Home » NHL Best Bets: Back the Islanders to avoid a first-round sweep against the Hurricanes

NHL Best Bets: Back the Islanders to avoid a first-round sweep against the Hurricanes

We’re now getting into the business end of Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. There are four games on Saturday night, including a pair of elimination games in the Eastern Conference.

Let’s take a look at a couple of bets worth a sprinkle:

Carolina Hurricanes (-185) vs. New York Islanders (+154), 2 p.m. ET

One thing you’ll notice when you bet on the Stanley Cup Playoffs is that the market swings based on the situation. If a `big favorite falls behind in a series in the first game, you will often seen bookmakers bake in a “must-win” tax on the Game 2 money line (we saw this with Dallas against Vegas).

In this matchup, the bookmakers are charging a premium on the Carolina Hurricanes because they are up 3-0 in the series and have the Islanders on the ropes.

And while Carolina deserves to be a chunky favorite in Game 4, this does seem to be a bit of an overreaction to the situation. The line for Game 3 closed at +140 and the Isles played pretty well in a 3-2 loss. In fact, they’ve been just as good as Carolina in two of the three contests so far.

It’s not a fun bet, but hold your nose and grab the value on the Isles to extend this series.

  1. The Bet: Islanders +150 or better

» READ MORE: NHL Best Bets: Back the Jets to take control of series against Avalanche in Game 3

Boston Bruins (-105) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (-115), 8 p.m. ET

This series was projected to be tight and it’s played out that way through the first three games. The Bruins hold a 2-1 edge in the best-of-7, but the last two contests were basically coin flips and could have gone either way.

While Boston’s edge in goal and on special teams have been the difference in this matchup, the thing that stands out the most is how well both teams are playing defensively at 5-on-5.

Both the Bruins and Leafs are doing a terrific job at limiting time and space in the defensive zone and neither team is having much success getting through the neutral zone with any pace or rhythm.

I expect that to continue in Game 4.

We have yet to see overtime in this series but the last two games could have easily got there and I expect this to be a tight, low-event game with neither side able to pull away from the other.

  1. The Bet: 60-minute draw (+360, FanDuel)

The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.