Both the NBA and NHL playoffs are off to an exciting start. There is still quite a bit of work to be done in the opening round best-of-seven matchups in both leagues. However, it is not too early to start formulating a strategy for betting the series price odds in the next round.
The NBA’s opening round has gone pretty much according to plan. Starting in the Eastern Conference, the No. 1 Milwaukee Bucks (against Detroit) and the No. 4 Boston Celtics (against Indiana) just put the finishing touches on an impressive four-game sweep both straight-up and against the spread. The No. 2 Toronto Raptors sent Orlando packing 4 games to 1 while the No. 3 Philadelphia 76ers ousted Brooklyn 4 to 1. Make no mistake, next round’s matchups in the conference semifinals look to be exciting and competitive.
Milwaukee should be solid favorites against the Celtics and Toronto should have the clear edge against Philadelphia. Whether you go chalk in these two matchups or take a flyer on the underdogs, there could be quite a bit of variance in the opening series price odds. The added risk on the Bucks and the added value in the 76ers could be the way to go if you find the numbers you are looking for.
The Western Conference could be a bit more complicated with the No. 7 San Antonio vs. No. 2 Denver series still up for grabs. The other top four seeds (Golden State, Portland and Houston) each went up 3-1 in their opening round series with Portland and Houston advancing 4 to 1. If things do go chalk with Golden State advancing, this would set up a 1 vs. 4 showdown between Golden State and Houston. That will be a series price that you definitely want to shop up front and possibly hedge based on the early results.
Betting the NHL’s Stanley Cup Playoffs is a whole other ball game that has been turned completely upside down with the No. 1 seed in both the Eastern and Western Conference making an unexpected early exit.
The Tampa Bay Lightning turned in one of the most dominating regular season performances in the history of the NHL with 62 wins. This was followed by four-straight losses to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The upstart Calgary Flames posted the most points in the West as the top seed only to lose four of five games to the Colorado Avalanche in their opening playoff round.
The Dallas Stars eliminated the Nashville Predators in six games as heavy series underdogs. The St. Louis Blues could be gearing up for a deep playoff run after eliminating Winnipeg 4-2 as slight underdogs in that Western Conference series. The final series in the West between San Jose and Vegas was decided in Tuesday’s Game 7 showdown in San Jose with the Sharks winning in dramatic fashion.
In another impressive upset, the New York Islanders swept the Pittsburgh Penguins in four games to muddy up the waters in the East. Add in the fact that Carolina defeated Washington on the road in game 7 and Boston came back down 3-2 to Toronto to win in game 7, than you can see the East is completely unpredictable and up for grabs.
Given all the uncertainty in this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs moving forward, this presents a golden opportunity to make some decent money betting series price odds in the next round. The initial step in your betting strategy would be lining up at least three separate online sportsbooks to place these bets. Not only will this give you the best odds for your eventual series price bets, it will also give you the perfect setup to hedge whichever series you bet on after the first few games.
NHL series prices change like the stock market based on each games results. Given the competitive nature of the eight remaining teams, there could easily be four Game 7 betting opportunities in the next round.