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NHL Conference Final Previews

NHL Conference Final Previews

NHL Eastern Conference Final Preview: Penguins vs. Bruins

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins only needed five games to take care of their respective second-round opponents and will now square off in the Eastern Conference Final that everyone wanted to see at the beginning of the lockout-shortened campaign.

Here’s a quick breakdown of their upcoming series:

No. 1 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. No. 4 Boston Bruins

Season series:
Penguins won 3-0 SU, 0-3 over/under

Series prices: Penguins -200, Bruins +160

Why bet the Penguins: The Penguins have taken the past six regular-season meetings between the two teams and have won six straight games in Boston. Pittsburgh is only allowing only 2.5 goals per game and has been even stingier since Tomas Vokoun took the starting job from Marc-Andre Fleury in Round 1. The veteran netminder is 6-1 with a 1.85 GAA and .941 save percentage since seizing control in between the pipes. The Pens have been absolutely deadly on the power play, scoring 13 goals with the man advantage in 11 games while leading the playoffs in power-play efficiency (28.3 percent). Pittsburgh is 7-4 over/under in the playoffs to date – the best over bet of the remaining teams.

Why bet the Bruins: The Bruins have looked like a well-oiled machine since their thrilling Game 7 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs in the opening round. Forward David Krejci leads all scorers with 17 points in the postseason, but what has really been surprising in Boston is the performance of three rookies on the back end. Torey Krug, Matt Bartkowski and Dougie Hamilton filled in admirably for injured regulars on the blue line and helped the Bruins take four of five from the New York Rangers. Boston has allowed only 28 goals in a dozen playoff outings, and Tuukka Rask boasts a stellar .928 save percentage.

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NHL Western Conference Final Preview: Blackhawks vs. Kings

The four remaining NHL teams in this year’s playoffs are the last four Stanley Cup champs. That’s the first time that's happened since 1945. The Chicago Blackhawks overcame a 3-1 series deficit to slip by the Detroit Red Wings in Game 7 Wednesday night while the Los Angeles Kings also needed seven games to dispatch the San Jose Sharks.

No. 1 Chicago Blackhawks vs. No. 5 Los Angeles Kings

Season series:
Blackhawks won 2-1 SU, 2-0-1 over/under

Series prices: Blackhawks -160, Kings +140

Why bet the Blackhawks: The Blackhawks have won three straight games and have some serious momentum heading into their series with the defending Stanley Cup champs. Corey Crawford has been superb in goal for Chicago, posting a .948 save percentage and 1.50 goals-against average in the last four  contests of the conference semifinals. The Blackhawks' penalty kill has yielded just one power play goal on 41 opportunities in 12 playoff games. That is by far the best percentage in this year’s postseason at 97.6 percent.

Why bet the Kings: The Kings are the defending champs and goaltender Jonathan Quick is reproducing the kind of numbers that earned him Conn Smythe honors last season. Quick leads all goalies in goals-against average (1.50), save percentage (.948) and shutouts (3). Quick’s stellar play has under bettors laughing all the way to the bank to date. Los Angeles is 2-10-1 over/under entering the conference finals and is allowing a league-low 1.54 goals per game. The Kings also have a distinct size advantage in this series. The average weight of the 12 forwards expected to suit up for Game 1 is 211 pounds.

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Third Round Cheat Sheet

Eastern Conference Finals

(1) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (4) Boston Bruins

-- Penguins 36-12-0, 72 points, 1st in Atlantic
-- Bruins 28-14-6, 62 points, 2nd in Northeast

-- Penguins swept season series, 3-0
-- Penguins won all three meetings by one goal each
-- All three matchups finished 'under' the total

-- Penguins beat Islanders, 4-2 in first round
-- Penguins knocked off Senators, 4-1 in second round

-- Bruins held off Maple Leafs, 4-3 in first round
-- Bruins cruised past Rangers, 4-1 in second round

-- Last met in '92 conference finals (Penguins won 4-0)

Western Conference Finals

(1) Chicago Blackhawks vs. (5) Los Angeles Kings

-- Blackhawks 36-7-5, 77 points, 1st in Central
-- Kings 27-16-5, 59 points, 2nd in Pacific

-- Blackhawks won two of three meetings
-- Blackhawks beat Kings at Staples Center, 5-2 in season opener
-- The two teams split two matchups at United Center
-- The 'over' finished 2-0-1 in three matchups

-- Blackhawks knocked off Wild, 4-1 in first round
-- Blackhawks edged Red Wings, 4-3 in second round

-- Kings rallied past Blues, 4-2 in first round
-- Kings held off Sharks, 4-3 in second round

-- Last met in '74 quarterfinals (Blackhawks won 4-1)

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Conference Finals Props

Odds to win the 2013 Stanley Cup

Pittsburgh Penguins 3/2
Chicago Blackhawks 12/5
Los Angeles Kings 10/3
Boston Bruins 9/2

