avatar Written by Graeme on Friday, May 10th, 2024

The New York Rangers went to Carolina and came up big, with a 3-2 win in overtime. They were fairly decent underdogs in the series at 2.40 odds, and are just one win away from winning me that bet!

The Avs & Stars had another banger of a game. The Stars had a 4-0 lead in that game although I bet the Dallas fans were shaking in their boots a bit when the Avs mounted a huge comeback. However it was not to be, and Dallas tie the series up at 1-1, which Scott correctly called.

I’m glad I couldn’t pull the trigger on the Avs on that one.

Two games today. Bruins vs Panthers Game 3, Canucks vs Oilers Game 2.

Bruins vs Panthers Game 3 Betting Tips:

Scott: The Panthers managed to do something that the Leafs couldn’t do, beat Swayman and force him to be pulled from the game. The Bruins hadn’t let in more than 1 goal in a period in these playoffs.

This game got heated too with 136 penalty minutes in the 3rd including a fight between Tkachuk and Pastrnak. This should be a fun series to watch going forward.

With the Bruins forced to pull Swayman and Ullmark not doing any better they are going to have their work cut out for them. Boston is at home so that will help them but the momentum the Panthers have from game 2 is going to be hard to slow down. The Bruins need to get more shots on goal too as 15 isn’t going to work.

Panthers win incl OT

Graeme: Game 2 was the Panthers I know and love! Boston just couldn’t contain that offense. The big issue, that the Leafs struggled with all series, was beating Swayman. And they were able to not just beat him, but chase him off.

Even if Boston can adjust, I don’t think they can match this Florida goalscoring prowess.

Good to also back Panthers incl OT

Ontario: 1.80 Odds at Bet365 (Americans: We recommend http://www.bovada.lv
Canada: 1.80 Odds at Bet365 (Americans: We recommend http://www.bovada.lv
USA: -120 Odds at BetOnline.
Everyone Else: 1.80 Odds at Bet365 (Americans: We recommend http://www.bovada.lv

(Odds correct as of 2024/05/10 7:44:39 AM EST but are subject to change.)

Canucks vs Oilers Game 2 Betting Tips:

Scott: The Oilers blew a 3 goal lead and the Canucks gained some momentum heading into game 2.

The Oilers had only 18 shots on goal and with the Canucks still without Demko they should be firing the puck on Silovs and make him earn the win. He allowed 4 goals on those 18 shots. They’re also going to need McDavid to do his thing. He had only 1 assist which is fine but when you’re the best player in the league and have zero shots he’ll need to do more.

I do expect the Oilers to have a better game here and they will need to so that they don’t head home down 2-0. They need to take advantage of no Demko as when and if he comes back he can be a difference in this series.

Oilers win incl OT

Graeme: Oilers were just piss-poor at getting chances in game 1. I’ve got to think they’ll adjust for game 2. That’s really it. No extra analysis really required for this one. Oilers win incl OT

Ontario: 1.83 Odds at Sports Interaction
Canada: 1.83 Odds at Sports Interaction
USA: -123 Odds at BetOnline.
Everyone Else: -123 Odds at BetOnline.

(Odds correct as of 2024/05/10 7:44:39 AM EST but are subject to change.)

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Looking over the NHL Playoff results since 2017:
1) in Round 2, there seems to be a pattern that only one out of four series will have a particularly consistent Over/Under 5.5 pattern throughout.
2) Since 2017, only four series in all Rounds of the playoffs have had a uniform Over/Under 5.5 result start to finish, and NONE of them occurred in Round Two.
3) A large % of games in all Playoff series since 2017 that went “Under 5.5” ended up at exactly 5.0…..
From 2017 to 2023:
R1’s: 42.5%
R2’s: 46%
R3’s: 45.8%
R4’s: 63%
4) From this scan of previous results, and looking for where the centre of gravity is for Over/Unders, what could seem to be a pattern is that if teams tend to gravitate to “Over 5.5”, the number of times in the playoffs that they end up at 4 or lower can be a quite small percentage, because the total of exactly 5.0 shows up so commonly.
5) As usual, to make any predictive sense out of #4 just above, you have to review the regular season and playoff goal total results for both teams in the matchup, and look at where they are trending in regards to Over/Under levels, plus consider all the usual game influencing factors like injuries to key players, fatigue, motivation, line changes, goalies used, recent trends of any type, etc.
6) some bookies offer a range of goal totals and regularly go down to totals of perhaps 3.5 or as high as 9.5+, and if you spot where the centre of gravity is for a matchup, how likely you are to avoid seeing a result go down to 4.0 or lower, or stay under a certain count, then you might find something with a very high probability of success. Odds set along the range of the totals vary of course, but lower odds with great chances of winning, can be nice for the bankroll too.
7) A quick eye scan of 2017 to 2023 totals indicates that of Games 1 through 7 in all Rounds, that while it changes year to year, Game 4’s seem to show more “Under 5.5” games than the average. This is only a minor pattern, it’s a factor of lesser influence and could be just random chance rather than having much reason to it. The teams involved and how they’ve been playing is probably more important.


