Cup Playoff match up, William Hill is offering both series winner odds as well as Stanley Cup champion futures odds. The Blackhawks are favored over the Red Wings in both. Right now you can pick up Chicago to win the series at odds of 1.40 and Detroit at odds of 3.10. When it comes to Stanley Cup betting, the odds on the Blackhawks haven’t changed all that much since the regular season, but the odds on the Red Wings have come down significantly. When we posted the odds in March, the Wings were being offered up at 29.00 and now William Hill has them at 11.00. Bet on the Stanley Cup Playoffs at William Hill

Series Win Odds

Chicago Blackhawks – 1.40

Detroit Red Wings – 3.10

Game 3 Moneyline Odds

Chicago Blackhawks – 1.71

Detroit Red Wings – 2.20

Game 3 Puckline Odds

Chicago Blackhawks (-1.5) @ 3.20

Detroit Red Wings – (+1.5) @ 1.38

Game 3 Totals Odds

(Over 5) @ 1.95

(Under 5) @ 1.87


2013 Stanley Cup Series Futures – New York Rangers vs. Boston

bruins-vs-rangers-stanley-cup-playoff-series-futures-bettingAfter squeezing by the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Boston Bruins are off to a strong start against the New York Rangers in round two. Both teams scored goals in the second and third periods, but it was Brad Marchand that eventually scored the winning goal for Boston fifteen minutes into the first period of overtime. Now that Boston has secured a 1-0 series lead, the two teams will meet for game two in Boston on Sunday. Tortorella assured Ranger fans that he would be making some changes moving into game two, but refused to state exactly what those changes would be. Instead he alluded to the fact that most of these would be off-ice adjustments.

Boston may have had the better regular season record this year in the NHL, but New York has their number in recent head to head play. Even including their loss to Boston in game one, the Rangers are 7-2 against the 2011 Stanley Cup champions over their last nine games. Still, it seems that Stanley Cups trump everything when it comes to setting betting odds for the NHL playoffs. The Boston Bruins are favorites to win the series and Pinnacle Sports is offering them up at odds of 1.578 to move on to the next round. The Rangers are not that far behind at odd of 2.560. This series started later than the others so they are only playing game two on Sunday. The moneyline, puckline and totals odds from Pinnacle Sports for that game have been listed below. The Bruins are favorites to win, but it’s pretty close. The moneyline on Boston right now is 1.578 and the Rangers are 2.560. Bet on the NHL Hockey Playoffs at Pinnacle Sports

Series Win Odds

New York Rangers – 2.560

Boston Bruins – 1.578

Game 2 Moneyline Odds

New York Rangers – 2.170

Boston Bruins – 1.787

Game 2 Puckline Odds

New York Rangers (+1.5) @ 1.350

Boston Bruins – (-1.5) @ 3.590

Game 2 Totals Odds

New York Rangers – (Over 5) @ 2.210

Boston Bruins – (Under 5) @ 1.763