Big Scores Nothing New to Panthers-Isles

Thomas Greiss New York Islanders NHL

There was no shortage of goals in the series opener between the Florida Panthers and New York Islanders but if you’ve been paying attention to the previous meetings between these two teams, that should come as little surprise. The two clubs get right back at it as Game 2 is set to go in Sunrise Friday night.

Shark Bites
  • The Islanders are 4-0 SU in their last four games versus teams with winning records.
  • The total has gone OVER in eight of the Panthers’ last nine home games.
  • The Panthers are 2-5 SU in their last seven games versus teams with winning records.

OVER wagers have cashed in nine of the previous 11 meetings between these two clubs and the other two results were pushes. Over the course of those 11 games, which dates back to a 5-2 Isles win back on April 16, 2013, there has been an average of 6.54 goals scored per game.

John Tavares, who entered the series with one point in three regular season meetings with the Panthers, tallied one goal and two assists in the series opener, stealing away home-ice advantage from the Panthers.

Isles netminder Thomas Greiss was pelted with rubber all night long but managed to stop 42 of the 46 shots he had faced, outplaying Roberto Luongo on the other end of the ice. The Panthers goalie never seemed on his game as he allowed five goals on just 26 shots.

The win continued a string of strong performances away from home for the Isles. They’ve now won their last four games away from Brooklyn.

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David vs. Goliath as Flyers Meet Caps

Braden Holtby Washington Capitals Claude Giroux Philadelphia Flyers NHL

After finishing the regular season with the most points and clinching the Presidents’ Trophy, it’s time for the Washington Capitals to put up or shut up as they open their Stanley Cup quest versus the Philadelphia Flyers Thursday evening.

Shark Bites
  • The visiting team has gone 5-12 SU in the last 17 games in this matchup.
  • The Flyers are 5-2 SU in their last seven games versus teams with winning records.
  • The Capitals have gone 22-8 in their last 30 games at home.

Online shop Bovada is presently offering the Caps at -240 in moneyline markets while the Flyers are being offered at +190. As far as the total is concerned, OVER 5 goals is presently -120 while UNDER 5 goals is -110.

The Caps finished a stellar regular season with 120 points – 11 more than anyone else in the league and 24 more than their opening round opponent. The Capitals have won the Presidents’ Trophy before, but with less-than-stellar results. They captured the trophy in 2009-10 with a whopping 121 points, but were eliminated by the Montreal Canadiens in the opening round.

The Flyers won’t need any extra motivation but that little tidbit will certainly be good bulletin board material prior to the puck dropping. A second-half surge propelled the Flyers up the standings and enabled them to clinch the eighth seed in the East and a date with the Caps.

The clubs split four meetings during the regular season and it was the Flyers that took the most recent. Philly skated to a 2-1 shootout victory when the clubs last met on March 30 and have actually gone 8-3 SU the last 11 times these two have met.

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Quick was Futile in Starts Versus Sharks

Joe Pavelski San Jose Sharks Anze Kopitar Los Angeles Kings NHL

Many feel like the Los Angeles Kings have a good shot at hoisting another Stanley Cup this season. While that might be true, netminder Jonathan Quick will have to step up his game against the San Jose Sharks if they hope to escape the first round. The puck drops on this all-California matchup Thursday night at Staples Center.

Shark Bites
  • The Kings are 11-4 SU in their last 15 games at home.
  • The Sharks are 7-2 SU in their last nine games versus teams with a winning record.
  • The Sharks are 4-12 SU in their last 16 games in Los Angeles.

Online shop Bovada is presently offering the Kings at -145 in moneyline markets for Game 1 while the Sharks come in at +115. The total is tabbed at 5 goals with both OVER and UNDER currently priced at -115.

Quick was lit up by the Sharks this season. In three starts, the Kings’ puck stopper went 0-3 with a 4.40 goals against average and paltry .845 save percentage. Those numbers pale in comparison to his 2.22 GAA and .918 save percentage overall this season.

Joe Pavelski, in particular, was a thorn in L.A.’s side this season. Pavelski scored four goals and had six assists for 10 points in five games versus the Kings during the regular season. The assists and points were his highest against any other team and the goal total was tied with the four he posted versus the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Bizarrely, the underdog went 5-0 SU in five games during the regular season. Furthermore, the Sharks finished the regular season as a hot bet away from home. In their final eight road games, San Jose went 7-1 SU.

These two Pacific Division rivals have met in the postseason three times before. The Kings won in seven games after going down 3-0 in 2014 and seven games back in 2013. The Sharks eliminated the Kings in six games back in 2011.

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Stars Hot at Home and Against the Wild

Jamie Benn

Deep in the heart of Texas, the American Airlines Center will play host to Game 1 of the first round series matchup between the Stars and Wild. Dallas has won six straight games on their home ice and went 4-1 this season vs the Wild.

