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Bolts Host Wings in Postseason Opener

Ben Bishop Tampa Bay Lightning NHL

The 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs begin in Tampa Bay as the Lightning host the Detroit Red Wings in the first of three games Wednesday night.

Shark Bites
  • The Red Wings are 2-8 SU in their last 10 games on the road against the Lightning.
  • The Lightning are 6-1 SU in their last seven games as favorites.
  • The Lightning are 16-6 SU in their last 22 home games.

Online shop Bovada is presently offering the Lightning at -160 in the series opener while the Wings come in at +130. The total is tabbed at 5 with OVER priced at -105 and UNDER currently -125.

The Bolts have injury issues as captain and leading goal scorer Steven Stamkos is sidelined 1-3 months with a type of Vascular Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and Anton Stralman is out with a broken leg. Tyler Johnson, who practiced Tuesday, is a game-time decision while Victor Hedman and Nikita Kucherov look to be ready to suit up.

The two teams split four regular season meetings but it was the Lightning that prevailed in the two most recent contests; both of which were in Tampa. The Lightning won 6-2 in the most recent matchup back on March 22 courtesy a pair of goals from Erik Condra.

Ben Bishop has been excellent throughout his career versus the Wings. The Bolts’ netminder has gone 9-4 with a microscopic 1.71 goals against average and .935 save percentage in 14 career appearances against Detroit. Bishop started all four games this season and despite the two losses, has posted an insanely good 1.77 GAA.

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Campbell's Stanley Cup Futures Picks

It’s been a good run of handicapping so far for me here at Odds Shark. 

In just a couple of short, fun months I took Denver to win the Super Bowl straight up, Von Miller to win the Super Bowl MVP (18-1 odds) and Angelique Kerber to win the Australian Open – all at very nice underdog odds. 


NHL Playoffs: Serious or Delirious

The NHL offers an incredible amount of parity — perhaps more than any other pro sports league in North America. Unlike the NBA where only a few teams have a realistic shot at winning the championship, past NHL playoffs have proven that simply getting into the dance gives a team a great shot at hoisting the Stanley Cup. It’s not rare to see a hot goalie put a team on his back on the way to upsetting a higher seed, or witness a top team from the regular season show up flat and get dominated by a tougher team.


NHL: OVERS Trending in Opening Round

Dallas Stars NHL

Some puck bettors feel like blindly backing the UNDER come Stanley Cup playoff time is the way to go if you’re inclined to bet totals. The logic is sound - tighter hockey + solid goaltending = lower scoring – but not exactly true. At least in the first round of the postseason.

While the UNDER in first round games had the slight edge last season, numbers over the course of the previous five opening rounds say that the OVER is the way to wager.

Since the 2011 postseason, OVER has a record of 105-87-38 in the first round; good enough to cash in at rate of 54.7 percent.


NHL Playoffs: Exact Series Outcome Odds

Jonathan Toews

Looking for a different type of betting angle in the NHL playoffs? One sportsbooks has you covered.

BetOnline is offering exact series outcome odds for the postseason, which could result in some huge profits if your prognostications prove to be correct. For example: if you think the Detroit Red Wings will sweep the Steven Stamkos-less Tampa Bay Lightning, they’re available at a fantastic price of +1800.


Big Playoff Implications in MIA-DET

Justise Winslow Reggie Jackson

While many NBA teams are simply going through the motions to end the regular season, the Miami Heat and Detroit Pistons still have plenty to play for. They’ll collide tonight in the Motor City, where the Pistons have opened as 2.5-point favorites for the affair.

Shark Bites
  • The Heat are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games as an underdog of 2.5 or less.
  • The total has gone UNDER in three of the Pistons' last four games with a closing total of 202.0 or less.
  • The Pistons are 7-2 SU in their last nine games at home.

The Heat need to win their final two games to secure home court advantage in the playoffs, meaning Wednesday’s matchup with the Boston Celtics at TD Garden could be massive if they can get by the Pistons tonight.

Trends are pointing to Detroit in this one, however. Home court advantage in this series has been huge, as visiting clubs have gone 1-5 SU and ATS in the last six meetings between the Eastern Conference foes. Dwayne Wade and company have been a much different team away from home, as the Heat are winners of 10 of their last 11 at home but have dropped four of their previous five away from the Sunshine State.

The OVER is a hot bet when Miami takes its act on the road evidenced by the OVER going 8-2 in the Heat’s last 10 road contests.

