Last season, the NHL playoff took place in the bubble and proved to be one of the best returns to action after the enforced lockdown due to the pandemic. While things look a little more familiar this season, the division realignments for this season mean that the playoffs are a little different again. Instead of East and West, we have 4 regional playoff divisions, which might in fact make predicting things a little easier to predict right now given that these teams have faced each other a lot over the course of the season. That said, the Stanley Cup playoffs are known for surprises. Let’s take a look at where things are right now and let’s try to predict the 4 teams that will move into the semi-finals so you can keep betting against thier NHL Playoffs odds.
Up to Date NHL Betting Predictions for the 2021 Playoffs
We talked about surprises a moment ago and we certainly got them in the first round in the East Division. The #1 and the #2 seeds are gone, but it is perhaps not that stunning considering how tight the division was all year. The New York Islanders knocked off the #1 Pittsburgh Penguins in 6 games, but it may have been Game 5 that was the decider, with the Islanders winning it in double overtime. They will face the Boston Bruins, who dispensed of the Washington Capitals in 5 games. The Islanders won the regular season series 5-3, but the Bruins won each of the last 3 meetings. Slight edge to the Bruins in this series.
You never know which series is going to be the one that stands out, but the Round 2 matchup between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Tampa Bay Lightning has all the makings of a beauty. Carolina played a lot of hockey in the opening round, taking 6 games to beat the Nashville Predators, with 4 of those games going to OT, including 2 that required double OT. The Lightning started their defense of the Stanley Cup by beating the Florida Panthers in 6 games and never really looking in trouble after winning games 1 and 2. I like the Lightning to move on to the final four, especially since they won Game 1.
It is #1 and #2 going head-to-head in the West, with the Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights squaring off in Round 2. The Avalanche put on an offensive clinic in the opening round, sweeping the St. Louis Blues in 4 games and scoring 20 goals in the process. The Golden Knights looked to be in good shape versus the Minnesota Wild in Round 1, taking a 3-1 series lead, but they ended up needing 7 games to get the job done. The opening game of the Round 2 series saw the Avalanche win 7-1, which seems to suggest that their offensive showing in the opening round was not a fluke. I think the Avs move on.
As it stands right now, we are still waiting to see who will meet up in Round 2. The Winnipeg Jets made things look easy in Round 1, disposing of the Edmonton Oilers in a 4-game sweep. They are going to be well rested by the time we get to the second round, as they are waiting to see how Game 7 of the Maple Leafs vs Canadiens series plays out. I think the Leafs grind out the win in Game 7, but they are going to have a much tougher task in Round 2, where I like the Jets.
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