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The National Hockey League is kicking off their postseason as we have 16 teams competing to host up the Stanley Cup. Today, we are going to be discussing three different first round series and dissect which teams have the best chance of advancing and why. All of the odds for these wagers are provided by the BetUs Sportsbooks, so the numbers and odds can change if you use a different sportsbook and depending on when you decide to place the wager. 

One thing that is also going on is Major League Baseball. Make sure to check out the MLB lines to continue increasing your bankroll for some big bets during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Nashville Predators (+475) vs Colorado Avalanche (-650)

The Colorado Avalanche are the heavy favorites in this series and for good reason. They have the better overall team, but Nashville was able to win three of their four games against one another. Both teams backed into the postseason as well as they lost four of their last five games in the regular season. Predators goaltender Juuse Saros played in to games against the Avalanche in the regular season and was 2-0-0 with six goals allowed on 70 shot attempts. I think this is going to be a great chance for the heavy favorites to get knocked out and the Nashville Predators seem to have the answers on how to stop the Colorado Avalanche. Give me the +475 odds for the Nashville Predators to pull off a massive upset and win this series. 

Pittsburgh Penguins (-105) vs New York Rangers (-115)  

The Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Rangers will meet up in the first round of the playoffs after being divisional opponents and this should be an extremely entertaining matchup. The Rangers will have left winger Artemi Panarin ready to go for the opening game of this series and should be able to dominate here. 

The major difference is going to be inside of the net as the Penguins will be without their starting goalie Tristan Jarry as he is listed as day to day and will miss at least the first two games of this series. That means backup goalie Casey DeSmith will be in the net for Pittsburgh and unfortunately for them, that is not what you want to see heading into the playoffs. For the Rangers, Igor Shesterkin will man the net and he had arguably the best season of any goaltender and should win the Vezina Trophy when it is announced as he led the league in save percentage and goals allowed per game. This series should not be as close as the oddsmakers are trying to convince us so go with the young and hungry New York Rangers to edge out this series and advance to the second round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs on their quest to the Stanley Cup. 

Tampa Bay Lightning (-105) vs Toronto Maple Leafs (-115)

The reigning back-to-back Stanley Cup Champions are considered an underdog in the first round of the playoffs as they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs. This is going to be an intriguing series as the Maple Leafs have some of the best scoring threats in the league with center John Tavares, right winger Mitchell Marner, and center Auston Matthews. As a team, they finished scoring 3.8 goals per game and should be a threat to score the puck here. These teams split their four games during the regular season with both teams picking up dominant victories during the month of April. However, I trust in Andrei Vasilevskiy with his experience to dominate the game inside of the net until he gives me a reason not to. He was in the top 12 in save percentage, wins, and goals allowed per game during the regular season and obviously has the pedigree to win incredibly big games. All in all, go with the Tampa Bay Lightning to continue their season past the first round of the postseason.    


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