NHL Playoffs Western Conference - Odds and Predictions for Round 1

Nashville Predators (1st seed) vs Dallas Stars (first wildcard)

The Nashville Predators clinched their second of back-to-back Central division titles after their final game of the season. Analysts predict this to be one of the lower-scoring first-round matchups. Nashville finished the season ranked 19th in goals for. The Dallas Stars finished at 28th in the same stat. These two teams went 2-2 against each other this season.

Nashville was eliminated last year in the second round after making the Stanley Cup finals the year before where they were defeated by the Pittsburgh Penguins. The experience is there to help them as the Stars failed to make the playoffs last season or the one prior.

Special teams will be the big factor in this matchup as Nashville ranked dead last in the league on the powerplay where Dallas ranked 11th. Both teams place fifth and sixth together when on the penalty kill. This series also presents one of the more interesting head-to-head goalie matchups, pitting Nashville’s Pekka Rinne against Dallas’ Ben Bishop. Rinne finished the season with a record of 30-19-4, a save percentage of .918, and four shutouts. Bishop, although he missed some time with injuries, still managed a 27-15-2 record with a .934 save percentage and a very impressive seven shutouts.

Nashville is the betting favorite. Game one airs on Wednesday, April 10 at 9:30PM EST.

Odds: Nashville Predators vs Dallas Stars

If you reside in New Jersey, you can bet on the Nashville Predators vs Dallas Stars, here: 

Sportsbook Nashville Predators Dallas Stars Link
888Sport NJ -162 +133

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Winnipeg Jets (2nd seed) vs. St. Louis Blues (3rd seed)

Winnipeg suffered from a few injuries late in the season but there’s no questioning that they are still a talented and capable squad. The Jets finished seventh overall in goals for, fourth on the powerplay, and fifth in shooting percentage. However, their defensive numbers never tended to rise above the top-15.

With that said, it’s arguable that the St. Louis Blues had the strongest second half of the season out of any other team in the league. Momentum alone could play an advantage heading into this series – especially considering the Jets somewhat lackluster finish to their regular season.

On defense, the Blues finished within the top-10 of every major statistic. Offensively, they had the sixth-best faceoff percentage and tenth best powerplay. Winnipeg will absolutely have to stay out of the penalty box in this series.

Game one is set for a 8PM EST start time Wednesday night at the Bell MTS Centre in Winnipeg. The St. Louis Blues have opened as the favorite.

Check out our predictions for the game right here.

Odds: Winnipeg Jets vs St. Louis Blues

Sportsbook Winnipeg Jets St. Louis Blues Link
888Sport NJ -120 +103

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Calgary Flames (1st seed) vs. Colorado Avalanche (second wild card)

The Calgary Flames finished the season with the best season record in the Western conference – going 50-25-7, earning them 107 points. They return to the playoffs after missing out last year and many pundits predict a Stanley Cup finals rematch from the 2003-04 season that saw Calgary lose to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Ultimately, the Flames should be able to tire the Avalanche out. Offensively, it’s the depth of Calgary’s offensive lines against one solid line of Colorado. Calgary finished the season ranked second in goals for, behind only the Tampa Bay Lightning. They were also third in faceoff and shooting percentages. The Flames also allowed the fewest shots against, meaning it will be even harder for Colorado players like Nathan MacKinnion and Gabriel Landeskog to get any offensive momentum going.

The Avalanche took a lot of penalties this season and their penalty kill ranked at only 25th overall. They need to play disciplined hockey. Goalie Philipp Grubauer finished the season strong, going 9-2-2, and may the factor for Colorado to steal a game or two but, ultimately, Calgary should take this series in less than six games.

Game one is on Thursday night in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with a 10PM EST start time. Take a look at our detailed predictions for the game, here.

Odds: Calgary Flames vs Colorado Avalanche

Sportsbook Calgary Flames Colorado Avalanche Link
888Sport NJ -205 +165

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San Jose Sharks (2nd seed) vs. Vegas Golden Knights (3rd seed)

This is a rematch of last season Western conference semi-final where the Vegas Golden Knights, in their first season, eliminated the ever dominant San Jose Sharks four games to two. The Golden Knights went on to last season Cup finals where they were eventually bested by the Washington Capitals in five games.

But this isn’t the same Vegas team as last season. And it definitely isn’t the same San Jose Sharks roster that tasted defeat last year. Since last season, the Sharks added forward Gustav Nyquist and defenseman Erik Karlsson. Mixed with their existing roster, the Sharks managed a second-place finish in the Pacific division. They went 3-6-1 in their last ten games and finished with back-to-back wins.

The Sharks finished the season tied for second in goals and ranked sixth in both shots for and powerplay percentage. They also ranked second overall for the fewest shots against.

The Golden Knights didn’t have quite the Cinderella story as they did last season, but finishing third in the Pacific division is still rather impressive after what some considered a fluke season. Vegas finished the season ranked 13th in goals for, second in shots, tenth in goals allowed, and fifth overall in both fewest shots against and fewest penalty minutes taken.

The San Jose Sharks are the odds-on favorite in this series. Game one begins at 10:30 PM EST Wednesday night at the SAP Center at San Jose.

Odds: San Jose Sharks vs Vegas Golden Knights

Sportsbook San Jose Sharks Vegas Golden Knights Link
888Sport NJ -143 +118

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