After finally vanquishing their tormentors from a year ago, are the Tampa Bay Lightning ready to live up to their status as the prohibitive favorites to win the Eastern Conference? Could the Boston Bruins take down Tampa Bay and all other challengers after overcoming their restart troubles to dispatch Carolina or will Philadelphia and their gifted young net-minder pull off the conference ‘upset’ to come out of the east? Oh, and then there’s the surprising New York Islanders. With the 2020 NHL postseason rolling right along, it’s time to take a look at the value-packed odds to win the Eastern Conference. Remember, this year, the NHL opted for a new format in the pandemic-shortened bubble season. Each side of the bracket will be re-seeded after the culmination of the first round series with the highest seed remaining playing the lowest remaining seed. Let’s take a closer look at the teams so you can bet against their NHL odds.
NHL Betting Predictions – Odds To Win Eastern Conference Are Value-Packed!
Tampa Bay Lightning +165
No. 2 Tampa Bay got past Columbus in five games in the first round by recording a record-setting overtime win in Game 1 and finishing off the same team they made forgettable history against last year, by recording a memorable 5-4 overtime win in Game 5. While the Blue Jackets limited Tampa Bay’s league-leading offense to three goals or less in the first four games, the Lightning put five on the board in Game 5 and will be feeling confident as they get set to take on the Islanders in the next round. Center Brayden Point has been brilliant in scoring five playoff goals while adding five assists while center Tyler Johnson has added three goals. More importantly, the Lightning showed some real fortitude in scratching out four identical one-goal victories.
Boston Bruins +210
After struggling mightily in their restart games, Boston has apparently gotten their act together. The Bruins dispatched Carolina in five games by getting a thrilling 4-3 win in Game 1 that took two overtimes and finishing the Hurricanes off with a 2-1 win in Game 5. Boston has gotten a trio of postseason goals from three players (Brad Marchand, Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci) and are looking good moving forward after getting superstar and league-leading goal scorer David Pastrnak back in Game 5 and watching backup net-minder Jaroslav Halak play well in leading to Boston to three straight wins while limiting Carolina to one goal in two of those contests.
Philadelphia Flyers +350
The top-seeded Flyers have had some mixed results in their first round series against Montreal. After jumping out to a 1-0 lead by winning Game 1 by the score of 2-1, the Flyers looked awful and uninterested in their 5-0 shutout loss in Game 2. Still, they got their act together to win Game 3 and 4, but they got humbled again in their 5-3 Game 5 loss. Now, as they get set for their Game 6 showdown, I’m expecting the Flyers to advance with a victory, but after that, things look a bit murky, seeing as how Philly has lost all five meetings this season against a seventh-seeded Islanders team they’ll face in the next round. The good news is that the Flyers have a seriously gifted young net-minder in 22-year-old Carter Hart who recorded consecutive shutouts in Games 3 and 4.
New York islanders +600
The young and hungry Islanders dispatched 2018 Stanley Cup champion Washington 4-1 in the first round by scoring nine combined goals in Games 1 and 2 and limiting the Caps to a lone goal in their Game 3 overtime win. The Isles, who rank fourth in playoff scoring (3.33 gpg) put four goals or more on the board in three of their four wins while putting five goals on the board in Game 2. Left-winger Anthony Beauvillier is tied for the playoff lead with six goals while center Jean-Gabriel Pageau has added four goals. Three other players have added three goals (Andres Lee, Brock Nelson and Jordan Eberle), New York ranks second in playoff defense (1.67 gpg) and the Islanders look straight-up dangerous with a capital D!
Montreal Canadiens +2200
Yes, the Canadiens are still alive in their first round series against Philadelphia after taking their season-saving Game 5 matchup 5-3 on Wednesday night. Jesperi has put four goals on the board while Joel Armia and Shea Weber have both added three goals. While Montreal has put five goals on the board in their two victories, they’ve also been shutout twice and limited to one goal in Game 1. It’s clearly all or nothing for the Canadiens this postseason.
Before the playoff started, I picked Philly to win the eastern Conference. At the time, the Flyers were riding high and playing well at both ends of the ice. However, that’s no longer the case with the Flyers struggling to put Montreal away and both, Boston and Tampa Bay looking good heading into the second round.
As it stands right now, I’m going with Tampa bay to come out of the Eastern Conference. I like the mettle the Lightning showed in scratching out four identical one-goal wins over a tough Columbus squad and I believe Boston’s loss of Tukka Rask is going to come back to haunt them at some point in the near future. I’m also thinking the Islanders could very well reach the conference finals. Still though, my money is on the Tampa Bay Lightning to win the Eastern Conference.
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