How the market moved ahead of Wednesday’s Game 2

The NHL’s eight first-round playoffs have kicked off over the past two nights. In the East, the Capitals, the Hurricanes, maple leaves and the Penguins took a 1-0 series lead. In the West, Colorado, St. Louis, Calgary and Los Angeles are on the march.

It’s only been eight games, but we’ve seen it all so far. We had a triple overtime thriller at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night. We’ve seen that Pittsburgh and Nashville already have to turn to goaltenders who started the season third in the depth chart. We’ve seen the West favorite absolutely dominate his opponent, while we’ve seen the East favorite fall behind in the series and give up home ice advantage.

It’s a great time to take a look at the betting market, because things have moved on. Obviously, in a best-of-seven series, every win matters. But has the market moved too much? Sure, teams that win the first game of a series advance more often than they lose, but that’s not a death knell. In the 2021 playoffs, one team came back after losing Game 1 to go on to win the series six out of 15 times.

There are so many different narratives at play in the playoffs. A team is not in trouble until it loses at home. Long overtime losers are mentally demoralized. This team cannot lose 2-0 at home. This team has an insane advantage on home ice. This team is too young. This team is not defending well enough. This team’s style of play is built for the playoffs. All of these stories may be true at different times, but it is up to us as punters to determine which are real and which are noise.

Let’s take a look at the four series that will face off on Wednesday night and see how the market moved after Game 1.

Carolina vs. Boston

  • Match 1 result: Carolina 5, Boston 1

  • Series price before Game 1: Carolina -120 (54.6% chance to advance)

  • Series price after Game 1: Carolina -200 (66.7% chance to advance)

  • 2 line game: Carolina -120/Boston +100

Right off the bat, we have a doozy. The final score of this game certainly flatters Carolina, from many points of view. First, the game was tied 0-0 until the last four minutes of the second period. It was a one-goal game midway through the third, and Carolina had a two-goal lead until the final four minutes, when the Hurricanes added two insurance goals, including one in an empty net that was excruciating. for the under bettors. Carolina won the game without too much trouble, but it wasn’t the explosion that a 5-1 scoreline would suggest.

Second, you can argue that the Bruins were the better team. If you take a look at MoneyPuck.com “deserves to win o’meter” he says Boston wins this game 50.3% of the time after 1,000 simulations. If you adjust for scoring effects and location, Boston had a 2.1-1.6 advantage in expected five-on-five goals.

That might make you feel good about the Bruins, but there’s another big takeaway I took from Game 1. Even with Frederic Andersen on the mend, Carolina has the goalie advantage in this series with Antti Raanta. A big part of my pre-series handicap was that the Hurricanes’ goalie advantage would be largely depleted with their No. 1 goaltender injured, but Raanta was spectacular in Game 1.

Boston went from +100 to win the series before Game 1, to now being +170 to advance before Game 2. If the Bruins steal one on the road in Game 2, they will become series favorites heading back to Boston. The Bruins played better than the score indicated in Game 1, but is that enough for you to trust them here?

Toronto vs. Tampa Bay

  • Match 1 result: Toronto 5, Tampa Bay 0

  • Series price before Game 1: Toronto -120 (54.6% chance of advancing)

  • Series price after Game 1: Toronto -200 (66.7% chance of advancing)

  • 2 line game: Toronto -140/Tampa Bay +115

In case you didn’t know how or why the two-time defending champions were underdogs in this series, you quickly figured out why in Game 1. Toronto looked dominant and Tampa Bay looked as bad as I remember seeing them in years.

Still, it’s a game, and it counts the same whether you get sent off or lose in triple overtime. I think we’ll learn a lot about how this series plays out in Game 2. The stories are there. Toronto has a history of playoff losses, including losing several 3-1 series leads over the past decade. This group seems motivated to end this narrative. Tampa Bay is the consecutive champion, but with the pandemic compressing everything and therefore shortening the offseasons in recent years, he has played a lot of hockey in the last 21 months.

