NHL Betting News and Notes Wednesday 4/11

NHL Betting News and Notes Wednesday 4/11

Wednesday's Best NHL Bets
By Covers.com

Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins (-170, 5.5)

Any way you slice this series, it looks like it’s going to be a long one.

Considering how much these teams dislike each other and the firepower on both benches, it might end up being the best series in the opening round.

"There's guys on there that you don't like that are obviously some of the best players in the league," Scott Hartnell said. "You see them on the highlights every night and it annoys you. For us to win this series, we're going to have (to) hold those guys down. I don't think you have to look very hard to get your blood boiling."

This is playoff hockey now, so we’re unlikely to see the fights and misconducts we’ve become used to with these teams, but there will be power play opportunities – and goals.

Pittsburgh had played over in 10 straight games before its 4-2 regular season finale win over the Flyers pushed the 6-goal total.

Pick: Over

Detroit Red Wings at Nashville Predators (-130, 5)

The Red Wings and Predators rested some of their big guns down the stretch to get ready for this series, but one player who was just getting into the swing of things was Alexander Radulov.

In nine games since coming back from the KHL, Radulov has three goals and seven points. He’s the type of scoring threat that’s going to give Detroit some problems.

"He was a star, best player in the league back there. I'm pretty sure he'll be here soon, too [as a star]," Detroit’s Jiri Hudler said Monday. "I think it'll help him that he came right after the season. He played a lot of minutes back home."

Nashville finished the regular season with four wins in its last five games, including a 4-1 victory in Detroit. Riding that momentum, you have to like the Preds to strike first blood in the series.

Pick: Predators

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Series to Watch
By Bookmaker.ag

Nashville Predators Hope To Hold Home Ice Advantage Over Detroit Red Wings

Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN will be the site of Wednesday, April 11th's NHL betting showdown between the Nashville Predators (48-26-8) and the Detroit Red Wings (48-28-6).

You'll be able to catch the puck drop on this one at 8:00 ET on CNBC and CBC.

Home ice advantage is always crucial here in the playoffs, but it is even more of an edge in this series between two teams that have already faced off six times over the course of the regular season.
   
Nashville had to know when it beat the NHL betting odds against the Colorado Avalanche in the final game of the regular season that it was in great shape, while Detroit had to have a sinking feeling after losing in a shootout to the Chicago Blackhawks on the road earlier that afternoon.

The Predators are a fantastic home team. They went 26-10-5 this year here at Bridgestone Arena, and Pekka Rinne has historically been virtually unbeatable in this building. This year, he went 25-8-5 at home with a 2.33 GAA, and he has an 86-33-17 record for his career in this building as well.

Meanwhile, when you look at the NHL betting splits for the Red Wings and the difference between their home and road records, you have to cringe. Sure, they dominated at home this year, rolling off 23 straight wins, an NHL record.

They ended with a 31-7-3 record at Joe Louis Arena, the best home record amongst all teams in the league. That being said, they went just 17-21-3 on the road, the worst mark for a team in the Western Conference playoffs and the second worst record on the road in the entire postseason; just in front of the Washington Capitals. It should come as no surprise that home ice advantage has already stood up in this series in the regular season.

The home team went 4-2 in the six clashes against the NHL betting odds, with both teams winning on enemy ice once over the course of the year.

Nashville definitely has the edge, though. It comes into the postseason on a three-game winning streak in which it has outscored teams 10-2. Detroit has lost four out of six, and it doesn't have a regulation victory in six straight games.

Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins Begin Crucial 4/5 Series

The battle on the NHL playoff lines will be hot and heavy on Wednesday, April 11th between the Philadelphia Flyers (47-26-9) and the Pittsburgh Penguins (51-25-6). It all gets started at Consol Energy Arena in Pittsburgh, PA with the puck dropping at 7:30 ET. Live television coverage is set for the NBC Sports Network and TSN. The Penguins and the Flyers hate each other as much as any two teams in hockey right now, and when these two battle each other against the NHL playoff lines, anything can happen.

