NHL Playoffs 2nd Round Betting Favorites, Smart Picks & Long Shots

Posted by Eric Williams on Tuesday,April 25, 2017 3:45, EST in

If you’re excited about the start of the second round of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs and you want to know which team is offering the most value in their quests to hoist this season’s Stanley Cup hardware, then you’re in luck.

Thanks to a bit of expert NHL betting analysis, you’re going to find out who the favorite, the smart pick and the top longshot in both conferences are. Now, let’s rock and roll.

NHL Playoffs 2nd Round Betting Favorites, Smart Picks & Long Shots

 

 

Eastern Conference – Second Round Series Odds

Ottawa vs. N.Y. Rangers

Senators (+130)
Rangers (-150)

Analysis: The New York Rangers are favored to win this series, but the fact of the matter is that they could very well fall to an Ottawa team.

Pick: Ottawa in 6

Pittsburgh vs. Washington

Penguins (+120)
Capitals (-140)

Analysis: This series between the two best teams in the Eastern Conference figures to be a knock-down, drag-out thriller, but I like Washington to win and advance, mostly because they can score the puck just as well as Pittsburgh can, but have a far superior defense.

Pick: Washington in 7

Favorite

Washington Capitals

The Caps are favored to both, beat Pittsburgh in the second round and win the 2017 Stanley Cup championship this season after posting the best record in all of hockey. With the Caps ranking a stellar third in scoring (3.2 gpg) and even more impressive first in goals allowed (2.2 gpg), it’s easy to see why they’re expected to win it all this season despite their repeated postseason failures over the last few years and first round struggles against a very good Toronto Maple Leafs squad.

Smart Pick

Pittsburgh Penguins

Not only are the Penguins the defending champs, but they looked phenomenal in dispatching Columbus 4-1 in the first round. Pittsburgh ha a trio of excellent veterans scorers in Sidney Crosby, fellow center Evgeni Malkin and right-winger Phil Kessel and a high-powered offense that ranks first in scoring (3.4 gpg) and first in shot attempts per game (33.5). Pittsburgh is just mediocre defensively, but they can score points like they’re going out of style.

Longshot

Ottawa Senators

Ottawa I a really good longshot selection seeing a how they got past Boston 4-1 in the first round while recording three overtime wins in the series. While the Senators rank just 22nd in scoring (2.5 gpg) they also rank a fantastic 10th in goals allowed (2.6 gpg) and second in shutouts. I can very well see Ottawa upsetting New York to reach the Eastern Conference Finals – and if that happens, they could really surprise.

Western Conference – Second Round Series Odds

St. Louis vs. Nashville

Blues (+110)
Predators (-130)

Analysis: St. Louis looked pretty good in dispatching the struggling Minnesota Wild in five games in their first round matchup, but there’s no way I can advise anyone to bet against the impressive Nashville Predators after the way they dismantled the Chicago Blackhawks in their stunning first round sweep. I say back Nashville simply because their confidence has to be sky high right now!

Pick: Nashville in 7

Anaheim vs. Edmonton

Ducks (-140)
Oilers (+120)

Analysis: The Anaheim Ducks have an elite defense, but are just mediocre offensively, which I why I’m going to encourage you to back the Edmonton Oilers to win this series and advance to the Western Conference finals. Edmonton has a quartet of solid scorers and ranks an identical eight in scoring and goals allowed.

Pick: Edmonton in 7

Favorite

Anaheim

The Ducks are the favorites out west, but I’m thinking they probably shouldn’t be seeing the way both, Edmonton and Nashville are playing. Anaheim ranks a stupendous third in goals allowed (2.4 gpg) and an identical fourth in both, penalty killing and shutouts. However, the Ducks are also ranked just 18th in scoring and that could be a problem as they move further into the postseason and face stuffer competition.

Smart Pick

Edmonton

The Oilers are looking like they’re offering solid value as they head into the second round after dispatching the San Jose Sharks 4-2. If you didn’t know, the Oilers are very good at both ends of the ice, not to mention the fact that they have the game’s best scorer in the electrifying center Connor McDavid (100 points).

What most casual hockey fan don’t know is that the Oilers also have a handful of very good players, starting with fellow center Leon Draisaitl (77 points) and wingers, Jordan Eberle (51 points) and Milan Lucic (50 points). Last but not least, the Oilers have been solid both at home (25-12-1-3) and on the road (22-14-3-2).

Longshot

Nashville

The Predators rank a solid 11th in scoring (2.9 gpg) and 15th in goals allowed (2.7 gpg) but the way they dominated the Blackhawks at both ends of the ice, you’d think they were No. 1 in both categories.

After shutting out Chicago in games 1 and 2, including a stunning 5-0 shutout in Game 2, Nashville finished off their sweep with a hard-fought 3-2 overtime win in Game 3 and another dominating performance in their 4-1 Game 4 close out win. Make no mistake about it, right now, Nashville looks like they can beat anyone!