As always, the NHL playoffs feature plenty of surprises in the opening round. While some teams have qualified for the next round, the majority of first-round matchups are still ongoing and available to wager on at West Virginia sportsbooks.
Many local hockey fans have their attention on the Pittsburgh Penguins and their series with the New York Islanders.
After taking games two and three, the Pens dropped the last two and now trail 3-2 in the series. Despite grabbing the East Division’s top spot in the regular season, Pittsburgh now must stave off elimination Wednesday night.
The Isles won the pivotal fifth game in double overtime on Monday. Center Josh Bailey scored the game-winning goal less than a minute into the second OT when goalie Tristan Jarry committed a terrible turnover.
Pittsburgh has no time to dwell on its mistakes, though, and must come away with wins in the next two.
Let’s take a closer look at the betting odds for Game 6 and examine the rest of the NHL playoff picture.
Penguins-Islanders Game 6 preview
Even though the Pens are the team whose season could end Wednesday, DraftKings Sportsbook WV lists the Isles as very slight favorites. They are shown at -109 to advance to the second round, whereas the Penguins are at -106.
The online sportsbook has New York laying -1.5 in the puck line with odds of +235. Bettors can take the Pens receiving the +1.5 at -286.
The game’s total is set at 5.5 goals.
One of Pittsburgh’s issues this postseason is its lack of scoring. Since putting in five goals in Game 3, the Pens only scored three total times over the last two games.
Isles goalie Ilya Sorokin is performing particularly well this series. He recorded 29 saves and only surrendered one goal in the victory in Game 4.
Sorokin followed that up with an even better showing in the last tilt, making 48 saves in the winning effort. In fact, he’s started in each of New York’s three wins this series, while Semyon Varlamov is 0-2.
After his incredible night on Monday, it’s likely that the Isles will stick with Sorokin tonight.
Regardless of who’s in net for New York, the Pens need their top guys to get going. Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel finished the year as the top two on the roster in points.
So far in five playoff games, they’ve combined for just three points.
Those who believe the Pens can still come back in this series have some favorable odds available. DraftKings gave them odds of +210 to move on, compared to the Isles at -275.
The online sportsbook provides other ways to wager on the series, too. You can bet on the total number of games played, with the over 6.5 at -109 and the under with odds of -118.
Stanley Cup playoff odds
The winner of the Pens-Isles series will meet the Boston Bruins in the second round. They took out the Washington Capitals in just five games to move on.
They’re joined by the Colorado Avalanche and Winnipeg Jets. The Avs defeated St. Louis in four, while the Jets also swept the Edmonton Oilers.
According to FanDuel WV, the Avs are the favorite to win the title. It has them listed at +270 to hoist the Stanley Cup, with Boston currently in second at +500.
As far as other series that are still ongoing, there are several tight ones.
Las Vegas holds a 3-2 lead over Minnesota. The same goes for Carolina in its matchup with Nashville, and Tampa Bay over Florida.
Both Vegas and Tampa can close things out this evening.
The Golden Knights have odds of -650 to finish the series, with the Wild at +430. In the battle for Florida, Tampa is listed at -460 and the Panthers +340.
Carolina is the biggest favorite in this situation. FanDuel has it at -700, whereas the Preds are at +470.
These odds are interesting because there really hasn’t been much between these two sides all series. Each of the last three contests has been decided in OT.
The only other series not mentioned involves Toronto and Montreal. After dropping the first game, the Leafs are winners of three straight and seem to have found their groove.
Their series line is too lopsided to wager on unless you think Montreal can mount a comeback. Toronto is shown at -3500 to qualify for the next round, while Montreal is at +1600.
Most WV sportsbooks like the Maple Leafs’ chances this postseason. They own the third-best odds to win it all on FanDuel, at +550.