It is clear that entering this series, the advantage goes to the Pens. They are the favorites to win the whole enchilada this year in spite of the fact that they are the #4 seed in the East, though they do come into the postseason sporting the most wins in the league with 51. Pittsburgh's season really hinged on the play of Evgeni Malkin, who is sure to be the Hart Memorial Trophy winner this year after running away with the league lead in points. James Neal proved to be a valuable commodity in his first full year in the Steel City, while of course, finally getting Sidney Crosby back on the ice has proven to be a tremendous boost to a team that was already fantastic offensively.

For quite some time though, it was Philly and not Pittsburgh that boasted the best offensive unit in the league. The Flyers never really did get their goaltending situation worked out, but they did score 264 goals this year; the third best mark in the Eastern Conference. If they are going to beat the NHL betting lines at all in this series, they are going to have to make sure that they get a bunch of great looks at Marc-Andre Fleury.

Philly picked up Ilya Bryzgalov just for this situation. He is going to enter the postseason as the team's undisputed net minder, something that we haven't seen out of the Flyersat all in the past few years. However, Bryzgalov will be up against it taking on Fleury, a man that has already played his way to a Stanley Cup title in his career.

This is going to be the third bout between these two teams on the NHL wagering lines in the last week and a half in this venue. The two teams split the clashes, but Philadelphia won the season series 4-2.

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NHL Preview

Flyers @ Penguins -- Philly is 0-6 in Stanley Cup finals since winning titles in both '74/'75; they've won five of last seven first round series. Flyers won four of six vs Pittsburgh this year, with four of last five going over total- they're 5-1 in last six games in Igloo, 47-58 overall. Four of Penguins' last six playoff series went to a 7th game; they're 28-90 lifetime in Philly. Pittsburgh split their last four first round series. Flyers are 3-2 in playoff series against Pittsburgh; they won seven of last nine games overall. Penguins won four of last five.

Red Wings @ Predators -- Nashville got its first playoff series win in franchise history LY, beating Ducks in six games; they've played Detroit two other times in playoffs, losing in six games both times. Detroit won in first round six of last seven years- they're 25-11 at home vs Predators, 18-17 in Music City. Wings lost four of last six games overall; Nashville won four of last five, allowing total of three goals in the four wins. Teams split six meetings this year, with Preds winning last two. Detroit four of last six visits to Nashville.

Kings @ Canucks -- Vancouver won Presidents' Cup last two years; they won last four first round series. These teams split four playoff series over the years, are 4-4 in regular season series last two years, with under 7-0-1 in those eight games; they split last six played here. LA hasn't won playoff series since 2001; they're 1-5 in first round series since losing in '93 Finals. Kings lost five of last eight games overall; Canucks won eight of last nine games, have won seven in a row at home. This has been a very even series over the years.

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Re: NHL Betting News and Notes Wednesday 4/11

PHILADELPHIA (47-26-0-9, 103 pts.) at PITTSBURGH (51-25-0-6, 108 pts.)

Top Trends for this game.
PITTSBURGH is 15-4 ATS (+8.7 Units) after a 3 game unbeaten streak this season.
PITTSBURGH is 18-3 ATS (+14.0 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season this season.
PHILADELPHIA is 24-15 ATS (+39.5 Units) in road games vs. division opponents over the last 3 seasons.
PITTSBURGH is 57-78 ATS (-30.4 Units) when playing with 3 or more days rest since 1996.
PITTSBURGH is 27-34 ATS (-36.0 Units) in home games when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 3 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
PHILADELPHIA is 9-9 (+0.6 Units) against the spread versus PITTSBURGH over the last 3 seasons
PITTSBURGH is 9-9-0 straight up against PHILADELPHIA over the last 3 seasons
9 of 16 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons . (Under=+1.6 Units)


DETROIT (48-28-0-6, 102 pts.) at NASHVILLE (48-26-0-8, 104 pts.)

Top Trends for this game.
DETROIT is 1-8 ATS (-9.6 Units) in road games after a division game this season.
NASHVILLE is 47-34 ATS (+1.1 Units) in all games this season.
NASHVILLE is 28-16 ATS (+1.6 Units) second half of the season this season.
NASHVILLE is 16-8 ATS (+5.0 Units) vs. division opponents this season.
NASHVILLE is 26-19 ATS (+45.8 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.

Head-to-Head Series History
NASHVILLE is 9-9 (+1.8 Units) against the spread versus DETROIT over the last 3 seasons
NASHVILLE is 9-9-0 straight up against DETROIT over the last 3 seasons
11 of 17 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons . (Under=+3.6 Units)


LOS ANGELES (40-27-0-15, 95 pts.) at VANCOUVER (51-22-0-9, 111 pts.)

