As expected, the deeper you move in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the harder it is to make a profit on underdogs for a variety of reasons. That does not mean it is still not worth looking into.
After the first round produced a positive 9.88 units of profit with 22-20 record on underdogs, thus far in the second round we have a 10-10 mark, good for +1.79 units against the NHL odds. Because the teams should be closer talent-wise, the money lines are tighter which creates a lower variance. This is shown by the fact in spite of underdogs still winning regularly, seven of the 10 victories were at +120 or less.
After the first round saw a vast amount of lower scores and the UNDER 20-13-9, because of more offensive-minded teams moving on the OVER has a 9-7-2 edge. With either three or four games remaining before the Conference Finals, you would think more conservative play would be in order with what is on the line with at least two Game 7’s.
This series should already be over except for New York having blown two leads in the third period in Ottawa with under two minutes to play and lost both games. Instead, the Rangers are down 3-2 in the series and the combination of questionable defensive matchups by coach Alain Vigneault and goalie Henrik Lundqvist not making the big save have hurt.
New York has been favored in each battle with the Senators and will be again, presently at -170. For NHL picks, the Blueshirts look like the right choice having dominated both contests at Madison Square Garden 4-1. Also, Lundqvist is 15-5 with a 1.74 goals-against average when between the pipes in last 20 elimination games and going back to 2008, he is 10-1 at MSG in same circumstance with amazing 1.05 GAG.
Doug Upstone wrote this for www.sportsbookreview.com