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Best NHL Bets Today: Western Conference Elites Look to Finish First Round Series

Written by: Michael Hanich
Published May 3, 2024
10 min read
Best NHL Bets Today May 03 2024

Tonight is game six of two Western Conference battles that will have the potential to be close-out games. Both the Vancouver Canucks and the Dallas Stars look to finish out the series tonight on the road and their first-round matchups to potentially avoid a game seven. They are looking to avoid as little momentum as possible for the underdog and blow a huge series lead. These games are going to give some of the closest odds in the first round of this postseason.

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Vancouver Canucks vs. Nashville Predators - Game Six

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

My Pick: Vancouver Canucks (VAN)

Starting the night off in the NHL is one of the more undervalued Western Conference matchups this postseason. Vancouver Canucks go on the road for critical game six to take on the Nashville Predators, who is given the Canucks more fits than anticipated.

The Canucks had a chance to close out this series on Tuesday night in their own arena. Instead, the Canucks fell apart on the offensive side of the ice as they were suffocated by the opposing defense of the Predators to only score one goal, similar to the 4-1 game two loss at home. The Canucks would lose Tuesday night's game with a 2-1 score as they would attempt 20 shots at the goal and win 38.6% of the faceoffs.

The Canucks are a team that has shown they can lose games by not pressing enough physicality and pushing for hits. The Predators were the more focused team and once they were able to take away the speed and velocity of the Canucks, it would be a long night for the favorites.

In tonight's game, there is no expectation for either of the opposing offenses to take over. The X-factor of the game will be the efficiency of the defense, which the Canucks possess. They have, however, proved that wrong. This series is more Vancouver's series to lose more than Nashville's chance to win.

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Dallas Stars vs. Vegas Golden Knights - Game Six

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

My Pick: Dallas Stars (DAL)

The second and final game of the night is set as the Dallas Stars go on the road to take on the Vegas Golden Knights and a series that could potentially end tonight. Dallas started the series by losing both games at home to Vegas, however, they have managed to come back in a big way by playing sound on both sides of the ice. They hold a 3-2 series lead over the defending Stanley Cup champions. 

The stars have had a complete turnaround on both sides of the ice. On offense, Dallas scored a total of four goals in the first two games. Within the last three, they have been able to score a total of 10 with at least three in each game. Defensively, the Stars allowed seven goals in the first two games. In the last three games, they have allowed two goals in each.

The stars, who have had to rely on a solid game plan and efficiency on both sides of the ice throughout the regular season, found themselves overwhelmed and outmatched in the intensity by the Golden Knights in the first two games. After the two home losses, the Stars can regain that momentum and push for the intensity that they need to possess to defeat Vegas in this series. 

Dallas now goes into game 6 on the road looking to accomplish the same task again against a Golden Knights team that is shown to be slightly fatigued and relying too much on certain star players. Dallas, on the other hand, has been more than willing to spread the puck around and get different players moving or solid scoring opportunities. Even if they lose this game, the Stars have regained solid momentum and have found a blueprint to defeat the defending champs.

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AUTHOR

Michael Hanich

498 Articles

Michael Hanich is a sports journalist/analyst with a wide variety of experience in the newspaper and digital field. He has a love for all sports. The leagues that he covers are College Football, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, College Basketball (men’s and women’s), the MLB, Lacrosse, Volleyball, and the WNBA.

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