Top Trends for this game.
LOS ANGELES is 39-42 ATS (-14.5 Units) in all games this season.
VANCOUVER is 13-1 ATS (+11.4 Units) when playing with 3 or more days rest over the last 2 seasons.
VANCOUVER is 22-5 ATS (+12.8 Units) in home games after a division game over the last 2 seasons.
VANCOUVER is 191-177 ATS (-86.8 Units) in home games second half of the season since 1996.

Head-to-Head Series History
VANCOUVER is 11-7 (+1.3 Units) against the spread versus LOS ANGELES over the last 3 seasons
VANCOUVER is 11-7-0 straight up against LOS ANGELES over the last 3 seasons
9 of 14 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons . (Under=+3.6 Units)

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PHILADELPHIA vs. PITTSBURGH
Philadelphia is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Pittsburgh
Philadelphia is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games when playing Pittsburgh
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Pittsburgh's last 8 games at home
Pittsburgh is 12-2 SU in its last 14 games at home

DETROIT vs. NASHVILLE
Detroit is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Nashville
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Detroit's last 9 games when playing on the road against Nashville
Nashville is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Nashville's last 6 games

LOS ANGELES vs. VANCOUVER
Los Angeles is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games when playing Vancouver
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Los Angeles's last 10 games when playing on the road against Vancouver
Vancouver is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
Vancouver is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing Los Angeles

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Philadelphia at Pittsburgh
Philadelphia: 12-3 SU away off a road loss
Pittsburgh: 2-7 SU off BB division games

Detroit at Nashville
Detroit: 30-12 SU off BB home games
Nashville: 2-8 SU off a road win scoring 4+ goals

Los Angeles at Vancouver
Los Angeles: 21-9 Under off BB division losses
Vancouver: 17-4 SU off a combined score of 4 goals or less

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Flyers, Pens Square Off
By Sportsbook.com

No. 5 Philadelphia Flyers at No. 4 Pittsburgh Penguins

Season Series: Flyers won 4-2
Series Price: Pittsburgh -220, Philadelphia +180
Game 1 Line & Total: Penguins -175 & 5.5 over -130

Bitter in-state rivals square off in the most anticipated first-round series of the NHL Playoffs as the No. 5 Philadelphia Flyers take on the No. 4 Pittsburgh Penguins.

It's a bit of a shame that these two Atlantic Division rivals have to meet in the first round, considering both have the depth and firepower to make a deep run through the playoffs-the Pens (3.3) and Flyers (3.2) rank first and second, respectively, in the NHL in goals per game. The Flyers won the season series, but that figure is misleading considering the litany of injuries the Penguins suffered throughout the season-none bigger than the concussion to captain Sidney Crosby (8 G, 29 A in 22 games). This will be the third playoff meeting between the two clubs since 2008, with the Penguins both times advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Three Important Things to Watch for in this Series:

1. The Impact of Flyers Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov

When the Flyers signed Bryzgalov to a monster nine-year, $51 million deal back in June, it was done with the expectation that he would be the elite goalie that finally put Philly over the top in the postseason. There will be enormous pressure on the Russian netminder to live up to his contract and be the "missing piece" to supplement Philadelphia's dangerous offense and stout defense. But the Flyers could not have drawn up a tougher first round opponent than the Penguins-who have scored at will since Crosby returned to the lineup (4+ goals in 11 of 14 games).

2. The Depth of the Penguins

There's no denying that, when healthy, the Penguins are the deepest and most talented team in the league at the forward position. No squad can compete with Pittsburgh's depth up the middle, boasting three elite centers in Crosby, Evgeni Malkin (50 G, 59 A) and Jordan Staal (25 G, 25 A). The fact that Malkin, the NHL's points leader, is the second-line center on the Pens speaks to just how scary this team is. But all three of these players have had their fair share of health problems over the past 18 months, as has sniper James Neal (40 G, 41 A)-currently listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury. Assuming they all stay healthy, it's hard to imagine any team beating the Pens in a seven-game series.

