NHL Odds - Western Conference First Round Playoff Preview


The Nashville Predators begin the Western Conference Playoffs as the top seed and the betting favorite. The Predators won the Presidents Trophy for finishing with the top record in the NHL this season. They are heavy favorites to defeat the Colorado Avalanche in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The other three Western Conference Playoff matchups have the Vegas Golden Knights taking on the Los Angeles Kings, the Winnipeg Jets vs. the Minnesota Wild and the Anaheim Ducks vs. the San Jose Sharks. Let’s look at each series and Stanley Cup Playoff picks.

We'll have NHL odds at BookMaker.eu available for every game of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Nashville Predators (Central No. 1) vs. Colorado Avalanche (Wild Card No. 2)

This series looks like a mismatch on paper, as the Predators finished with 117 points, while the Avalanche finished with 95 points. Nashville has a far more balanced scoring offense and they have the likely Vezina Trophy winner in goaltender Pekka Rinne. The Predators also dominated the regular season series, winning all four games against Colorado. The only edge for Colorado would be with their top line led by Nathan McKinnon. He probably won’t be enough to keep this series competitive.

Series Price

Nashville -425, Colorado +325

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It would be a major surprise if Colorado won more than a game in this series. I will lay the price and take Nashville.

Winnipeg Jets (Central No. 2) vs Minnesota Wild (Central No. 3)

The Jets finished with 114 points, while the Wild finished with 101. The Jets won three of the four regular season meetings. Winnipeg doesn’t have much playoff experience, but they have a far better offense than the Wild and Minnesota’s defense has been weakened by the loss of defenseman Ryan Suter who is out due to injury. Minnesota is also coached by Bruce Boudreau who has made it out of the first round just four times in nine tries. Home ice advantage is huge in this series, as Winnipeg was 32-7-2 at home, while Minnesota was 27-6-8.

Series Price

Winnipeg -200, Minnesota +170

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I think this series might be closer than these odds indicate. I give a slight edge to Winnipeg, but the price is too high for me, so I will pass.

Vegas Golden Knights (Pacific No. 1) vs Los Angeles Kings (Wild Card No. 1)

The Golden Knights are one of the best stories in sports history, as they are an expansion team that won their division and nearly finished with the best record in the league. Unfortunately for Vegas they have to go up against the Kings in the first round. It is not a good matchup for Vegas because Los Angeles plays tough defense and they have Jonathan Quick in goal. The teams split their four regular season meetings. Vegas also didn’t play that well down the stretch going 10-10 in their last 20 games. Vegas benefited during the regular season by opposing teams coming into Las Vegas and treating the trip as a party. That won’t happen in the playoffs and it won’t happen with the Kings.

Series Price

Vegas -145, Los Angeles +115

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The oddsmakers know what is going on with this series, as the Golden Knights are just barely favored. I think the Kings will win what should be a long series.

Anaheim Ducks (Pacific No. 2) vs. San Jose Sharks (Pacific No. 3)

The Ducks finished a point ahead of the Sharks in the regular season, but it was San Jose dominating this series, winning three of the four meetings. Anaheim was red-hot down the stretch, going 10-1-1 in their last 12 games. The Ducks have a major injury problem for this series, as their top defenseman, Cam Fowler is out due to injury. This series should be extremely close and I think Fowler being out will be the deciding factor.

Series Price

Anaheim -135, San Jose +105

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This series looks very even, but the Sharks have the better head coach and a big edge on defense with Fowler being out for the Ducks. I will take San Jose to win this series.

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