The Nashville Predators and the Anaheim Ducks are as close as NHL betting gets as they get ready to do battle in game 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs Eastern Conference Finals. The Preds knocked the Ducks out of the first round of the 2016 postseason 4 games to 3. Anaheim is led by head coach Randy Carlyle, who took the team to their only Stanley Cup in 2007. Nashville is helmed by head coach Peter Laviolette, who won the previous Stanley Cup to that of the Ducks with the Carolina Hurricanes.
Date: Friday, 12th May
Venue: Honda Center
Sportsbook odds for fans who bet on hockey:
Predators +1½ (-310) 5 (-135) -105
Ducks -1½ (+255) 5 (+115) -115
Recent form: The Predators eliminated the St. Louis Blues in six games in the second round and advanced to their first ever conference final. Roman ‘Empire’ Josi, Ryan Johansen, and Calle Jarnkrok scored to lead the Preds to 3-1 win on Sunday at Bridgestone Arena. Nashville is 8-2 this postseason and has won nine straight home playoffs games – including an undefeated five-home game winning streak in this year’s playoffs.
News: “It’s a big step for us – not only for us as players, but also as an organization,” goalie Pekka Rinne said of the historic step to the conference finals. “It’s something that we haven’t done before.” Nashville went 18 full seasons since debuting in 1998-99 before accessing this stage of the playoffs, which is the third-longest in league history.
Trends for fans who bet on hockey: The Preds are slight series price underdogs, but they were massive dogs against the Chicago Blackhawks and ended up becoming the first 8th seed to cleanly sweep a No. 1 in the history of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The NHL betting total has gone under in the Predators’ last four games.
Recent form: The Ducks recovered from a 0-2 deficit early in the series against the Edmonton Oilers and won three in a row to take the lead. The second round series eventually went to game 7, where Anaheim snapped a four-game 7 home losing streak with a 2-1 victory to make it to the conference final for the second time in the last three years and fifth time in the history of the franchise. Nick Ritchie scored the go-ahead goal, assisted by Sami Vatanen. Goaltender John Gibson made 23 saves. The Ducks are 22-12 since the 2015 postseason, which is the best winning percentage in the league.
News: After breaking the so-called “game 7 curse” Anaheim is moving forward with the psychological momentum. “I wouldn’t say it’s a relief, but the fact we don’t have to talk about it anymore, that’s a good thing,” captain Ryan Getzlaf said. The center had been part of the previous four losing efforts. He has set a new career-best for single-postseason goals (8) to go with 11 assists.
Trends for fans who bet on hockey: The NHL betting total has gone over in four of the Ducks’ last five games.