Kent Tukeli | Wed 11/04/2018 - 18:53 EDT

2018 NHL Playoffs Western Conference First Round Betting Preview

2018 NHL Playoffs Western Conference First Round Betting Preview

NHL Western Conference First Round Playoff Preview

Winnipeg Jets vs Minnesota Wild 

Series Winner

Winnipeg: -284

Minnesota: +225

Series Prediction:

Winnipeg Defeats Minnesota In Four (+900)

Most Series Points

Mark Scheifele (-139) vs Eric Staal (+150)

Minnesota enters the post season as the unluckiest franchise in the race, losing lynchpin defenseman Ryan Suter to a broken leg. The Wild were underdogs to begin with because of the Jets explosive offense, strong goaltending and deceptively deep defense. Winnipeg’s considered heavy favorites, and many believe that the Jets will proceed to the Stanley Cup finals this season. Dubnyk’s a more experienced netminder than Hellebuyck, but the Jets boast a significant depth advantage at every other position. Winnipeg might break out the brooms in the first round.

Los Angeles Kings vs Vegas Golden Knights

Series Winner

Los Angeles: -104

Vegas: -115

Series Prediction

Los Angeles Defeats Vegas In Six (+430)

Most Series Points

Anze Kopitar (-143) vs William Karlsson (+155)

Los Angeles has been in this position before, entering the playoffs as a low seed ignored by most of the league. This will be the first foray into the playoffs for the Vegas Golden Knights, the best expansion franchise in NHL history. The Kings were the stingiest team in 2017-18, allowing only 203 goals against, creating a healthy goal differential of +36. Los Angeles matches up well against Vegas, and the Kings Stanley Cup winning experience could spoil the party in Vegas.

Colorado Avalanche vs Nashville Predators

Series Winner

Colorado: +452

Nashville: -617

Series Prediction

Nashville Defeats Colorado In Five (+248)

Most Series Points

Nathan MacKinnon (-118) vs Filip Forsberg (+130)

The Avalanche stumbled into the playoffs with a 4-5-1 record, requiring a home victory over the Blues to clinch a spot during their 82nd game. Nashville put the finishing touches on a Presidents’ Trophy, gearing up for a long playoff run with smart trades throughout the season. MacKinnon faded a bit down the stretch, and Varlamov will miss the playoffs, making this matchup untenable for Colorado. The Preds might drop a game in Denver because of altitude, but the Avs will be candidates for Nashville’s broom.

San Jose Sharks vs Anaheim Ducks

Series Winner

San Jose: +105

Anaheim: -125

Series Prediction

Anaheim Defeats San Jose In Six (+500)

Most Series Points

Brent Burns (+195) vs Ryan Getzlaf (-185)

Any team which managed to make the playoffs after half a season without their top two centers should be considered serious contenders. When Anaheim regained the services of Getzlaf and Kesler, the club promptly went on a second half run to rise to second in the Pacific. The Sharks won one of their last six to back into the first round, while the Ducks earned home advantage by winning five in a row and eight of their last ten regular season games. Expect the Ducks to eat the Sharks lunch in the first round, with Getzlaf leading the way.

Best Pick To Win The Western Conference

Winnipeg Jets (+350)

Nashville deserves top ranking as Presidents’ Trophy winners, but the Winnipeg Jets might be the better, scarier squad. The Jets are unbeatable at home, earned a superior goal differential compared to the Predators, and Winnipeg maintained focus throughout the season, winning nine of their last ten and five in a row. With all due respect to the Pacific bracket, a Nashville-Winnipeg meeting in the second round will determine the western representative at the Stanley Cup finals.

Best Dark Horse – Western Conference

Los Angeles Kings (+1100)

Plenty of Kings enjoyed superb seasons, including a 92-point campaign by Kopitar and 60-point seasons from Doughty and Brown. Carter returned from a lengthy injury without missing a beat, netting 13 goals and 22 points in 27 games. Ultimately, the Kings will be superb dark horse candidates because of their fantastic defense and previous Stanley Cup wins. A series against a relatively inexperienced Golden Knights squad could spark another long run for Los Angeles.

Category : NHL

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