Scoring is ablaze these NHL playoffs. It reached its summit May 3 using a ridiculous 6.09 goals per game and it is currently at 5.85 aims heading into Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final.
If you compare it with current postseasons, that number is absurd. Additionally, it is a storyline that’s been largely overlooked by both the mainstream press and the gambling community.
From the 10 seasons prior, the greatest goals per game average in a playoffs was 5.98 (2010) and even that was an anomaly considering it was the first period under new rule adjustments to crack down using a force on obstruction. The NHL predicted it tighter to open up play and the OVER crushed that year in 45-30-14.
I have ta hand it to oddsmakers because though scoring is way up this season, they’ve managed to book totals admirably. The O/U stands at 32-36-11 heading into Game 1 between the Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights. That’s actually a gain of $200.25 should you place $100 on every UNDER. So how should people be betting totals from the NHL final?
I believe we’ll see some value that is UNDER during the sequence. The largest reason is goaltending and that’s necessarily the first thing you have to look at when you are betting totals from the NHL. If a team’s goalie is not playing nicely, pucks are going to find the back of the net — it is just a matter of the number of.
When a group’s goaltender is hot, however he can always slip an UNDER success for you on his own.
Marc-Andre Fleury has propelled the Golden Knights into the closing and that’s obvious with him sitting since the -120 favorite to win the Conn Smythe. Should you want more than this, Fleury owns a 1.68 goals-against average and a .947 save percentage.
That second number ranks best for one postseason of any goalie who’s played eight matches. As in No. 1 all time based on quanthockey.com. He’s putting on a playoff performance for the ages and you can run out of superlatives to describe it.
Braden Holtby is a bit of a story for Washington. He has been up-and-down these playoffs with a couple softies squeezing through. He has had six games this postseason in which his save percentage dropped below .900, which is a little scary.
The fantastic news for Caps and UNDER bettors, even though, is it seems he has saved his best for last. Holtby enters the final off back-to-back shutouts from a powerful Tampa Bay squad using a combined 53 saves.
A big reason why is that Washington played much better team defense in front of him in these matches. The Capitals had 36 blocked shots compared with the Bolts’ 21 and, to me, they performed their best defensively of the postseason at both ends of the ice.
Holtby is a much better goaltender once the Capitals are playing that. He is sometimes not the kind of keeper who is likely to steal goals off excellent scoring opportunities time and again like Fleury. But he’ll stop just about all the shots he needs to when his team is playing in front of him.
The former fourth-round select has quietly earned the third-best goals-against average in history (2.01) among goaltenders with at least 50 games.
Scoring in the Stanley Cup Final:
Scoring typically goes in the NHL closing. The team that could play better defense and possesses the hotter goaltender usually wins the Cup.
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