The 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs get underway on Monday with 4 video games on the docket. It’s at all times essentially the most thrilling time of the yr for the game, because the NHL postseason historically presents an incredible quantity of theater over the season’s closing two months.
The Boston Bruins enter the postseason because the very clear favourite after racking up an NHL document 135 factors through the common season. While the Bruins are a convincing favourite of their opening spherical sequence in opposition to the Florida Panthers, there are many matchups that determine to be worthwhile from a betting standpoint.
Here are three NHL picks for the primary spherical which can be price wagering on.
Stars (-150) to win sequence in opposition to Wild
The Stars are one in every of my favourite groups getting into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I truthfully virtually put them within the Stanley Cup Final. While I just like the Oilers to achieve the Stanley Cup Final, the Stars appear like an distinctive guess to make a deep playoff run.
They’re one of many extra harmful offensive items that the NHL has to supply. Throughout the common season, the Stars ranked seventh in scoring with 3.41 goals-per-game. The cause for that’s the absurd quantity of depth that this group possesses up and down their roster. Jason Robertson has turn into one of many league’s prime aim scorers and the commerce deadline addition of Max Domi actually has made Dallas even stronger up the center. Calder Trophy candidate Wyatt Johnston has additionally burst onto the scene with a 24-goal common season whereas Radek Faksa additionally is not any slouch because the group’s fourth-line heart.
Meanwhile, the Wild did have a terrific season and had been even within the working with the Avalanche and Stars late within the yr for the Central Division crown. However, I simply do not see the Wild having close to the quantity depth of ahead group that the Stars do. Kirill Kaprizov put collectively a formidable 75-point season and continues to be one of many prime wingers round. Young winger Matt Boldy additionally performed extraordinarily nicely down the stretch with three targets and three assists over his closing six common season video games. However, I simply do not suppose the Wild may have sufficient firepower to take down the Stars.
Maple Leafs -1.5 video games (+118) in opposition to Lightning
Yes, I do know what lots of you will say. And sure, the Maple Leafs dropping within the opening spherical in six consecutive postseasons/not profitable a playoff sequence since 2004 goes to proceed to be a storyline till they break by means of.
I imagine that point is now.
This is essentially the most proficient Toronto group that we have seen lately. The Maple Leafs added veteran ahead Ryan O’Reilly to be the group’s second-line heart on the commerce deadline and likewise added defensemen Jake McCabe and Luke Schenn into the fold. Neither of these latter two are notably flashy choices on the blue line, however give the defensive unit some unbelievable depth. I’m anticipating Mitch Marner to proceed on his profession season, whereas Auston Matthews will put the puck within the internet as he at all times does.
On the opposite hand, I’ll admit it’s actually laborious to guess in opposition to the Lightning. But I feel all of the wear-and-tear might lastly catch as much as them. It’s lots to play that many extra video games in three consecutive seasons like Tampa has. This additionally is not the identical group that fell to the Avalanche in final yr’s Stanley Cup Final. Ondrej Palat is not round and I feel his presence can be missed on the second and third line through the postseason. Yes, the Lightning nonetheless have a world class goaltender in Andrei Vasilevskiy, however I merely suppose that the Maple Leafs offense is simply too proficient to not win this sequence convincingly.
Avalanche to beat Kraken in 5 video games (+230)
Listen, the Kraken are an outstanding story. And sadly for them, their reward is attending to face the defending Stanley Cup champion Avalanche.
We know the Avs not have heart Nazem Kadri, and his presence in the course of the ice has actually been missed. In addition, Colorado had an enormous change in internet since profitable the Cup final yr, as they weren’t prepared to pay as much as preserve goalie Darcy Kuemper. However, Alexandar Georgiev in his first season with the Avalanche has been maybe higher than Kuemper was a season in the past. While not having captain Gabriel Landeskog for your complete postseason is a big drawback, that is nonetheless an especially proficient roster that includes the likes of Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Cale Makar.
Especially with these three, the expertise hole between the Avalanche and Kraken could be very evident. Seattle clearly had a terrific season, as they tallied 100 factors and grabbed the highest Wild Card spot within the Western Conference. Jared McCann had a profession yr through which he scored 40 targets and Matty Beniers is a prime candidate to win the Calder Trophy because the NHL’s prime rookie. Still, the expertise hole is simply too huge. On prime of that, the Kraken do not precisely have a secure presence in internet with Philipp Grubauer and Martin Jones struggling all through the common season. The Avalanche may simply run away with this sequence. I do anticipate the Kraken to steal a recreation at residence, however that is about it.