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Big Moneyline Faves are Highly Successful in Game 1 of Stanley Cup Final

After a three-day layoff, it’s time for the Stanley Cup final to begin. The odds, heavily in favor of the defending champions in both Game 1 and series prices, will see the Nashville Predators have to once again pull off a big upset if they’re to win a Cup in the franchise’s first appearance in the final.

SHARK BITES
  • Moneyline favorites of -140 or more are 9-2 SU in Game 1 of the final since 2001.
  • The Pens and Preds have a combined 5-9 OVER/UNDER record this postseason at closing totals of 5.5.
  • Pekka Rinne and Matt Murray both have save percentages over .941 this postseason.

Pittsburgh opened as the -140 moneyline favorite but that line has been steadily creeping in the direction of the Penguins. At the time of writing, the moneyline had moved by a full quarter and the Preds were being offered as a +145 underdog.

Betting chalk has not been a successful venture this postseason but the trends are badly skewed in favor of the home team in Game 1 of Stanley Cup finals. Since the lockout season, home teams are 106-59 straight up in the first game of NHL playoff series and the Penguins have been the best home team in the show over the course of the past two seasons.

That said, Pittsburgh is just 6-5 as a betting favorite this postseason and if you’d bet $100 on them in all those games you’d actually be down by just over a bill. There are many trends contradicting themselves coming into the series icebreaker so you may want to use tonight’s game to get a grasp on how to bet this best-of-seven going forward.

All playoffs, I’ve been a large proponent of betting dogs and as much as it pains me to not continue that, there’s just too many unknowns in this matchup. What we do know is that Nashville’s defense and goaltending has been terrific and that the Penguins really struggled to score against a Sens team that managed to take their speed out of the equation.

The Preds have given up just 1.81 goals per game this postseason and with a fully fit blue line, there’s no reason that they shouldn’t continue to stifle their opponents in this series. Opening with a total of 5.5 and a lot of money coming in on the UNDER, Game 1 could close the day at 5.

The stats and trends point to this game going easily UNDER and if the total does indeed get ticked down to 5, I’ll be laying several units in that direction.

Opening Odds & Computer Pick

If you're backing the visiting Nashville Predators in this one, the Predators listed earlier today as underdogs of 120 at most sportsbooks, including Bovada. Those over/under total betting saw the number open in the area of 5.5, depending on the book.

Odds Shark computer prediction handicapping models run on this game pick a 3-2.5 victory for the Penguins. View the computer score prediction and who will win the pick on the moneyline for all upcoming NHL matchups here.

Nashville Predators vs Pittsburgh Penguins Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

The Pittsburgh Penguins currently sport a record of 62-26-13. The Nashville Predators are 53-32-13. Betting totals have seen the Penguins post a 55-39-7 OVER/UNDER record this season, while the Predators have gone 44-42-12 against the number. Stay Informed: follow us on Twitter for odds specials, betting line moves and Pittsburgh vs Nashville injuries news.

The Odds Shark NHL Power Rankings have the Pittsburgh Penguins at No. 5 and the Nashville Predators at No. 22 heading into this contest.

Statistical Matchup

The game also pits Pittsburgh's No. 1-ranked offense, averaging 3.37 goals per game, against a Predators defense that ranks No. 9 at 2.58 goals allowed. The Penguins power play is averaging 23.49% while the Predators defense kills off 82.27% of their penalties.

Recent Outings Betting Recap

 

Last time out for Pittsburgh, they were a 3-2 winner as they battled the Senators at home. Moneyline bettors who got the Penguins at -219 were rewarded, while the 5 combined goals moved the game PUSH for totals bettors.

Next Betting Matchups

Nashville at Pittsburgh, Wednesday, May 31st

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