3. Enough on the Blueline?

The Flyers blueline will face a ridiculously tough test trying to contain the high-octane Pittsburgh offense-and they might have to do it without some key defenders. Andrej Meszaros (7 G, 18 A) is still recovering from back surgery and trade deadline-acquisition Nicklas Grossman (lower body) is listed as day-to-day-not to mention the fact that team captain and shutdown d-man Chris Pronger is out for the year with severe post-concussion syndrome. Philly also has some injuries up front. LW James van Riemsdyk (7 goals in 11 postseason games in 2011) is still a couple weeks away from fully recovering from a broken foot, and Danny Briere (59 points in 57 playoff games with Philly) is out indefinitely with a back injury suffered at the hands of Penguins' fourth-liner Joe Vitale. With so many (potential) missing pieces, it remains to be seen whether the Flyers can handle Pittsburgh's relentless forecheck.

To the average fan, these odds might seem steep considering this is a 4-5 matchup, but it shouldn't be surprising considering how scary this Penguins lineup is when healthy. With a healthy Crosby back in the lineup, Pittsburgh is the clear favorite to the win the Cup. It's hard to imagine two teams hating each other more than the Penguins and Flyers, though, and that is sure to create a physical and grueling series-which usually works to even out any disparities in talent. If the Penguins stay disciplined and avoid taking retaliatory penalties against the league's most penalized team, they have a clear advantage in this series-especially on the blue line.

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Wednesday's NHL Playoffs: What Bettors Need to Know
By Covers.com

Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins (-166, 5.5)

THE STORY:
The Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins have been seeing quite a bit of each other over the last few weeks. After facing off three times in as many weeks, the Keystone State rivals will begin their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series in the Steel City on Wednesday. The fifth-seeded Flyers won four of the six meetings this season, but the fourth-seeded Penguins skated to a 4-2 win in the regular-season finale.

ABOUT THE FLYERS (47-26-9): While Pittsburgh owns home-ice advantage in this series, Philadelphia has won five of six at the Consol Energy Center. Admittedly, backup Sergei Bobrovsky has been in net for all six decisions, whereas Russian compatriot Ilya Bryzgalov is expected to start the postseason series. Signed to a nine-year, $51 million deal last summer, Bryzgalov was brought to the City of Brotherly Love after the team was unceremoniously swept by Boston in the conference semifinals.

ABOUT THE PENGUINS (51-25-6): Captain Sidney Crosby returns to the postseason stage after watching from the press box as the Penguins were bounced by Tampa Bay during last season's opening round. Crosby scored to snap a tie in the regular-season finale, but sat out the majority of the third period in an otherwise meaningless game. Two-time Art Ross Trophy winner Evgeni Malkin collected his career-high 50th goal nearly two minutes later before becoming a virtual spectator in the final session. Both will play significantly more in the series.

TRENDS:

* Over is 3-0-1 in the last four meetings in Pittsburgh.
* Flyers are 5-1 in the last six meetings in Pittsburgh.
* Over is 3-1-1 in the last five meetings.
* Flyers are 5-2 in the last seven meetings.
* Road team is 15-6 in the last 21 meetings.

OVERTIME:

1. Flyers center Danny Briere is expected to return following a three-game absence with a back injury. Briere was sidelined after being blasted by an open-ice shot from Pittsburgh's Joe Vitale on April 1.

2. Familiarity does indeed breed contempt - well, as far as Philadelphia is concerned. Coach Peter Laviolette called Pittsburgh counterpart Dan Bylsma "gutless" following the penultimate game and assistant coach Craig Berube labeled Crosby and Malkin as the "dirtiest players on the Penguins."

PREDICTION: Penguins 4, Flyers 2

Detroit Red Wings at Nashville Predators (-128, 5)

THE STORY:
The Detroit Red Wings aren't often considered underdogs in the postseason, but that's the role they will find themselves in when they visit the Nashville Predators on Wednesday in their opening-round playoff series. The fourth-seeded Predators beat the Red Wings twice in the final month to wrest home ice away from No. 5 Detroit. That was huge for Nashville, which has lost both postseason series to the Red Wings and has never won a playoff game in Detroit.

