Check out our latest picks for the 2021 NHL playoffs.
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The 2021 NHL playoff field is on the verge of winnowing down. Eight teams still remain in pursuit of the Stanley Cup, but that number is soon going to be four. In advance of a busy few days, we've got NHL Playoff Picks for Bruins-Islanders, Jets-Canadiens, and Lightning-Hurricanes.
Let's take a look at the odds for all three games, courtesy of BetOnline:
|Boston Bruins||-179||+161||New York Islanders|
|Montreal Canadiens||-146||+132||Winnipeg Jets|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||-111||+101||Carolina Hurricanes|
Like always, you'll want to double-check these NHL playoff betting odds to make sure they don't move between now and the opening faceoff. Now, let's get to our picks!
NHL Playoff and Updated Stanley Cup Picks
As an added bonus, we will also be covering the latest Stanley Cup betting odds, which have been adjusted to reflect the current score of every series. We'll even be dropping our updated prediction!
First, we begin with the upcoming games.
Boston Bruins (-179) vs. New York Islanders (+161)
Series Score: Tied 2-2
Game Date: June 7
This might be a series that's destined to go seven. Both the Bruins and Islanders have proven to be evenly matched.
Our stance all along has been that the Islanders would take this series. We still believe they will. Their defense at both even strength and while shorthanded is better than that of Boston, and they've shown the capacity to boost their offensive attack, even after poor performances in the previous game.
Take Game 4. After dropping Game 3 while scoring just once, New York hung four points on the Bruins. They definitely need to figure out how to win the Anthony Beauvillier minutes. He's a minus-three in this series. Ultimately, we think they'll get there. Boston's 7.2 shooting percentage helps their chances, too.
OSB Prediction: Islanders (+161)
Montreal Canadiens (-146) vs. Winnipeg Jets (+132)
Series Score: Canadiens lead 3-0
Game Date: June 7
Has anyone seen the Jets' offense? Because it's missing.
After tallying three goals in their Game 1 loss, Winnipeg has since combined to score just twice over each of the past two contests, which were, incidentally, both losses as well. They are shooting an incredibly low five percent, and their center rotation has proven to be a dud.
The Canadiens, conversely, are shooting nearly 11 percent on their attempts while seeing their centers eat Winnipeg for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. All of their defensemen have also done a great job pushing the pace and putting pressure on the Jets' net. This frenetic speed bodes terribly for Winnipeg.
With that said, second-round sweeps are rare. The Canadiens are clearly going to win this series, but Winnipeg is due for a W.
OSB Prediction: Jets (+132)
Tampa Bay Lightning (-111) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (+101)
Series Score: Lightning lead 3-1
Game Date: June 8
Go ahead and stick a fork in the Hurricanes. They're done.
Tampa Bay's offense has simply been too much. Brandon Pont has been a scoring machine (three goals in this series), and Nikita Kucherov has dished out four assists and overwhelmed Tampa Bay's defense with his puck-handling.
Even when the Hurricanes' offense is humming, the Lightning always seem to have an answer. Carolina is overmatched, at this point, on both ends. The reigning champs, meanwhile, may be scarier than we thought.
OSB Prediction: Lightning (-111)
Updated Stanley Cup Odds and Prediction
Here are the latest odds for which team will win the 2021 Stanley Cup, via Bovada:
|Stanley Cup Pick||Bovada|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+180|
|Vegas Golden Knights||+225|
|New York Islanders||+550|
In previous iterations of this exercise, we have been adamant about the Colorado Avalanche winning it all. Statistically, they have been the most dominant team in the league this season—and by a pretty wide margin.
Still, many people wondered whether the Lightning had a switch they could flip in the playoffs to put more separation between them in the field. It turns out they do.
Indeed, their defense remains a tad shaky at points. But the offense is bonkers. No other team has scored more goals this postseason, and Tampa Bay's primary playmaker, Nikita Kucherov, has been a whiz at navigating traps and hitting his open teammates out of traffic.
This isn't to say you should write off the Avalanche. They are the more balanced outfit. But Tampa Bay is far too enticing at +400 right now. The extra games they've played, we believe, will serve them well. They're better suited at grinding out wins in overtime and making hyper-critical line changes.
If you want to stick with the Avalanche, they're our clear second pick—even a 1B. But if you're considering a change, now's the time to do it. Tampa Bay won't be 4-to-1 forever. Their odds are inching toward their favorite status.
OSB Stanley Cup Prediction: Lightning (-400)