If you are looking for a brief summary of what you need to know today to make informed betting choices, you’ve come to the right place!
We’ll make sure you’ve got the most up-to-date map before you embark on your sports betting voyage.
1. Capitals/Penguins is about goaltending
I’m going to tell you a secret: Marc-Andre Fleury might be outplaying Braden Holtby, and in the playoffs, no less. That’s right: the guy with the .932 career playoff save percentage is getting shown the ropes by the guy who scored on his own net at the world juniors.
In the first three games, Holtby had an .830 save percentage, and the Caps fell down 2-0, and then 3-1. Contrast that to Fleury, who posted an impressive .945 in the first three games, and then fell to .845 in the Penguin’s last two losses.
Of course, goaltending isn’t entirely an individual performance. Kris Letang’s absence on Pittsburgh’s defence has been glaring at times. But look for the goalies to be the deciding factor in tonight’s Game 7. If Fleury can return to form, the same Penguins team that’s looked so lost at times could survive this series. They could also both fall apart, in which case I hope you’ve bet the over.
Fleury’s always been something of a wild card in the playoffs, and this year is no different. What’s surprising is Holtby’s inconsistency, and coming into Game 7, it’s likely to be the deciding factor. I’m more comfortable taking Holtby, a longtime playoff standout, to stay hot than banking on Fleury to put in a game-changing performance in the clutch.
2. The Golden State Warriors are still underrated?
Golden State has been absolutely dominant this postseason, showing significant improvements on defense to complement a historically good offense. The Warriors swept Portland and a very good Utah team, and now head into the Western Conference finals having played significantly less basketball in the last few weeks than their two potential opponents, Houston and San Antonio. Most betting lines reflect this, with the Warriors title odds floating around -250 and getting as short as -310.
If you trust the numbers guys over at FiveThirtyEight, this is still somehow a bargain. Those odds carry an implied probability of up to 75%, which is remarkable for a team that has yet to play a minute of the semi-finals, but the 538 ELO-based model shows the Warriors with a stunning 83% of winning the title. That’s a thin margin, and a lot less than I’d be willing to bet against the as-of-yet untested Cleveland Cavaliers, but still. Wild.