2018 NHL Playoffs Round Two Vegas Betting Guide
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More Records For Golden Knights
The dream season for an expansion team continues for the Vegas Golden Knights.
The team that plays its home games on the Las Vegas Strip at T-Mobile Arena smashed a few more NHL records in the first round of the playoffs with a four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Kings.
The Golden Knights became the first team ever to sweep a playoff series in its inaugural season. They also set another mark by scoring just seven goals to win a postseason matchup. They allowed three goals in the entire series.
Vegas is one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup at 6-1 (odds provided by Bovada).
The Golden Knights now meet their division rivals in the San Jose Sharks in the second round of a best-of-seven series. The Nashville Predators, the Cup favorites at 4-1, battle the Winnipeg Jets in the second Western Conference semifinal.
In the Eastern Conference semifinals, the Tampa Bay Lightning square off against the Boston Bruins, while the two-time defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins play the Washington Capitals.
Let’s take a look at all four series and try to pick a winner in each of them (odds provided by TopBet).
Bruins Pushed To The Limit
Five years after rallying from a three-goal, third-period deficit and beating Toronto in Game 7 of their first-round series, the Bruins again scored four straight times on Wednesday to eliminate the Maple Leafs. They now meet the Eastern Conference champions in what promises to be another grueling series.
This is Boston’s ninth trip to the postseason in the last 11 seasons. They won the Cup in 2010-11, but haven’t made it past the first round since the 2012-13 season. This is Tampa’s fifth trip to the playoffs in 11 seasons. They lost in the final in 2014-15.
The Bruins won the season series 3-1.
VGB’s pick — Tampa Bay (-135)
Capitals Meet Their Nemesis
For the third straight year, these two Metro Division rivals collide in the playoffs. The two-time defending Stanley Cup champions have eliminated the Capitals in the second round in the last two postseasons.
This is the 10th time in the last 11 seasons the Capitals have made it to the playoffs, but they haven’t reached the Stanley Cup Finals in any of those attempts.
This is the 12th consecutive trip to the postseason for the Penguins, who have won the league championship in three of those appearances.
Superstar center Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel lead the league in playoff scoring with 13 points. Defenseman John Carlson leads the Capitals with nine.
VGB’s pick — Pittsburgh (-125)
This Series May Go The Distance
The teams with the best regular-season records in the Western Conference face off in this series. Both lineups are solid from the goal on out. It wouldn’t be a surprise if this matchup went the distance.
The Jets have won nine of their last 10, including a five-game series win over Minnesota. The Predators are 6-2 in their last eight, including a six-game series victory over Colorado.
Nashville won three-of-five in the regular season against Winnipeg, with every game decided by two goals or less. The Predators hold home-ice advantage in the series, which will be a huge advantage since they finished the season 28-9-4 at Bridgestone Arena.
VGB’s pick — Nashville (-150)
Both Teams Swept Series
The Golden Knights’ bandwagon is filling up. Station Casinos in Las Vegas offered free bets on the team this week to casino loyalty members who came into one of their establishments on April 23.
Both Pacific Division teams have been sitting around for about a week after sweeping their first-round opponents.
San Jose is in the playoffs for the 13th time in 14 seasons and is two years removed from playing in the Stanley Cup Final, which it lost to the Penguins in six games.
Three-time Stanley Cup champion goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is the key to this series for the Golden Knights.
VGB’s pick — San Jose (+105)
Format For Second Round Of Playoffs
The Stanley Cup playoffs consist of four rounds of best-of-seven series.
The eight winners of the first round advance to the conference semifinals. The reseeding in the previous playoff format, which ensured the top seed would play the lowest remaining seed, was discarded in 2014.
The winners in the second round advance to the conference finals with the East and West champions moving on to the Stanley Cup Finals.
In the first two rounds, the higher-seeded team has home-ice advantage. Thereafter, it goes to the team with the better regular season record.
Alternative Bets For NHL Playoffs
There are betting lines on the first period, whether the game will end in a tie in regulation, which team will be the first to score. You can even predict the exact margin of victory and whether the total goals scored will be odd or even.
There are dozens of options with huge favorites and attractive long shots.
VGB’s Top 10 NHL Teams
Current odds to win the Stanley Cup listed after team record. Odds provided by Bovada.
- Nashville (53-18-11) +400 — Predators wear down Avalanche, McKinnon.
- Tampa Bay (54-23-5) +450 — Lightning make quick work of Devils in five.
- Winnipeg (52-20-10) +600 — First time Jets reach second round in playoffs.
- Vegas (51-24-7) +600 — Hold Kings to just three goals in four-game sweep.
- Boston (50-20-12) +900 — Bruins rally in Game 7 to oust division rivals.
- Washington (49-26-7) +650 — Caps have history of early postseason exits.
- Pittsburgh (47-29-6) +600 — Pens have won it all in three of last nine tries.
- San Jose (45-27-10) +900 — Sweep series as underdogs against Anaheim.
- Toronto (49-26-7) — Maple Leafs have not won a playoff series since 2004.
- Colorado (43-30-9) — Remarkable turnaround from last place in 2016-17.
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