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Thunder-Spurs: Second-Round Preview?

Russell Westbrook

Thanks to the Golden State Warriors, the San Antonio Spurs no longer have the opportunity to become the first team to go unbeaten at home in a regular season. I’m getting the feeling head coach Gregg Popovich will be just fine with that, however, as the Spurs have the opportunity to finish 40-1 if they can beat the Oklahoma City Thunder at the AT&T Center tonight.

Shark Bites
  • The total has gone OVER in five of the Thunder' last six games with a closing total of 204.0 or more.
  • The Spurs are 12-2 SU in their last 14 games after a loss.
  • The Thunder are 1-5 SU in their last six games on the road against the Spurs.

This is a potential second-round playoff series, but you’ll have to excuse both squads if they’re lacking urgency tonight. Until its recent three-game slide, San Antonio hadn’t lost three consecutive games all year long. The Spurs are coming off a 37.8 percent shooting performance versus the Dubs – the second-lowest mark of the campaign.

The good news for Spurs backers is the Thunder have been atrocious when it comes to playing on little rest. OKC, which hammered Los Angeles 112-79 on Monday, is 1-5 SU in their last six in the second half of back-to-back games.

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Ridiculous Pitchers Duel At Citi Field

Two of the best young pitchers on the planet are set square off against one another when the Miami Marlins visit the New York Mets Tuesday. Jose Fernandez, who takes the mound for the Marlins, has a career 2.50 ERA with a lifetime WAR of 8.9 while Noah Syndergaard is easily the hardest throwing starting pitcher in baseball.

Fernandez has historically struggled on the road during his young career, as the Cuban hurler is just 5-9 with a 3.78 ERA in 21 road games in his career. Fernandez has excelled in his limited appearances against the Mets though, as he is 1-0 with a 1.64 ERA in four starts versus New York.

Both Syndergaard’s fastball and sinker average out above 96 miles per hour while his newly added slider has averaged 93 mph. ‘Thor’ is coming off a spectacular performance in his first outing in which he went 6.0 innings without giving up a run while registering nine strikeouts.

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Yanks’ Tanaka has had Blue Jays’ Number

New York Yankees Toronto Blue Jays MLB

Don’t try telling Masahiro Tanaka about the potent offense the Toronto Blue Jays feature because he’s not buying any of it. The righty has been dominant versus the Jays during his young career and is slated to get the ball when the New York Yankees open a three-game set north of the border Tuesday evening.

Shark Bites
  • Josh Donaldson has gone 1 for 13 in his career versus Tanaka.
  • The visiting team is 1-3 SU in the last four games in this matchup.
  • The total has gone UNDER in three of the last four meetings between these two teams.

At online book Bovada, the Tanaka and the Yanks are presently even money while the Jays are -120. The total has been tabbed at 8.5 with OVER at -110 and UNDER presently -120.

In seven career starts versus the Jays, Tanaka has posted a record of 5-2 and sports a 2.23 ERA and 0.9 WHIP over 44 1/3 innings of work. Four of those starts came last season where he posted a 2-2 record, 2.42 ERA and 0.85 WHIP.

The 27-year-old went 5 2/3 innings in his first start of the season versus the Houston Astros back on April 5. He allowed a pair of runs and fanned four batters in a no-decision.

Countering for the Jays is expected to be Aaron Sanchez. The 23-year-old went seven strong innings while allowing five hits and one earned run in a 3-2 defeat to the Tampa Bay Rays in his first start. He struck out eight hitters and didn’t walk anyone in the no-decision.

The Jays performed very well down the stretch versus the Yankees last season, winning six of the final eight meetings between the two teams.

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Road Teams Dominating Pirates, Tigers

The Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Tigers meet for their second game in a four-game series on Tuesday following the Bucs hitting masterpiece Monday. The road team has been rolling when the Pirates and Tigers meet, as the visiting club is 6-0 while outscoring their hosting opponents 32-15 in the past six meetings between the two teams.

The Pirates won the first game in the series 7-4 while recording 17 hits, which included six doubles. Pittsburgh will send Juan Nicasio to the mound after the righty went 6.0 innings while allowing just one run against the St. Louis Cardinals in his season debut.

The Tigers will counter with Anibal Sanchez, who has historically struggled against the Pirates. Sanchez has just two starts against the Buccos over the past three seasons, with the Venezuelan import posting a 6.92 ERA.

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