Minnesota enters the playoffs struggling, losing five straight games, being outscored 16-6 in that stretch. The Stars, meanwhile, are hot, going 6-1 to close out the season, outscoring their competition 25-14 in those games.

Given their recent history against each other and the way they closed out their seasons, the Stars enter this one the obvious favorite, coming in at -185 at online shop Bodog, with the Wild coming back at +155. Minessota struggled as underdogs this season, going 7-18.

If things weren’t bad enough for the Wild, it’s been announced that their leading goal scorer, Zach Parise, will miss at least the first two games in the series. The Stars got some good news regarding the health of one of their top scorers as Tyler Seguin is available to play, however, he might be rested as his Achilles isn’t completed healed , so be sure to monitor his status as the game approaches.

Regardless if Seguin plays or not, he and Jamie Benn owned the Wild this season, combining for 16 points in five game.

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Panthers Have Been Strong Versus Isles

Florida Panthers New York Islanders NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Florida Panthers shocked everyone by putting together an exceptional regular season and winning the Atlantic Division. Now, for just the second time in franchise history, the Panthers will look to win an opening round series when they tangle with the New York Islanders as things get started in Sunrise Thursday evening.

Shark Bites
  • The total has gone OVER in eight of the previous 10 meetings between these teams.
  • The Panthers are 11-4 SU in the last 15 games versus the Metropolitan Division.
  • The total has gone OVER in seven of the Panthers’ last eight home games.

The Panthers are presently -140 in moneyline markets at online book Bovada while the Islanders can be had at +120. OVER 5 goals is presently -135 while UNDER 5 goals is +115.

The Panthers won the Atlantic Division with 103 points – six more than the Tampa Bay Lightning. A 12-game winning streak that bridged 2015 and 2016 catapulted the Panthers into the division title conversation and they never looked back.

Florida enters the playoffs as one of the hotter teams in the league as they’ve won five of six and seven of their last nine. They’ve won four of the last five meetings with the Islanders and took two of three from them this season.

The Isles, who have lost back-to-back games entering the playoffs, did win the most recent meeting, however, as they skated to a 3-2 victory on home ice back on March 14.

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Penguins Peaking at the Right Time

Henrik Lundqvist New York Rangers Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins NHL

Nobody wants to face a team hitting their stride as the playoffs begin and the New York Rangers have been tasked with just that as they get paired up with the scorching-hot Pittsburgh Penguins in the series opener Wednesday night.

Shark Bites
  • The Penguins are 9-2 SU in their last 11 games on home ice.
  • The Rangers are 1-5 SU in their last six games versus the Metropolitan Division.
  • The total has gone OVER in the Rangers’ last three road games.

Despite a 3-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers in the final game of the regular season, no team is playing better hockey than the Penguins. The Pens closed the season with a 14-2 SU record in their final 16 games. Pittsburgh used the late-season surge to nab second place in the competitive Metropolitan Division and leapfrog the Rangers. They are not without injury concerns, however, as Evgeni Malkin remains out and Olli Maatta, Beau Bennett and Bryan Rust are questionable. Goaltending is another issue as Marc-Andre Fleury’s status remains up in the air as he continues to deal with a concussion.

As for the Blueshirts, they’ll look to extend their postseason dominance over the Pens with a win in the opening round. The Rangers defeated Pittsburgh in five games in the first round last season and seven games in the second round in the 2014 playoffs.

Henrik Lundqvist has been dealing with a bit of illness but should get the start Wednesday. He has certainly not closed the season on a strong note as he posted a 3.38 goals against average in nine March starts and a 3.32 GAA in four April starts.

The Pens were excellent versus the Rangers this season as they won three of four head-to-head meetings including both on the road at Madison Square Garden.

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Blues on a Roll at Home vs Blackhawks

Blues Blackhawks NHL

The St. Louis Blues will embark on a quest to end a run of disappointing playoff performances tonight at home against the Blackhawks. Luckily for them, they’ve owned Chicago when the teams meet at the Scottrade Center, winning eight of the last 11 times the teams met there.

Looking at a smaller sample size, the Blues have also had the edge in this matchup recently, winning two straight, most recently in a 2-1 victory last week. Given their recent home dominance over the Hawks, the Blues opened as a -140 moneyline favorite with Chicago coming back at +110. Chicago hasn’t performed well in the underdog role, as they’ve gone just 3-8 in that spot this season.

The total for the game is set at an even five goals — a number these teams have failed to top in their last three games against each other. Even though the Blues saw more UNDERs and OVERs this season, it wasn’t their offense’s fault as they’ve scored over half of the posted total in 15 of their last 18 games.

These team last met in a playoff series in a first round matchup in 2014. Chicago won the series in six game, but the Blues were victorious in the first two games of the series which took place in St. Louis.

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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.



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