Stanley Cup Playoffs – How to bet Oilers-Avs and Lightning-Rangers

The final four teams for the Stanley Cup Playoffs are set after the New York Rangers eliminated the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 7 on Monday night. They will face the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals starting Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. The Colorado Avalanche hosts the Edmonton Oilers in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals Tuesday night. Here are some betting options for the penultimate round of the playoffs.

Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.

Game 1 line: Avs -180

Total: 7 goals

Wyshynski’s pick: Avalanche -1.5 games over Oilers (-115)

What a fun series. Nathan MacKinnon swears it’s more than just him vs. him. Connor McDavid, and he’s right. It’s him and Mikko Rantanen and Cale Makar and Devon Toews vs. McDavid. Coach Jared Bednar has not deviated from going power against power and putting the MacKinnon line and his top defensive pair out against the McDavid line in the regular season. When it comes to depth vs. depth to determine the series, the Avalanche have a clear advantage there, especially with the way Nazem Kadri plays. The Avs are on a mission and just got a St. Louis team in six games that was better, top to bottom, then Edmonton. The shortest odds in this series end in five games (+300). Whether it’s in five or six, I’m comfortable playing the 1.5 games.

Game 1 line: Lightning -125

Total: 5.5 goals

Watch live on ESPN / ESPN +, 8pm ET

Wyshynski’s pick: Rangers +1.5 games over Lightning (-120)

The goal-scoring match between Tampa Bay goalkeeper Andrei Vasilevskiy and New York MVP candidate Igor Shesterkin could be one for centuries. They stand at the heart of what could be a long series as a potential Rangers-ups. There’s a lot to like about the Rangers here, from having home-ice advantage to rolling into the series with Game 7 victory momentum to an overall “no quit” attitude. They still have problems at 5-on-5, which the Pittsburgh Penguins exploited in the first round, and the Lightning could do the same – and Vasilevskiy is not Louis Dominque. But I love the +1.5 here as overdrive insurance and in case it goes seven, even though my formal prediction is Lightning in six.

Stanley Cup: Lightning over Avalanche (+300)

The three turf is the second-highest choice among the Stanley Cup-exact bet, behind the Avalanche who oppose the Lightning for the Cup. While the Avalanche are a wagon, the Lightning have not given much indication that they settle for anything less than a three-turf. Not a bad option to pick up a flyer.

Conn Smythe Trophy: Connor McDavid (+650)

We start to get the territory “win or lose” with McDavid, who is credited with the Edmonton Oilers’ run, even though he is tied with teammate Leon Draisitl with 26 points and identical stats (7 goals, 19 assists). If the Oilers somehow get past the Avalanche, it will be McDavid who leads the charge. And if Edmonton plays for the Stanley Cup, the chances that McDavid can win the Conn Smythe, even if the Oilers fall short, will not be slim.

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