NHL Playoff Best Bets

On Tuesday, we looked at the NBA first-round series prices! Now let’s shift our focus over to some of my best bets heading into the NHL playoffs.

Tampa Bay vs. Florida

The Panthers enter the battle for Florida off another stellar regular season, winning the Atlantic division and allowing the fewest goals against in the Eastern Conference, 200, while sporting the best plus/minus in the NHL at +68. While last year’s team was defined by offense, this year’s team is a well-rounded juggernaut that has an exceptional home-ice advantage.

They are also playoff-tested after their deep run last year, eventually losing in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Golden Knights.


The Lightning come in with the same core that won back-to-back Stanley Cups, but this team is a few years older and more reliant on first-line scoring than ever. That would have been fine if they hadn’t regressed defensively and in the net. The once-stingy Lightning gave up the most goals during the regular season of any team to make the playoffs in the East and Andrei Vasilevskiy is sporting his highest goals against average of his career.

Florida has the advantage all over the ice in this series and should be able to advance quickly. I priced this series out at -220 for the Panthers, so the -170 offers a boatload of value.

NHL Playoff Best Bets: Florida -170, Florida -1.5 Games +115

Nashville vs. Vancouver

If you’ve watched any of my VSiN content, it’s no shock that this series makes the write-up. These are two teams that have had very different regular seasons. Vancouver jumped out to a hot start and was the darling of the NHL early, vastly outplaying expectations.

Nashville was the exact opposite. This team disappointed from the jump but stormed home since mid-February, including 6- and 8-game win streaks, to play themselves into the playoffs. They turned a corner defensively and have been able to get timely goals and consistent goaltending.

While I respect this Vancouver team, they feel slightly ahead of schedule and lack the third- and fourth-line scoring depth that tends to match so much come playoff time.

NHL Playoff Best Bets: Nashville +135

One of my favorite bets on the board is the Central to win the Stanley Cup at +300. They are currently the longest price on the board, which is dead wrong. The winner of Dallas vs Winnipeg/Colorado would be favored over any team out of the Pacific and the Predators could come out of that bracket (they are a Central team, but in the Pacific bracket due to Wild Card seeding) and make it two Central division teams playing to advance to the Stanley Cup. While I do like teams in the East, walking into the Finals with a +300 ticket would be very easy to monetize.

Quick Dallas/LA Thoughts

This series was built for the under, especially first-period Unders. I will be looking to play them all series long.