2017 NHL Playoffs Series Underdogs Worth A Wager

Posted by Eric Williams on Tuesday,April 11, 2017 2:45, EDT in

With the start of the 2016-17 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs everyone is looking for value-packed underdogs that have a legitimate chance of upsetting their favored first round series openers.

Thanks to the expert NHL betting analysis that you’re about to get, you’re going to find out why no less than five underdogs look like they’ll all have a decent chance of winning their first round series showdowns despite being ‘underdogs’ against their respective opening round opponents.

Now, let’s get to it.

2017 NHL Playoffs Series Underdogs Worth A Wager

 

 

Eastern Conference

Montreal Canadiens vs. New York Rangers (+125)

The second-seeded Montreal Canadiens (47-26-9, 103 points) won six of their final eight games and took the regular season series against the Rangers (48-28-6, 102 points 3-0, but still New York has some hope, seeing as how they actually recorded one more win during the regular season than Montreal.

I know the Rangers struggled mightily down the stretch by losing two of their last three games and seven of their final 10 games overall, but New York has also posted a fine, 27-12-2 mark on the road this season.

The Rangers are the better statistical team in scoring and power play efficiency and lost two of their three regular season games against the Canadiens by one goal. Yes, the Rangers are underdogs, but they also have a legitimate chance to win their first round series against Montreal.

Ottawa Senators (+180) vs. Boston Bruins

Boston (44-31-7, 95 points) is the lower-seeded team in their first round matchup against Ottawa (44-28-10, 98 points), but the senators will definitely have a chance to win their first round series seeing as how both of these clubs win an identical 44 games during the regular season.

I know the Bruins have been playing solid hockey by winning six straight until dropping their final two regular season games while Ottawa has been wildly inconsistent over their final 10 games by losing their finale against the Islanders 4-2 after winning their previous three games – and dropping its previous five, but the Senators also swept the regular season series against Boston by winning their first two meetings against the Bruins by two goals and the final two regular season meetings by a goal.

Ottawa has won six straight against Boston over the last two seasons and eight of the last 10 meetings overall.  While Boston holds the edge in almost every statistical category, it is Ottawa that has the edge in the all-important goaltending category. Make no mistake about it, despite being series underdogs, the Senators will have a very good shot to win and advance.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (+180)

Sixth-seeded Columbus (50-24-8, 108 points) stumbled down the stretch by losing six of their final seven games but third-seeded Pittsburgh (50-21-11, 111 points) dropped six of its final 10 games and two straight to close out the regular season.

Columbus also holds the edge in this series in defense, penalty killing, face-offs and goaltending. I know the defending champion Penguins can score the puck like nobody’s business, but the Blue Jackets will have a shot to derail Pittsburgh’s hopes of winning consecutive Stanley Cup titles.

Now, let’s move on to the Western Conference.

Western Conference

Edmonton Oilers vs. San Jose Sharks (+135)

The Edmonton Oilers (47-26-9, 103 points) hit the postseason pretty hot after winning three straight to close out the regular season and eight of their final nine games overall.

Still, the defending Stanley Cup runner-up San Jose Sharks (46-29-7, 99 points) will have a legitimate chance to get the series upset seeing as how they won three of their last four games and hold the edge over Edmonton in defense, face-offs and the all-important goaltending statistical areas.

San Jose hits the postseason having won two of the five regular season meetings against the Oilers while suffering a one-goal loss among their three defeats against Edmonton this season.

Minnesota Wild vs. St. Louis Blues (+135)

Third-seeded Minnesota (49-25-8, 106 points) won four straight and five of their final six games to close out the regular season, but fifth-seeded St. Louis (46-29-7, 99 points) closed out the regular season by winning three straight games and seven of their final 10 regular season matchups overall.

The Blues won the regular season series 3-2 and hold the edge over the favored Wild in power play efficiency and penalty killing. While I’m not prepared to pick St. Louis to win this series against a Minnesota team that I believe will find its way into the conference finals, the fact that St. Louis won the regular season series says that the Blues will at least have a legitimate chance to get the series upset and advance.