NHL Betting Analysis: 2020 Conference Finals

Posted by Derrick Harper on September 14, 2020 in

With the start of the NFL season, Major League Baseball in full swing, and the NBA Playoffs taking place, the NHL Playoffs have been put on the back burner. Sports fans are missing some great hockey as one pre-season favorite to hoist the Stanley Cup is making an impressive run at spot in the Stanley Cup Finals, while another is fighting for it’s playoff life. Let’s take a closer look at the conference finals matches so you can place your bets against their NHL Playoffs odds.

NHL Playoffs: Conference Finals – Who will reach the Stanley Cup

In the East, the Tampa Bay Lightning will take a 3-1 series lead into Tuesday night’s game 5. The Lightning were impressive in Sunday’s 4-1 victory over the New York Islanders The Lightning scored 3 goals in a 27-second stretch. Tampa Bay’s powerful scoring line of Brayden Point, Nikita Kucherov, and Ondrej Palat have led the way for Tampa Bay in this series. The Lightning have also had strong play from the defense led by Victor Hedaman and some stellar goaltending from Andrei Vasilevskiy.

The Lightning have outscored the Islanders 19-7 thus far in the series. The Islanders came into this series having one of the top defenses in the playoffs. They had only given up an average of 1.94 goals per game coming into this series. The Lightning have overpowered New York’s stout defense. If New York wants to get back into this series, they’re going to need their top line of Jordan Eberle, Mathew Barzal, and Anders Lee to contribute more. 

New York came into this series with the thought that their defense would be able to contain the powerful Lightning offense, thus far that hasn’t happened, and unless the Isles can score a ton of goals to offset Tampa’s offense, this series will be over soon.

In the Western Conference, the Dallas Stars currently hold a 3-1 lead over the heavily-favored Las Vegas Golden Knights. This has come as a shock to many, as Las Vegas may have one of the most complete teams in the postseason. Dallas’s defense has come to play in this series, as it has held Las Vegas to just 6 goals. The same can be said for the Golden Knights defense, as they have also only given up 6 goals.

Goaltender Anton Khudobin has been stellar for the Stars, as he and his defensive unit have held two very powerful scoring lines in check throughout this series. Las Vegas came into this series averaging 3.75 goals per game in the first 12 games of the  playoffs. In their last 7 games, the Knights have been able to score just 1.43 goals per game. In hockey terms, Khudobin has been “standing on his head”, and Tampa has yet to be able to get the puck past him. 

Even though Tampa Bay is outshooting the Stars in this series, they’re still not able to score. Max Pacioretty and Jonathan Marchessault have yet to score in this series for the Golden Knights. If these two continue to not score, the Knights will have a very hard time overcoming this deficit, and the Stars will upset the favorite to win the Stanley Cup.