NHL Picks May 8: First Round Action

The NHL has reached the postseason and there is a full slate of first-round action. There are four games scheduled Toronto and Tampa Bay headlining the action.

Toronto Maple Leafs versus Tampa Bay Lightning

Toronto enters the contest with a +30 to +24 edge on the Power Ranking Indicator and Tampa Bay is “average up” versus “average” on the Team Strength Oscillator.  The Lightning is the favorite with odds of 1.795 to 2.180. The Score Predictor likes Tampa Bay by a 4-2 score with 59 percent confidence. The teams have combined to go over the line in seven of their last 12 games combined. The Lightning has been the more stable team, at +21 on the Team Volatility Oscillator. I like Tampa Bay by a goal or two but avoid the “over/under” bet.

Carolina Hurricanes versus Boston Bruins

The Hurricanes enter the playoffs “burning hot” compared to “average down”, but the Bruins have a +23 to +19 edge on the Power Ranking Indicator. In addition, Boston is the favorite with odds of 1.880 to 2.068 and the Score Predictor has Boston by a 4-3 score with 83 percent confidence. The teams have been trending in games “over” the line in 11 of their last 12 games combined. Both teams are showing great stability on the Team Volatility Oscillator. Go with Boston at home in a game that could go into overtime and bet “over” the line.

Minnesota Wild versus St. Louis Blues

The Wild enter the contest “average up” versus “average down” and a +27 to +25 edge on the Power Ranking Indicator. Nevertheless, St. Louis is the favorite with odds of 1.880 to 2.068 and the Score Predictor has them winning by a 4-3 score with 74 percent confidence. The Blues have been involved in games “over” the line in five of their last six but the Wild are the more consistent teams with regards to their favorite/underdog status. Go with the Blues to win by two goals in a game “over” the line.

Edmonton Oilers versus Los Angeles Kings

Edmonton comes into action as a road favorite with odds of 1.875 to 2.072. The Score Predictor also likes them by a score of 3-2 with 68 percent confidence. The Oilers are “average up” versus “average” on the Team Strength Oscillator and the Kings have a +21 to +19 edge on the Power Ranking Indicator. Note that the teams have both been involved in games “over” the line in five of their last six. I like that trend to continue and go with the Oilers in a road win.

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