Stanley Cup Exact Matchup

Pittsburgh Penguins vs Chicago Blackhawks 7/5
Pittsburgh Penguins vs Los Angeles Kings 5/2
Boston Bruins vs Chicago Blackhawks 13/4
Boston Bruins vs Los Angeles Kings 5/1

2013 Conn Smythe Trophy as NHL Playoff MVP

Sidney Crosby (PIT) 11/2
Corey Crawford (CHI) 11/2
Evgeni Malkin (PIT) 6/1
Jonathan Quick (LA) 6/1
Kris Letang (PIT) 9/1
David Krejci (BOS) 12/1
Marian Hossa (CHI) 15/1
Patrick Sharp (CHI) 15/1
Tuukka Rask (BOS) 15/1
Tomas Vokoun (PIT) 18/1
Patrick Kane (CHI) 20/1
Mike Richards (LA) 20/1
Anze Kopitar (LA) 20/1
Zdeno Chara (BOS) 20/1
Jonathan Toews (CHI) 25/1
Nathan Horton (BOS) 25/1
Jarome Iginla (PIT) 30/1
Jeff Carter (LA) 30/1
Slava Voynov (LA) 30/1
Patrice Bergeron (BOS) 30/1

Los Angeles Kings vs. Chicago Blackhawks

Series Price

Los Angeles Kings (Series Price) 13/10 (+130)
Chicago Blackhawks (Series Price) 2/3 (-150)

Series Correct Score

Los Angeles Kings 4-0 16/1 (+1600)
Los Angeles Kings 4-1 8/1 (+800)
Los Angeles Kings 4-2 9/2 (+450)
Los Angeles Kings 4-3 11/2 (+550)
Chicago Blackhawks 4-0 10/1 (+1000)
Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 4/1 (+400)
Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 9/2 (+450)
Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 7/2 (+350)

Total Games in the Series

4 -- 5/1 (+500)
5 -- 5/2 (+250)
6 -- 37/20 (+185)
7 -- 37/20 (+185)

Total Games in the Series

Over 5½ 5/9 (-180)
Under 5½ 3/2 (+150)

Series Game Spread

Los Angeles Kings +1½ 10/17 (-170)
Chicago Blackhawks -1½ 7/5 (+140)

Los Angeles Kings +2½ 4/13 (-325)
Chicago Blackhawks -2½ 5/2 (+250)

Los Angeles Kings -1½ 39/20 (+195)
Chicago Blackhawks +1½ 2/5 (-250)

Player Props

Anze Kopitar 3rd Round Points vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Over / Under 4½

Mike Richards 3rd Round Points vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Over / Under 3

Jeff Carter 3rd Round Points vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Over / Under 3

Patrick Kane 3rd Round Points vs. Los Angeles Kings
Over / Under 6

Jonathan Toews 3rd Round Points vs. Los Angeles Kings
Over / Under 5½

Marian Hossa 3rd Round Points vs. Los Angeles Kings
Over / Under 4

Where Will The Series Be Decided

Staples Center, Los Angeles 23/20 (+115)
United Center, Chicago 20/29 (-145)

Boston Bruins vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

Series Price

Boston Bruins (Series Price) +165
Pittsburgh Penguins (Series Price) -190

Series Correct Score

Boston Bruins 4-0 16/1 (+1600)
Boston Bruins 4-1 10/1 (+1000)
Boston Bruins 4-2 11/2 (+550)
Boston Bruins 4-3 6/1 (+600)
Pittsburgh Penguins 4-0 15/2 (+750)
Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 7/2 (+350)
Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2 4/1 (+400)
Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 7/2 (+350)

Total Games in the Series

4 -- 5/1 (+500)
5 -- 12/5 (+240)
6 -- 19/10 (+190)
7 -- 19/10 (+190)

Total Games in the Series

Over 5½ 4/7 (-175)
Under 5½ 29/20 (+145)

Series Game Spread

Boston Bruins +1½ 5/7 (-140)
Pittsburgh Penguins -1½ 11/10 (+110)

Boston Bruins +2½ 5/13 (-260)
Pittsburgh Penguins -2½ 2/1 (+200)

Boston Bruins -1½ 23/10 (+230)
Pittsburgh Penguins +1½ 10/29 (-290)

Player Props

David Krejci 3rd Round Points vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
Over 4 (-115)

Patrice Bergeron 3rd Round Points vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
Over / Under 4

Tyler Seguin 3rd Round Points vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
Over / Under 4

Sidney Crosby 3rd Round Points vs. Boston Bruins
Over / Under 7

James Neal 3rd Round Points vs. Boston Bruins
Over / Under 5

Evgeni Malkin 3rd Round Points vs. Boston Bruins
Over / Under 7

Where Will The Series Be Decided

TD Bank Garden, Boston 6/5 (+120)
Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh 2/3 (-150)

Bet NHL Games

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