ABOUT THE RED WINGS (48-28-6): Detroit was battling for the top seed while putting together a league-record 23-game home winning streak before stumbling down the stretch. The Red Wings finished 4-7-3 and managed only nine regulation goals in their final six games. Injuries to All-Star goaltender Jimmy Howard, star forward Pavel Datsyuk and future Hall of Fame defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom conspired to send Detroit into a tailspin. Howard was leading the league in wins when he was hurt, but posted a 1.92 goals-against average in his last five starts. The Wings have slowly been getting healthy and expect forwards Danny Cleary and Darren Helm back in sometime in the first two games.

ABOUT THE PREDATORS (48-26-8): Nashville’s past playoff formulas have been simple: hope for netminder Pekka Rinne to stand on his head behind blue-chip defensemen Shea Weber and Ryan Suter. That will still hold true for Rinne, who had a league-high 43 victories and owns three career shutouts of Detroit. The Predators, though, showed they have loftier goals with a bevy of moves, acquiring forward Andrei Kostitsyn, center Paul Gaustad and defenseman Hal Gill at the trade deadline. They then went out and brought back Russian standout Alexander Radulov, who had three goals and four assists in nine games. Radulov had been out of the league since a playoff series loss to Detroit in 2007-08.

TRENDS:

* Under is 3-0-1 in the last five meetings.
* Under is 6-2-1 in the last nine meetings in Nashville.
* Red Wings are 20-7 in their last 27 Conference Quarterfinals games.
* Predators are 22-7 in their last 29 home games.

OVERTIME:

1. Nashville has the league's top power play, converting 21.6 percent of the time. Detroit has struggled on special teams, but killed off 31 straight penalties to end the season.

2. Detroit posted a league-best 31-7-3 record while Nashville went 21-5-2 in its last 28 home games.

3. Rinne is 11-5-3 lifetime against the Red Wings, while Datsyuk has 18 goals and 41 assists in 57 career games against Nashville.

PREDICTION: Predators 3, Red Wings 2

Los Angeles Kings at Vancouver Canucks (-171, 5)

THE STORY:
The status of Daniel Sedin remains the burning topic surrounding the Presidents' Trophy-winning Vancouver Canucks as they begin their Western Conference quarterfinal series against the Los Angeles Kings. The 2011 Art Ross Trophy winner missed Vancouver's last nine regular-season games with a concussion but joined the team for practice on Monday. However, Sedin skated with the Canucks' extras and other injured players following Tuesday's practice, leaving his status for Game One up in the air.

ABOUT THE KINGS (40-27-15): Los Angeles also hopes to have one of its ailing stars ready for the series opener as Jeff Carter practiced with the club for the second straight day on Tuesday as he recovers from an ankle injury. "I feel like I'm getting better and I feel like I can contribute," Carter said. The Kings will be without Brad Richardson, as the center underwent an emergency appendectomy Tuesday night and is out indefinitely. "We won't have him for a while," coach Darryl Sutter said. Andrei Loktionov was recalled from Manchester of the American Hockey League to replace Richardson on the roster. Los Angeles has the upper hand in goal as Jonathan Quick led the league with 10 shutouts, finished second with a 1.95 goals-against average and was fifth in both victories (35) and save percentage (.929).

ABOUT THE CANUCKS (51-22-9): Coach Alain Vigneault refused to tip his hand regarding Sedin's availability for the series opener. "It's a unique injury and he will continue the protocol, and when he's ready to play, he'll address (the media)," Vigneault said. Vancouver went 8-1-0 after Sedin went down with a concussion but was just 4 for 39 on the power play in his absence. Although Roberto Luongo will start Game One, the Canucks' stronger goaltender this season was backup Cory Schneider, who was second in the league with a .937 save percentage and third with a 1.96 GAA. Rookie Zack Kassian is hoping to be in the lineup after missing the final two regular-season contests with an upper-body injury. "I'm going to talk to the trainers, and they have the final say," he said.

TRENDS:

* Under is 3-0-1 in the last four meetings in Vancouver.
* Under is 5-0-3 in the last eight meetings.
* Kings are 3-8 in the last 11 meetings in Vancouver.

OVERTIME:

1. The Kings have lost eight of their last 11 visits to Rogers Arena.

2. The teams split their four regular-season meetings and combined for a total of 15 goals, with half of Los Angeles' eight tallies coming in one game.

3. Vancouver has won eight consecutive series openers overall and 10 straight at home.

PREDICTION: Kings 3, Canucks 1

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