The Stanley Cup Finals are set with two unlikely combatants. Washington is making their first trip back to the Finals in two decades. The Capitals have long been known for playing less than their best in the postseason and had to make adjustments to their roster this past offseason because of salary cap problems. It looked like more this same after they lost two home games to Columbus to begin the playoffs, but this team has shown more grit than ever before and has won three straight series.
Vegas, what can you say. These supposed orphans came together in their very first game as an expansion team and never looked back. This makes for a fascinating Cup Finals!
Since the second round of the playoffs, underdogs have shined and been an excellent bet. The conference championships definitely favored the underdog and those betting favorites had to cough up the cash. What was particularly interesting is favorites of -151 or higher were only 1-4 and lost -6.05 units. All these faves were at home and the results sent a lot of fans home unhappy and those betting hockey feeling even worse.
Favorites – 5-7 – 5.90 units
-200 ML or Higher – 0-1, -2.00 units
-151 to -199 ML – 1-3, -4.05 units
–150 ML or Lower – 4-3, +0.15 units
Lower scoring dominated the totals action with only two Over’s in a dozen contests. What we witnessed and expected was the quality of the goaltending was exquisite. Both Marc-Andre Fleury of Vegas and Brandon Holtby of the Capitals have been marvelous and real contributors to lower scoring. Plus, both defenses did exceptional work in negating the speed of their opponent in neutral ice in the conference finals, which also prevented more scoring.