Here are a few angles to approach NHL playoff betting heading into the postseason. While the following recommendations are values that jumped out to me, hopefully the logic also points you in the direction of other numbers, teams and players you like.
In particular, the futures market is one way to gain some capital and exposure to better odds.
We'll consider first-round series that look like the best bets, picks for the Stanley Cup and the best values for the Conn Smythe Trophy.
Winnipeg (-220) over Minnesota
It's a little odd to see the Jets as a much shorter favorite than the Lightning (-350) and Predators (-560) to advance to Round 2. Winnipeg's 114 points were second in the NHL, and its 32-7-2 home-ice record ranked first. Additionally, the Jets ranked fifth in both Corsi For percentage (52.74) and goals per 60 minutes (2.96) at five-on-five in the second half.
While the significance of Ryan Suter's (leg) absence is difficult to quantify, he's impossible to replace internally, and Jared Spurgeon (hamstring) will probably be playing at less than 100 percent health when he returns. Minnesota has solid supporting defenders, but now they're going to be pushed into more difficult roles and out of their comfort zones. Not only is it the wrong time of year to extend expectations, Minnesota is now icing an especially young defense corps.
Columbus (+110) over Washington
Sergei Bobrovsky's poor postseason numbers (.887 save percentage and 3.63 GAA) shouldn't trump his solid