At the start of the Stanley Cup playoffs, I preached patience and persistence as the two most important factors when it comes to making a profit betting on hockey this spring.
So far, so good for anybody that took that advice this week.
While I’ll never blindly commit to one basic system, it’s impossible to argue against the early results of the zig-zag betting approach this NHL postseason.
The Florida Panthers, New York Rangers and Dallas Stars all won on Thursday night to even up their first-round series’ at 1-1.
If you blindly bet on the teams that lost their series openers, then you went 6-2 straight up in Game 2s over the past 48 hours.
If you filtered out the Nashville Predators after the Colorado Avalanche jumped to -3500 to advance to the second round following a Game 1 win, then you hit on 85.7 per cent if your picks betting on the loser of Game 1 to bounce back.
Will that early trend continue throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs?
Again, I wouldn’t advocate for blindly betting on hockey with the zig-zag approach.
However, even if the early trend doesn’t continue, the betting market overreactions that we have tracked for each result indicate that we should be able to find some value picking out spots with some more winners over the coming weeks.
Here’s the TSN EDGE Morning Coffee for Friday, May 6th, 2022.
Rangers, Panthers, Stars Bounce Back In Game 2 Wins
NHL favourites went 3-1 on Thursday night, with three of the four games staying under the total.
Favourites improved to 10-6 in the opening round.
Game 2 favourites coming off a loss went 4-0.
The New York Rangers (-164 ML) got the party started last night with a 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Two nights after losing the opener in triple-overtime, the Rangers offence exploded for five goals, and Igor Shesterkin made 39 saves for the victory.
Shesterkin became the first goaltender in more than 65 years to register 100+ saves through his team’s first two games of the playoffs.
Per ESPN Stats & Info, the last 11 winners of a triple-overtime game have gone a combined 3-8 in the following game.
After dropping the series opener, New York went from -115 to +134 to advance to the second round at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Following a win in Game 2, the Rangers are once again the betting favourite to win the series at -152 at FanDuel.
Elsewhere, the Florida Panthers (-270 ML) bounced back from a loss in their opener with a 5-1 win over the Washington Capitals in Game 2.
Aaron Ekblad and Aleksander Barkov got the scoring started two minutes apart late in the first period.
After Nicklas Backstrom cut the deficit to one early in the second, Florida scored three straight goals to take a commanding lead heading into the third period.
FanDuel adjusted the Panthers from -184 to -320 to win the series.
For what it’s worth, Florida was -355 to win the series entering Game 1.
Thankfully for yours truly, Cale Makar was able to beat Connor Ingram in overtime with one of his 12 shots on goal as the Colorado Avalanche (-350 ML) beat the Nashville Predators 2-1 in overtime.
Ingram, who made 49 saves including several highlight-reel stops late in regulation, nearly stole a win for Nashville.
As somebody that had recommended parlays featuring the Rangers and Avalanche, as well as the Panthers and Avalanche, it turned out to be a lot more of a sweat than I had anticipated.
Fortunately, we got there with both parlays.
Colorado is now -4500 to advance at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Finally, Jake Oettinger turned aside all 29 shots he faced as the Dallas Stars (+194 ML) beat the Calgary Flames 2-0 in the lone upset of the night.
For those keeping track, Dallas and Calgary have combined for three goals over the first two games.
The total for each game was 5.5.
From what I saw in the late game, it looks like the Stars and Flames are going to give us a low-scoring series in which the first goal of the game will be absolutely crucial.
Both teams do an excellent job of limiting quality opportunities, and we certainly saw Dallas clamp down even more after taking a 1-0 lead last night.
Looking at the updated series prices at FanDuel Sportsbook, the Flames are still -260 to win the series.
The Stars are +210 to win three of the next five games and advance to the second round.
Mets Complete Remarkable Comeback
The New York Mets were down 7-1 heading into the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies last night.
They rallied with seven straight runs in the final inning to win 8-7.
For what it’s worth, you could find the Mets as high as 50-to-1 to win the game outright at FanDuel Sportsbook down six runs late.
Looking forward to tonight’s slate, New York is currently a -142 ML favourite for the rematch at FanDuel Sportsbook with Max Scherzer scheduled to take the bump opposite Kyle Gibson for the Phillies.
Reds Losing Streak Hits Nine
The Cincinnati Reds are the worst team in baseball, and it isn’t particularly close.
The Milwaukee Brewers beat up on Cincinnati in a 10-5 win on Thursday to complete the three-game sweep.
The Reds have now dropped nine in a row to fall to 3-22 this season.
19 of their 22 losses have been by two runs or more.
It’s been a great run fading Cincinnati so far this season, including recommending Milwaukee -1.5 -104 in this column on Thursday morning.
The NL Central-leading Brewers will visit the Reds again early next week.
It will be very interesting to see what the game odds look like for that three-game series when it rolls around.