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NHL Picks: May 20

By Mitchell Blair

I’m a die-hard Oilers fan so despite their Game One loss, I am going to stay away from that series as I could be considered guilty of betting with my heart and not my head.  That isn’t a bad thing and wasn’t down the stretch and Games 2, 3, 6 and 7 of the first round. I digress.  Let’s concentrate on what the Rangers and Hurricanes will give us in Game 2.

You know I really like the Rangers and I think the future is bright for them with players like Shesterkin, Fox, Miller, Kreider, Zibenajad, Lafreniere and others.  However, the Rangers just can’t find the formula to beat Carolina.  Down the stretch, the Rangers had a chance to take over first in the Metropolitan Division over the Hurricanes, but in both instances they failed to put on their big boy skates and lost twice with both games being at Madison Square Garden. The decision to sit back in the third period of Game 1 and try to nurse a one-goal lead failed miserably for them. Once Sebastian Aho tied it, it was just a matter of time, but I didn’t think Ian Cole would be the OT hero. Did anyone?

Carolina has owned the Rangers this season and despite the fact that I think New York has a better team, the Hurricanes have found the secret to beating the Blueshirts and I expect that again in Game 2.

Looking at the numbers, Carolina is 6-1 when they open up a playoff series at home with a win. The Rangers are 6-26 when losing Game 1 on the road.  While I want to say the Rangers can even up this series, I just can’t because the matchup just doesn’t serve them well.  The Hurricanes are favoured on all books and that shouldn’t come as a surprise. 

PICK: Hurricanes at -169 on Coolbet

OK, I can’t get away without talking about Game 1 of the Oilers-Flames series.  It was a throwback to the last playoff meeting between these two teams 31 years ago.  I kept waiting for Bill Ranford or Reggie Lemelin to play goal in the third.  I’m not sure who wins Game 2, but I don’t think we will see 15 goals. That being said, I am taking the over 6.5. The best return can be found on Coolbet at -111 on the over. I am hammering some coin down on that.

One of betstamp’s largest brand values is transparency. Whether you are looking to tail or fade my picks, or potentially just like reading the breakdowns, you can find my full documented betting record here. Best of luck with your bets today.

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