NHL Playoffs: Round One Picks April 30

The first round of the NHL playoffs is well underway, and three series are guaranteed to go to a 5th game. All of these games are scheduled for April 30. We will look at those to see which team has the best shot at advancing and which teams head home early for the summer.

New York Islanders versus Carolina Hurricanes

Carolina comes into the game “burning hot” versus “ice cold down” on the Team Strength Oscillator and +29 to +14 on the Power Ranks Indicator. The Hurricanes finished 2nd in the Eastern Conference with 111 points during the regular season while the Islanders were 7th with 94 points. The teams have been in games “over” the line in ten of the last 12 and the score prediction is 5-1 in favor of Carolina with 84 percent confidence. Carolina was 27-10-4 at home during the regular season and New York was 18-17-6 on the road. The Hurricanes have outscored the Islanders 15-7 over the last four games, all victories.  I like the Hurricanes to handle the Islanders by a few goals in a game going “over” the line.

Nashville Predators versus Vancouver Canucks

Vancouver entered the playoffs 3rd in the Western Conference with 109 points in the regular season and Nashville was 6th in the conference with 99 points. Vancouver was 27-9-5 at home and Nashville posted a stellar 24-14-3 record on the road. The Canucks are “average up” versus “average down” on the Team Strength Oscillator and +26 to +21 on the Power Ranks Indicator. The last game between the teams went “under” the line, but the previous trend was “over” the line. The score prediction is for the Predators to win a close contest, 3-2, with confidence of 59 percent. Vancouver has dominated this season over Nashville, winning five of the previous six games. I see that trend continuing, particularly at home, but will pass on the “over/under” bet.

Toronto Maple Leafs versus Boston Bruins

Toronto enters “dead” on the Team Strength Oscillator versus “average” for Boston. The Bruins were 4th in the Eastern Conference with 109 points and Toronto was 5th with 102 points. Boston has a +24 to +18 edge on the Power Ranks Indicator. The teams have been trending in games “over” the line, but the score prediction is 3-1 in favor of Boston with only 36 percent confidence. The Bruins took two of the first three games in the series, outscoring the Maple Leafs 11-7. Both teams have been consistently performing overall regarding their favorite/underdog status. I like Boston to take care of business at home, winning by two goals in a game “over” the line.

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