NHL Playoffs Picks Wednesday 5/2: Rangers Caps, Coyotes Preds
NHL Playoffs Picks and Predictions, Wednesday 5/2: New York Rangers at Washington Capitals, Phoenix Coyotes at Nashville Predators
The Nashville Predators, to the surprise of many analysts including myself, were unable to steal home ice advantage from the Phoenix Coyotes. Now, heading back to Nashville, they face a must-win game. Adding to the complexity and fun of this game is Alexander Radulov and Alexei Kostitsyn will miss the game after violating team rules. The Rangers lost home ice advantage to the Caps after Alexander Ovechkin played the role of Game Two hero. Can the Rags bounce back? Do the Preds have a chance without their biggest offensive weapons? Wednesday is one of the most exciting days of hockey all season.
My New Jersey Devils dominated the entire second period, but couldn’t produce a goal. Imagine my surprise and pleasure when, for the first time all playoffs, they followed up a dominant period with another dominant period. The Devils put four goals up in the third period to send a message to their rival Flyers and seal my victory. Hopefully we can get on a bit of a roll again in the second round.
New York Rangers (-110) at Washington Capitals
My strategy with these games has been the same all playoffs, and given the numerous road wins in the first round it was extremely profitable. I commit to a team I think will win, until I decide they won’t win. If the Rangers can steal one of the next two games, they’ll take back control of the series.
There’s obviously value in the line, but given how tight of a struggle this series has been so far, it’s hard to bet with confidence on either side. The first game was, regrettably for most Rangers fans, reminiscent of a vintage New Jersey Devils game. Nobody got shots through, nobody had any pretty goals, but the Rangers gutted out a victory. In Game Two, the Capitals had the gutsy win behind the heroics of Alexander Ovechkin. Henrik Lundqvist is incredible, but so is Ovi. This is a battle of the league’s biggest defensive superstar, and one of it’s biggest offensive ones.
As a Devils fan, I’m partial to goaltending and defense. As a Devils fan, I want the Rangers in the next round. I’m going to put my money behind the Rangers to take back home-ice, but as I’ve said and done all series, I’m not going big here at all.
Rangers 3 – Caps 2
Phoenix Coyotes at Nashville Predators (-170)
I don’t see much value here at all, but I can’t imagine the Preds going down without a fight to a team with such limited weapons.
It’s hard to bet with confidence here after the Predators suspended their two most dynamic weapons. If Mike Smith could shut down the Predators when they had a full team, I don’t see how the Preds are this heavily favored without Alexander Radulov and Sergei Kostitsyn. I understand that the Preds were a great team before they added these weapons, but I don’t understand the line after the first two games went the way they did. Maybe Vegas thinks there’s value in the Predators’ emotion and motivation…
To me, I’m going to go small with the puck line to try to sneak back some of the value in this game, with a small moneyline wager to balance out my puck line bet in case this one is tight. As long as the Preds win, I won’t lose money. This is a tough one, but I believe in this team. I have the Preds going all the way to the finals and I’m not ready to jump ship just yet.
Preds 3 – Coyotes 1
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