NHL Betting Underdogs Worth a Wager in 2018 Playoffs

Posted by Eric Williams on Tuesday,April 10, 2018 5:53, EDT in

If there’s one thing you should know about the playoffs, it’s that…there is bound to be a head-scratching upset or two. As an avid NHL betting enthusiast or longtime fan of the sport, then you almost assuredly already know this. If you’re a bit newer to the sport and wagering on it, then you had best be prepared for a couple of playoff upsets to take place when the 2018 NHL postseason gets underway on Wednesday, April 11th.

Thanks to this look at the first round series with the biggest upset potential, you’re going to have a great idea of just which underdogs are worth an NHL wager to cash in big over their favored first-round opponents.

Now, let’s get started.

NHL Betting Underdogs Worth a Wager in 2018 Playoffs

Eastern Conference

Tampa Bay Lightning (Atlantic No. 1) vs. New Jersey Devils (wild card No. 2)

Season series (Devils 3-0-0)

  • Oct. 17: Tampa Bay 4, New Jersey 5 (SO)
  • Feb. 17: New Jersey 4, Tampa Bay 3
  • March 24: Tampa Bay 1, New Jersey 2

Tampa Bay (54-23-5) has the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, but the Lightning has also inexplicably lost all three regular-season meetings against New Jersey (44-29-9) as you can see from the above look at the seasons series. While I’m not prepared to pick the outright upset here, you’ve got to know that anytime one team beats another three times in one season, they’re offering value no matter what their respective seeds have come playoff time. Besides, the Devils have been playing for their postseason lives for the better part of the last month, so they’re already in that ‘win or go home’ mindset.

Boston Bruins (Atlantic No. 2) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (Atlantic No. 3)

Season series (Maple Leafs 3-1-0)

  • Nov. 10: Boston 2, Toronto 3 (OT)
  • Nov. 11: Toronto 4, Boston 1
  • Feb. 3: Toronto 1, Boston 4
  • Feb. 24: Boston 3, Toronto 4

For me, Boston (50-20-12) has the look of a team that could very well win it all this season as they rank a stellar sixth in scoring 93.3 gpg) and fourth in goals allowed (2.6 gpg). However, Toronto (49-26-7) has the look of a team that has a great chance to pull off a first-round upset seeing as how they can score with anyone, ranking fourth in scoring (3.3 gpg) and have a very a respectable defense that ranked a solid, if not overpowering 12th in goals allowed (2.8 gpg). In addition to that, the Leafs won three of four against the Bruins during the regular season. Toronto is definitely offering some value in this first round matchup.

Pittsburgh Penguins (Metro No. 2) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (Metro No. 3)

Season series (Penguins 4-0-0)

  • Nov. 27: Philadelphia 4, Pittsburgh 5 (OT)
  • Jan. 2: Pittsburgh 5, Philadelphia 1
  • March 7: Pittsburgh 5, Philadelphia 2
  • March 25: Philadelphia 4, Pittsburgh 5 (OT)

The Penguins remain as one of the NHL Betting favorites to win the Stanley Cup.

The Penguins (47-29-6) won all four games against Philly (42-26-14) during the regular season, but the Flyers lost only once in their last 10 regular season games, so they won’t go quietly into the night. Still, I’ve got the Penguins winning this first-round in six!

Western Conference

Anaheim Ducks (Pacific No. 2) vs. San Jose Sharks (Pacific No. 3)

Season series (Sharks 3-0-1)

  • Nov. 4: Anaheim 1, San Jose 2 (SO)
  • Nov. 20: Anaheim 3, San Jose 2 (SO)
  • Jan. 21: San Jose 6, Anaheim 2
  • Feb. 11: San Jose 3, Anaheim 2 (SO)

Anaheim (44-25-13) may have finished in second place in the Pacific division just ahead of San Jose (45-27-10), but make no mistake about it, the Sharks are the pick to win this series as ‘underdogs’ over an Anaheim team they actually won more games than this season. San Jose won three of four against the Ducks and that tells me they’re far more than NHL betting underdogs in this affair.