The biggest takeaways from Game 1 were the special teams. The teams combined to have 11 power plays. The Lightning had a major five-minute power play early on that they fumbled in epic fashion. The Leafs scored a 5-on-3 goal. If the umpires continue to call the game tight, advantage the Leafs, who have the best power play in hockey.

Tampa Bay has +165 to come back and win the series and keep their dream of a hat-trick alive. The Lightning were +100 to win the series heading into Game 1.

TORONTO, ON - MAY 2: Toronto Maple Leafs number 34 Auston Matthews celebrates his goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period of Game 1 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoff Round 1 at Scotiabank Arena on May 2, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo by Andrew Lahodynskyj/NHLI via Getty Images)

Auston Matthews and the Toronto Maple Leafs put on a show in Game 1 of the NHL playoffs. (Andrew Lahodynskyj/NHLI via Getty Images)

Minnesota vs. St. Louis

  • Match 1 result: St. Louis 4, Minnesota 0

  • Series price before Game 1: Minnesota -165 (62.3% chance to advance)

  • Series price after Game 1: St. Louis -190 (65.5% chance of advancing)

  • 2 line game: Minnesota-140/St. Louis +115

This is another example of the score that doesn’t tell the whole story. The Blues came away with a 4-0 win on the road, but this game was relatively even and decided by two factors: the special teams and the goalkeepers.

At five to five, Minnesota had a 1.47 to 1.00 advantage in expected goals. In all situations, the Wild still had a 3.4 to 3.2 advantage. Our friends from MoneyPuck claims Blues only win Game 1 48% of the time if replayed 1,000 times.

However, David Perron scored two power play goals for the Blues and Minnesota went 0 for 6 with the man advantage. In the crease, Marc-Andre Fleury wasn’t terrible for Minnesota, but Ville Husso was spectacular for the Blues, posting a shutout while stopping 3.4 goals above expectations.

After losing the home advantage, the Wild are +155 to come back and win the series. This series still projects as an extremely tight affair, despite the lopsided first-round scoreline. It could be a series where you can get both teams to more money at different times. In fact, it already is.

Edmonton vs Los Angeles

  • Match 1 result: Los Angeles 4, Edmonton 3

  • Series price before Game 1: Edmonton -250 (71.4% chance of advancing)

  • Series price after Game 1: Edmonton -115 (53.5% chance to advance)

  • 2 line game: Edmonton -200/Los Angeles +165

The antennas are installed in Edmonton. He entered the series as a heavy favorite, and he lost home advantage after just one game. As a result, bettors now essentially have the winner of this series as a draw.

We know what the Oilers are. It is a team animated by high-level talents. Connor McDavid scored a scoring goal in the opener. Leon Draisaitl also scored. The question is whether there are enough beyond these two on the list, and one of those major questions is net.

Mike Smith had one of the best stretches of his career to end the regular season, but he wasn’t sharp in Game 1. 1. Smith was defeated by Jonathan Quick in the series opener.

However, another look at MoneyPuck.com tells us Edmonton wins Game 1 about 70% of the time if played 1000 times. Edmonton had an expected 4.2-2.6 goal advantage in Game 1.

However, you can also see this from a positive perspective for the Kings. Two of Edmonton’s three goals have come on the power play. Edmonton had nearly 2.4 expected goals on the power play. At five to five, Los Angeles had a 2.36 to 1.85 advantage in expected goals, and the Kings outscored the Oilers 4-1.

The Oilers had four power plays in Game 1 of the series, and if the Kings could reduce that number even a little, they could stay with the Oilers. Los Angeles may not have the star power of the Oilers, but Edmonton is a flawed team behind McDavid and Draisaitl.

Certainly, with Edmonton is down to -115 to win the series, it’s a tempting bet for most bettors. The Oilers are shaping up to be the best team here and we’re getting a big discount from the price just two days ago. It’s very difficult to trust this team, but I understand why some would be tempted to buy the dip with Edmonton.

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