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2020 NHL Eastern Conference Playoffs First Round Odds, Predictions and Analysis

2020 NHL Eastern Conference Playoffs First Round Odds

Compared to the top-heavy Western Conference the East features far different pricing structures.  Oddsmakers have priced the Eastern Conference with the hockey betting expectation of close series.  Only the Canadiens and Blue Jackets have the look of long shots.  Yet nearly everyone understands their capability of blowing up the playoffs.  In 2019 the eight seed Blue Jackets swept the top seed Lightning.  In fact, the Canadiens just schooled us in the qualifier round.  Montreal entered the NHL Hub as 12-seed but upset the Penguins in four games.  With that in mind, gamblers have a buffet of great options.

22020 NHL Eastern Conference Playoffs – First Round Betting Information

Date: Tuesday, August 11, 20200
Where: Scotiabank Arena
Location: Toronto, Ontario
TV Coverage: ESPN

2020 Eastern Conference First Round Series – All Series Best of Seven

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Odds

Team Odds
Blue Jackets +196
Lightning -227
Place Bets

Once again, the Blue Jackets have been sneered at by the experts.  Toronto was the strong

Best sportsbook online favorite in their qualifier round matchup.  Despite lacking the Maple Leafs high-end skill Columbus beat them in five games.  It was a great lesson on how grit, defense, and structure win in postseason.

Tampa Bay has had a year to stew over their epic loss to Columbus in the 2019 playoffs.  A tougher and more battle scared Lightning team knows what to expect.  Tampa Bay is deeper and won’t take the Jackets for granted this time.

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Boston Bruins Odds

Team Odds
Hurricanes +145
Bruins -161
Place Bets

Of great concern was the Bruins sloppy round-robin performance.  Boston lost all three betting on hockey matchups last week.  David Pastrnak showed up to the NHL Hub unprepared.  As a result, he was held scoreless with a minus-three.  Not a good sign for the Bruins upcoming series with Carolina.  Boston President Cam Neely is seething over this.  Especially after his team posted the best regular-season record in the East.

In turn, the Hurricanes swept the New York Rangers in the qualifier round.  Left-wing Sebastian Aho posted three goals, five assists and a plus five.  Right-winger Andrei Svechnikov added three goals, two assists and a plus five.  Most important of all goalies Peter Mrazek and James Reimer combined for a .955 save percentage.

New York Islanders vs. Washington Capitals Odds

Team Odds
Islanders +127
Capitals -143
Place Bets

Islander coach Barry Trotz faces the Caps team he won the 2018 Stanley Cup with.  Trotz was able to get Washington and Alex Ovechkin to commit to defense.  Since his departure, the Capitals have reverted back to their old ways.  Problematic is that pond hockey fails in the playoffs.  Consider the Toronto Maple Leafs as the best evidence.

By contrast, New York has fully committed to Trotz’s defense and structure.  Goaltender Semyon Varlamov posted a .932 save percentage in the qualifier round.  Left-wing Anthony Beauvillier is an NHL betting asset with two goals, four assists, and a plus-three.

Montreal Canadiens vs. Philadelphia Flyers Odds

Team Odds
Canadiens +188
Flyers -217
Place Bets

Accordingly, two of the best goaltenders meet between Montreal and Philadelphia.  Montreal’s Carey Price posted a .947 save percentage with one shutout in the qualifier.  Carter Hart was even better with a .966 save percentage.  On the whole, the difference is the Flyers more complete game and depth.

NHL Eastern Conference Playoffs CashBet Free Picks

In this situation, the Islanders are a dangerous live dog with bite.  New York’s playing style gives them a Betting NHL advantage over the loose Capitals.  Carolina is catching the Bruins at a good time.  Boston and their top scorer Pastrnak are totally out of sorts.  Philadelphia should get past Montreal but is too expensive.  In a similar way do the Lighting face such a scenario too.

Eastern Conference Playoffs CashBet Best Bets:  New York Islanders and Carolina Hurricanes


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