The NHL playoff series now start shifting to the lower seed’s home, which is where things really start to get interesting. With the exception of Boston, every lower seed has the theoretical home advantage at this point, as the higher seed will have to win at least one game on the road to keep their season going past a sixth game.
However, some series feel a little bit more even than others. For example, the Minnesota Wild might have broken through against the St. Louis Blues to even their series, but they’re now playing in a building where they haven’t won a game since 2018. The Edmonton Oilers, on the other hand, feel like they’re going to be in a dogfight with the Los Angeles Kings, as their problems are more based around their mental block in the playoffs as opposed to any particular trouble with their opponent.
Here are the lines for May 6’s action.
NHL Playoffs Odds & Lines For May 6
Carolina Hurricanes vs. Boston Bruins
Spread: CAR +1.5 (-250) | BOS -1.5 (+195)
Moneyline: CAR +105 | BOS -125
Total: 5.5 (-115)
Hurricanes vs. Bruins Game Time: Friday, 7 p.m. EDT
Hurricanes vs. Bruins Location: TD Garden, Boston
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
Spread: TOR +1.5 (-250) | TB -1.5 (-250)
Moneyline: TOR +100 | TB -120
Total: 6.5 (-115)
Maple Leafs vs. Lightning Game Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m. EST
Maple Leafs vs. Lightning Location: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Fla.
Minnesota Wild vs. St. Louis Blues
Spread: MIN +1.5 (-250) | STL -1.5 (+200)
Moneyline: MIN +100| STL -120
Total: 6.5 (-115)
Wild vs. Blues Game Time: Friday, 9:30 p.m. EST
Wild vs. Blues Location: Enterprise Center, St. Louis
Edmonton Oilers vs. Los Angeles Kings
Spread: EDM -1.5 (+170) | LAK +1.5 (-200)
Moneyline: EDM -145 | LAK +120
Total: 6.5 (-115)
Oilers vs. Kings Game Time: Friday, 10 p.m. EST
Oilers vs. Kings Location: Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles
The series will shift to the lower seed’s home after these games, so the pressure is on for all of these teams to try to get themselves in a favorable position going to a new arena. Here are my best NHL picks for May 6.
NHL Best Bet May 6: Carolina Hurricanes ML (+105) vs. Boston Bruins, 7 p.m. EST, available at BetMGM
Plus money for the Hurricanes actually does make some sense this time around, as they might be without starting goaltender Antti Raanta after his collision with David Pastrnak in Game 2 on Wednesday. But even if Raanta can’t go, I still like Carolina’s chances in Game 3. The Hurricanes continue to bully Boston, as they’ve now outscored the Hurricanes by 25-4 this season.
One of the biggest ways they’re doing that is dominance in the faceoff circle. In the first two games of this series, Carolina won 56% of faceoffs, the largest percentage of any of the eight first-round playoff series. If Boston doesn’t start getting control of the puck and avoiding bad penalties, the Bruins won’t make it back to Raleigh.
NHL Best Bet May 6: Tampa Bay Lightning ML (-120) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs, 7:30 p.m. EST, available at BetMGM
Toronto did the one thing it couldn’t afford to do in Game 2: it let Tampa Bay back into the series. The Lightning are now 15-0 after a loss in the playoffs over the past two seasons, but it felt different after Game 1 because this was a third playoff campaign and a total whitewashing at the hands of a good, young squad.
Now everyone — Toronto included — knows it’s a series, and that means the momentum swings hard to the Lightning. Tampa Bay has been here before many times and handled adversity beautifully. Toronto has not proven that it can handle any adversity, and they’re likely to face plenty in Tampa.
NHL Best Bet May 6: St. Louis Blues ML (-120) vs. Minnesota Wild, 9:30 p.m. EST, available at BetMGM
I still believe in the Blues, even though the goaltending was a bit suspect in Game 2. St. Louis controlled the flow of play for most of the first 10 minutes before two goaltending errors left the Blues chasing the game in a way they did not in Game 1. That leaves the question of which Blues side was the real one, and I think it’s the one we saw in Game 1.
Remember, the Wild are just 3-13 in their past 16 meetings against the Blues. They have not played particularly well in this matchup and have really struggled in St. Louis. With the series moving to Missouri, I think the Blues bounce back.