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Why the Sharks Win the Stanley Cup

San Jose Sharks NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs

For the first time in their 25-year history, the San Jose Sharks will play in the Stanley Cup Final as their series with the Pittsburgh Penguins begins Monday evening at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.

The Sharks defeated the Los Angeles Kings in five games in the opening round, followed by eliminating the Nashville Predators in seven and the St. Louis Blues in six. Can they put the finishing touches on the Pens and lock up hockey’s holy grail? That’s something that will be answered in what promises to be an excellent series.

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Why the Penguins Win the Stanley Cup

On Monday night in Pittsburgh, the 2016 Stanley Cup Final gets underway and the Penguins will look to win their fourth Stanley Cup in franchise history. The Penguins opened as -120 favorites over the San Jose Sharks to win the series, and I think they’ll get it done.

Here’s why:

They’ve already beaten the best

The Penguins have had the toughest road to the Stanley Cup Final in recent memory.

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San Jose Sharks at St. Louis Blues Betting Odds and Pick

The St. Louis Blues will look to bolster their win total and reward fans moneyline betting when the San Jose Sharks invade Scottrade Center on Friday.

The San Jose Sharks will look to vanquish their hosts on Friday, as they are 58-33-9 this season, while the Blues are 59-32-11. San Jose is 51-38-11 against the total, while St. Louis is 41-45-16 versus the number.

Game/Event ID: 
730596
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Will Lightning Strike in a Game 7 Again?

Nikita Kucherov Tampa Bay Lightning Phil Kessel Pittsburgh Penguins NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs

We find out who will be joining the San Jose Sharks in the 2016 Stanley Cup final as the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday evening. The Lightning have actually been a fantastic wager in Game 7’s throughout their brief history and get a crack at posting another W tonight.

Shark Bites
  • The fave has gone 17-4 SU in the last 21 games between the Lightning and Penguins.
  • OVER has cashed in 18 of the previous 21 meetings between the Lightning and Penguins.
  • The Lightning are 5-1 SU in the last six games as road underdogs.

Online shop Bovada is presently offering the Pens at -190 in moneyline markets while the Lightning currently come in at +160. As far as the total is concerned, OVER 5.5 goals is currently +110 while UNDER 5.5 goals is -130.

The Lightning have played six Game 7’s in their franchise history (none during their current playoff run) and have won five of those – including a pair of Game 7 wins en route to a Stanley Cup final appearance last season. Furthermore, UNDER has been an excellent wager in Tampa Game 7’s as well, cashing in all six spots.

As far as the Penguins are concerned, they have gone 7-7 SU in their history when it comes to Game 7’s and have lost three straight (2010, 2011, 2014) entering Thursday’s contest. The pair have met once before in a Game 7, coming in 2011 when the Bolts blanked them by a score of 1-0.

The Pens have gone 6-3 SU in nine home games during the playoffs with Lightning posting an excellent road record of 5-2 SU away from the Amalie Arena.

Game/Event ID: 
730570
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Game 7 Histories of Penguins & Lightning

Penguins Lightning

Betting on who’s at home or away or who’s favored or the dog hasn’t given bettors much of an edge in this series, as the home team has won just twice, while Pittsburgh has been the favorite in each game.

A quick glance to your right will show you that the Penguins are favored to win Game 7 Thursday night against the Lightning. As of this writing, the Pens are healthy -190 favorites, which seems about right as they closed between -179 and -207 in their three previous home games against the Lightning in this series.

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Blues Have Been Great as Road Dogs

After combining for 18 goals in the last two games, the Blues and Sharks will hit the ice tonight in San Jose with the Sharks looking to book their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final. A win would mark the first ever conference championship for the long time underachieving Sharks who’ve won six division championships but have no playoff success to show for it.

The story of this series has been inconsistency. Over the last four games there’s been two shut outs, and two games where a team scored six goals. San Jose opened the day as a -159 home favorite, which is a spot they’ve performed well in during the playoffs, posting a 6-2 record. One of those losses was in the last game to St. Louis, however, as they were lit up in a 6-3 loss.

The Blues have actually fared extremely well as road underdogs, going 10-3 in their last 13 games in that spot. This includes winning three of their last four as road dogs in the playoffs where they outscored the opposition 14-10.

Brian Elliott will get the nod in net for the Blues after Jake Allen allowed four goals on 25 shots in Monday’s loss. Elliott started the first three games of the series where he allowed seven goals on 69 shots. After recording shutouts in Game 2 and 3, Martin Jones will be tasked with keeping the door shut for the Sharks.

