The NHL playoffs get underway this weekend (from August 1 2020) with five Qualifying Series games both Saturday and Sunday, then it moves to six games each day during the week.
That sounds like a NHL bettor’s dream.
With the teams out for so long due to COVID-19, these eight best-of-five series (four in each conference) could see some upsets, and maybe some sweeps.
Here are three series which could give you some value, excluding the two 5-12 matchups with long odds for the underdogs.
NHL Qualifying Series Best Picks & Predictions
EAST- 6 Carolina Hurricanes (38-25-5) vs. 11 New York Rangers (37-28-5)
Pick: Rangers (+130) to win the series. Read Hurricanes vs. Rangers prediction.
Why should you take a look at the Rangers to possibly pull off the “upset”? In the regular season, New York swept the season series with the Hurricanes 4-0, outscoring Carolina 17-9 along the way.
Right now with William Hill, you can get the Rangers at +130 to win the series (Carolina is -150). That is very decent value, considering many people think the Rangers should be favored in this series.
EAST 7 New York Islanders (35-23-10) vs. Florida Panthers (35-26-8)
Pick: Islanders (-120) to win the series. Read Islanders vs. Panthers prediction.
Another New York team that has the ability to make a deep run in the playoffs if it can get out of this round. The break came at a perfect time for the Islanders, who had lost seven straight games.
Now, this team that was on fire early in the campaign, and which swept the Panthers (3-0) during the regular season, now gets to come into the playoffs fresh.
The return of Adam Pelech could be huge for New York defensively.
WEST- 7 Vancouver Canucks (36-27-6) vs. 10 Minnesota Wild (35-27-7)
Pick: Canucks (-130) to win the series.
The Vancouver Canucks have a very talented roster, but many of them are still young. But they will also be helped by some of their players returning to the fold.
Minnesota is strong defensively, but can the Wild keep up on offense with Vancouver? In a short series, I will go with the younger, more talented team.
Vancouver went 1-1-1 against Minnesota this season.
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