The puck drops on the weirdest NHL playoff schedule ever soon and there are plenty of betting trends to consider as eight playoff series begin.
Of course, trend naysayers can argue that all bets are off because of the Covid-19 interrupted 2019-2020 season and no trends are relevant. But here’s the deal – teams change, rosters change, coaches change and some teams just always beat other teams. So it’s worth at least knowing the information, you decide what to do with it.
No. 5 Pittsburgh Penguins vs No. 12 Montreal Canadiens
The teams played three times this season, Pitt won twice and all three games had exactly five goals. Going back to January 2011, the Pens are 20-10 against the Habs. Pitt is 7-2 in past 9 trips to Montreal. The Habs won both recent playoff series in 2010 and 1998.
No. 6 Carolina Hurricanes vs No. 11 New York Rangers
The Rangers are the lower seed and the underdog, but guess who beat the Carolina Hurricanes all four times this season? That’s right, a bad historical matchup for the Canes, whoa re just 6-24 the past 30 games vs the Rangers. No playoff history to speak of.
No. 7 New York Islanders vs No. 10 Florida Panthers
The Islanders won all three vs the Panthers this year, all were low-scoring finishes. These teams met in the 2016 playoffs with the Isles prevailing 4-2. Before play stopped in March, New York had lost four in a row when favored and they will be chalk here vs the Florida Cats.
No. 8 Toronto Maple Leafs vs No. 9 Columbus Blue Jackets
The teams met twice in November, each team won on the road. The Jackets were on a 1-7 run as underdogs before the break. Columbus is 7-3 in their past 10 playoff games as an underdog and this streak includes the sweep of the Tampa Bay Lightning last year. Toronto continues to seek their playoff series win since 2004.
No. 5 Edmonton Oilers vs No. 12 Chicago Blackhawks
Chicago had been playing much better in March, while the Oilers had been riding huge seasons from Leon Draisaitl and Conor McDavid. Goaltending could be great or garbage on both sides. No real trends here. The most recent playoff series was 1992 when the Hawks swept the Oilers before later losing the Cup final to Pittsburgh.
No. 6 Nashville Predators vs No. 11 Arizona Coyotes
This has been a homer series with the home team going 12-2 in the past 14 meetings. Does home ice matter at a neutral site? Maybe. Arizona is 1-8 in past nine games as road underdog. Does road underdog odds matter at a neutral site? Maybe.
No. 7 Vancouver Canucks vs No. 10 Minnesota Wild
These teams met in 2003 playoff with the Wild prevailing in seven games. The Wild have been pretty tame as playoff underdogs at 9-21 over the past 30 post-season games.
No. 8 Calgary Flames vs No. 9 Winnipeg Jets
Dating to the 2017 season, Calgary is 1-6 as a playoff favorite. No recent playoff history and they met just once this season, way back in October. Good luck with that.