Game/Event ID: 
730595
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Consider the OVER in Pens-Bolts Game 6

Pittsburgh Penguins Tampa Bay Lightning Stanley Cup Playoffs NHL

The Tampa Bay Lightning have a chance to finish the Eastern Conference final with a win on home ice in Game 6 Tuesday night. While the Bolts have certainly been a great home team during the postseason (6-2 SU), there has been no real home-ice advantage per se in this series, but there is one trend bettors should be taking note of when these two teams play.

Shark Bites
  • The Penguins are 2-6 SU in their last eight games against the Lightning.
  • The Lightning are 6-14 SU in their last 20 games as underdogs.
  • The Lightning are 5-1 SU in their last six games with one day off between games.

Online shop Bovada is presently offering the Lightning at +120 in moneyline markets while the Pens come in at -140. As far as the total is concerned, OVER 5.5 goals is priced at +120 while UNDER 5.5 goals is -140. In puckline markets, the Pens are +205 as -1.5 faves while the Bolts are -245 as puckline dogs.

OVER wagers have cashed in three-straight contests in the series with the OVER/UNDER record now sitting at 3-1-1 entering Game 6. As a matter of fact, this trend isn’t really anything new when it comes down to the Penguins and Lightning as 17 of the previous 20 meetings between these two have cashed for OVER bettors.

The debate has been raging over who should start in the crease for the Pens - Matt Murray or Marc-Andre Fleury – and, as of Tuesday afternoon, it looks like head coach Mike Sullivan is going back to Murray, who had performed admirably throughout the postseason until the change. Fleury got the start in Game 5 after replacing Murray in Game 4.

Still, it doesn’t seem to matter who is in the blue paint for the Pens as Nikita Kucherov is taking the postseason by storm. The 22-year-old leads the playoffs with 11 goals including a clutch game-tying goal with just over three minutes on the clock in Game 5, before Tyler Johnson, who is also coming up with timely goals, scored the winner.

Game/Event ID: 
730569
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Sharks are a Poor Bet on the Road

The St. Louis Blues ended their offensive drought in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals, but the San Jose Sharks did not make it easy on them. With the series tied at two games apiece, Game 5 gets underway in Missouri on Monday.

Shark Bites
  • The UNDER is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.
  • The road team is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings.
  • The Sharks are 1-4 in their last 5 road games.

Blues’ goaltender Jake Allen will receive his second consecutive start after stepping up in Game 4. The netminder took over for a struggling Brian Elliott and made 31 saves in St. Louis’ 6-3 triumph. Martin Jones will counter in the crease for the Sharks.

At this point in the year it’s normal for players to be banged up, but St. Louis is singing the blues in that department right now. Captain David Backes and rookie forward Robby Fabbri suffered undisclosed injuries and missed a significant portion of ice time on Saturday, leaving their status for Monday in jeopardy. Head coach Ken Hitchcock told reporters he will decide if they will play on Monday.

Game/Event ID: 
730583
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Pavelski Favored to Get NHL ’17 Cover

Joe Pavelski San Jose Sharks NHL

The vote for the cover athlete of EA Sports’ popular NHL 17 video game has come down to a pair of players who are actually facing off in the postseason: Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks and Vladimir Tarasenko of the St. Louis Blues.

If you feel confident one way or the other, why not place a bet?

Online shop Bovada is currently offering Pavelski as the -135 favorite with Tarasenko coming in at +105. Fan votes decide the cover athlete and there have already been a couple rounds of voting thus far.

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Blues are Ice-Cold on Offense

Have the St. Louis Blues finally met their match? Thanks to a pair of lopsided defeats to the San Jose Sharks, the Blues aren’t done yet but find themselves down 2-1 in the Western Conference series. Game 4 is Saturday night in California.

Shark Bites
  • The Blues are 8-2 SU in their last 10 games after a loss.
  • The Sharks have scored over half of the posted total in six of their last seven games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in the Blues' last three games.

The Blues haven’t scored a goal in 7.5 period and must try and take one in an arena where San Jose has won six in a row in the playoffs, including the past three by an amazing 13-1 margin.

The Blues’ suffering power-play can be attributed to San Jose’s smother penalty kill. The Sharks have killed off 18 of 19 short handed situations over the past seven games.

The UNDER continues to be the hot bet in this series, as each West finals game has gone below the closing total so far.

Game/Event ID: 
730582
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