Ah… the playoffs that wonderful time of year when players abandon selfish motives and sacrifice their all for the good of their team. Over the next few weeks players will be united by the grand prize at the top of the mountain the most revered trophy in all of sports, Lord Stanley of Preston’s Cup. Teeth will be knocked out, fists will be recklessly unleashed in pursuit of flesh and bone, and beards will be grown as a show of solidarity and superstition. These barbate reminders of the bonds forged in battle also represent players’ sacrifices made in attempts to curry the favor of the hockey gods. By obscuring their faces, the players demonstrate their willingness to let go of their individuality and to re-emerge as a singular entity.
Oh yea its also a great time to be a gambler.
What is often lost in the banal grandstanding that this time of year tends to inspire, is the fact that the Spring is prime time to enjoy the occasional hobby of sports betting. Kicking off this holiday season is March Madness followed closely by the start of the baseball season and the NHL and NBA playoffs. While the Super Bowl may be the grand-daddy of sports gambling events, the Spring is the time of year for all those Renaissance Men out there that enjoy dabbling in a little bit of everything.
The following are some of the bets that I like for the upcoming week of NHL playoff action (odds are courtesy of 5dimes.eu):
Monday: St. Louis vs. Los Angeles goes to overtime (+270)
Everybody loves overtime in the playoffs, there is nothing better. I find that when I do not have a strong rooting interest in the game, I usually just root for the game to go to overtime. This bet is great because if it hits, you get all sorts of compounding good vibes. A) you just hit on a bet that pays out 2.7-1 which is always a good thing, B) you get to watch overtime hockey, an event that is unmatched in terms of brining you edge-of-your-seat excitement, and C) chances are, if the game is going to overtime, you probably just witnessed three thrilling periods of regulation.
You can make the overtime bet for any playoff game usually getting +275 on the overtime bet or -335 on a no overtime bet. The fact that the Blues and Kings are both teams that are known for playing close games accounts for why you get +270 here and not +275.
The Bet: 100 hockey pucks (note: in real life gambling, you bet dollars but hockey pucks are the standard currency of NHL related sports blog gambling)
Tuesday: Pittsburgh vs. New York Islanders: Game four over six goals (+110)
Look at the scores in this series so far: 5-0, 4-3, 5-4. The totals goals scored topped six in two out of the first three games. If we’ve learned anything about watching the Penguins in the playoffs the last couple of years its, they will score goals in bunches and will usually give up goals in bunches too.
The Bet: 200 hockey pucks
Anaheim Beats Detroit in 6 games (+290)
I am not a huge fan of trying to pick the exact number of games a series will go but it is obviously much easier after a few games have been played. With Anaheim up two games to one at this point the Ducks would have to win one of their two remaining games at Detroit and also take care of business in game five at home. Smart gamblers take feelings out of the equation when making their picks but I am not a smart gambler and something about the Ducks in six just seems right to me. I do not see the Red Wings failing to win one more game in this series but I also do not see them being able to push the Ducks to a game 7.
The Bet: 100 hockey pucks
Jeff Carter over three shots on goal tonight (+160)
I love props like this for the simple fact that they change the way you watch the games and they make you root irrationally. Unless your the Flyers or Blue Jackets GM, you probably do not count Jeff Carter’s shots on a regular basis, but now every time Carter touches the puck you’ll be begging him to whip it at the net.
The Bet: 150 hockey pucks