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NHL First-Round Playoffs | Odds, Stats, and Picks for 8/17/20

It’s another great day of NHL action as we’ve got four games that will define each series going forward. Each of the games has a team that is up 2-1, so it should be a nice battle of force and desperation going at one another.

The day is headlined by a Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Columbus Blue Jackets matchup that will start the slate. Later on, we’ll see the Boston Bruins try and take a step closer to getting back to the Stanley Cup Finals with a win in Game 4 over the Carolina Hurricanes. Speaking of the finals, the St. Louis Blues would love to get back there as well; a win over the Vancouver Canucks in Game 4 tonight would go a long way in doing so.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the odds and best value plays we can find from all NHL games. All of these lines are according to DraftKings Sportsbook.


Tampa Bay Lightning at Columbus Blue Jackets (TB leads series 2-1)

3:00 p.m. EST | Watch: NBCSN

Total: 5 goals | Over: -115 | Under: -106
TB | Moneyline: -162 | Puck line -1.5: +163
CBJ | Moneyline: +140 | Puck Line +1.5: -200

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Where’s the Money Going? (as of 11 a.m. EST today)

Moneyline: CBJ, 56% of bets made | CBJ, 65% of money wagered
Puck Line: CBJ, 78% of bets made | CBJ, 93% of money wagered
Total: Over, 59% of bets made | Over, 77% of money wagered

Betting Pick: Over 5 goals (-115)

This series has been absolutely fantastic, with each game getting more exciting than the next. However, what we haven’t had is a lot of goals in the series – until today. The Lightning have been getting numerous chances against the Blue Jackets, outshooting them 159-102 in the three games. Joonas Korpisalo has been outstanding in net, stopping 152 of those 159 shots. I believe Tampa Bay gets around four goals past him today while Columbus tallies in two or three of their own. We are seeing a lot of sharp money move toward the over today.


Colorado Avalanche

Colorado Avalanche at Arizona Coyotes (COL leads series 2-1)

5:30 p.m. EST | Watch: NBCSN

Total: 5 goals | Over: -143 | Under: +118
COL | Moneyline: -195 | Puck Line -1.5: +145
ARZ | Moneyline: +165 | Puck Line +1.5: -177

Where’s the Money Going?

Moneyline: COL, 71% of bets made | COL, 72% of money wagered
Puck Line: COL, 78% of bets made | COL, 73% of money wagered
Total: Under, 57% of bets made | Over, 94% of money wagered

Betting Pick: Avalanche Puck Line -1.5 (+145)

I’m going back to the well with the same bet I had in Game 2, that we took an absolutely horrific bad beat on. The Coyotes got their one win in this series in Game 3, and now that’s it. The Avalanche are a much better offensive team and that should be on full display today. It’s alarming to see almost all of the money on the over, but it does lend some optimism to the fact that Colorado will have a big day offensively. We could easily take the over on five goals and feel comfortable about it, but we are getting plus-money on the Avs to win by two goals or more; I like those odds much better.


Boston Bruins Defenceman Matt Grzelcyk
Boston Bruins Defenceman Matt Grzelcyk

Boston Bruins at Carolina Hurricanes (BOS leads series 2-1)

8:00 p.m. EST | Watch: NBCSN

Total: 5.5 goals | Over: +118 | Under: -143
BOS | Moneyline: -124 | Puck Line -1.5: +215
CAR | Moneyline: +107 | Puck Line +1.5: -265

Where’s the Money Going?

Moneyline: BOS, 55% of bets made | BOS, 55% of money wagered
Puck Line: BOS, 67% of bets made | 50/50% of money wagered
Total: Over, 69% of bets made | Under, 61% of money wagered

Betting Pick: Hurricanes Moneyline (+110)

It’s time to go back to the well once again, just as I did with the Hurricanes in Games 2 and 3. There’s a lot to like about this team, mainly the well-balanced nature of how they get things done. Admittedly, I’m not in love with the goaltending situation on paper, but these guys find a way to get it done. In Game 3, I felt like the Bruins weren’t going to be able to mentally handle Tuukka Rask leaving the team on a moment’s notice; they rebounded and played well in front of Jaroslav Halak, a savvy veteran goalie in his own right. The first three games of this series feel like we’re in for a long battle going the distance, so let’s take Carolina to even it up at two games apiece.


Vancouver Canucks

St. Louis Blues at Vancouver Canucks (VAN leads 2-1)

10:30 p.m. EST | Watch: NBCSN

Total: 5.5 goals | Over: +104 | Under: -125
STL | Moneyline: -134 | Puck Line -1.5: +195
VAN | Moneyline: +115 | Puck Line +1.5: -240

Where’s the Money Going?

Moneyline: VAN, 75% of bets made | STL, 78% of money wagered
Puck Line: N/A of bets made | N/A of money wagered
Total: Under, 58% of bets made | Over, 60% of money wagered

Betting Pick: Canucks Moneyline (+115)

It truly must be the day of going back to well, because here we are again with the Canucks. Prior to their win in Game 3 last night, the Blues hadn’t won a single game in the bubble – exhibition, qualifying, playoffs… no wins. Now, we’re asking them to do that two nights in a row? I don’t think so. After all, it took overtime for St. Louis to finally get a win. Vancouver already found something that worked and the hope is that they continue to stick with it.