I would also say the refs have had a significant impact on the totals up to this point. I can say aside from a game here or there, there hasn’t been many series’ that have that “playoff” hockey feel to them yet. The refs aren’t really swallowing the whistle and letting things go. I haven’t actually done the research to back my claim, so I could be off base. But that’s how it feels through the first round and somewhat into these second round of matchups.

I’m cherry picking a bit here but, Florida was able to get 4 power play goals alone tonight as an example. As a Ranger fan I can say they have benefited heavily from their ability to score on the Power Play and up to this point their Penalty Killing. If the refs start to let things go, and the majority of the games are played 5 on 5, are the Rangers as dominant as they’ve been? Is Carolina ahead in the series instead? The totals of the games would surely trend to the Under at the very least.

It’ll be interesting to see if this continues, and at some point I can’t imagine it does. I do think there could be a shift. When the series’ start to wind down, I’m curious to see what ref crews are chosen. And do those refs continue to call everything or start to let things slide. Especially in third periods and pivotal games.

I’m also curious as to what the league wants, what the casual fan wants and what the networks want and whether they conflict. And who will have the biggest say. More 5 on 5 hockey would drive scoring down I would think. Which for most fans would make the games more intense. You would also get those Double and Triple OT marathons. But do the networks want longer games and 2-0 and 3-1 final score lines? Or would they prefer quicker games and goals galore? Does this generations audience have the attention span for what I was sort of accustomed to growing up?

To add to your topic

Number 6

The biggest factor that would interest me, would be do they factor the percentages into the price. Or do they set more generic and standard lines relative to more recent trends and factors. I wish there was a way to see how the lines have changed through the years, if at all. Or are they overlooked because the markets for them are so niche? If they are an after thought by the books, there could be a way to capitalize on it if a certain set of standards are identified and met.

If the books heavily juice them it would be a deal breaker for me personally. If I was told I had a certain trend that hits 65 percent of the time, of course it would immediately peak my interest. Unless of course I was forced to lay -300 on it because the books protect themselves from getting burned on it.

Number 7

I would have no way to prove this, but my assumption would be how pivotal a game Game 4’s are. In most situations it’s a swing game that decides whether a team is up 3-1 or back even 2-2. The fatigue factor, the familiarity, and the coaching adjustments are at their highest. Refs don’t want to be the ones to decide it, they’d prefer if the players do. Coaches are riding their best players the most minutes. And no one wants to be the one to make a mistake.

I would once again be curious if those Game 4 Unders are priced differently just because they are Game 4’s and the books recognize it. Or if they’d weigh other factors more heavily such as the past goal totals from the previous 3 games up to that point.

Interesting topic and it’s worth at least monitoring. The biggest obstacle would be what you’ve already recognized and mentioned. And that would be the small sample size and variance. One would have to be disciplined to not over react to any potential recency bias of game results. And also the unenviable task of determining what the biggest factors were to attribute a random games Total to when you’ve already properly identified a significant amount of them in what you listed in Number 5.

What you’ve written on could be the beginning groundwork of identifying a potential scenario that could be profitable. From there you could attempt to figure out what, if any, factors are identifiable and common to each totals result. Which in turn could lead to potentially recognizing an opportunity to blind bet a certain Over, Under, or even better exact Range of Totals if a certain level of criteria is met.

While the first way to make use of it would be the common Over/Unders, once again those are probably the most easily identifiable to the books who could quickly adjust and take the value out of them. But thinking more ambitiously, you could stumble across something way more profitable and tougher for a book to recognize. Team totals as opposed to game totals, exact goals scored which you already alluded to with the 5 goal games, highest scoring periods etc. Imagine if you could narrow down correct scores and if you could just blind bet that in a certain situation. Or a non correlated same game parlay where if one hits, all other legs also have a high percentage of hitting as well. I’m always intrigued by at least the idea and potential of something like that. Even if it’s extremely difficult to execute. Maybe that’s just me though.


I do expect Boston to play better especially at home. However there is still a world where Florida repeats its game two result. I would lean to an under 5.5. I still think if I had to pick a Stanley Cup Winner, Florida checks all the boxes. Once again I’m more impressed by what they can do defensively than their offense. And they have tons of fire power on offense. The +450 on Florida to win the cup would be my future pick there. And yet I’m not even positive they win tonight’s game.

My play will be Edmonton in regulation at +120.

Vancouver has done a good job xGA the playoffs so far. And still conceded 4 goals to Edmonton. I hate to parrot the narrative but they need Demko and healthy. If he comes back,but is still not near 100 percent its too much for them to continue with Silovs and even DeSmith for that matter. We know he’ll definitely be out for Game 3. I’m expecting this to feel and look similar to Oilers Game 3 vs the Kings.