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Top NHL Playoffs Betting Odds & Picks for Saturday, May 28 (2022)

by May 28, 2022
Igor Shesterkin

The NHL has just one game on the docket for Memorial Day Saturday. But the lone game on the schedule should be a dandy.

The Carolina Hurricanes will look to punch their ticket to the Eastern Conference Finals, while the New York Rangers will look to force a Game 7 on home ice.

The home team has taken each game of this series so far. Will Game 6 be any different? Let’s break down what should be a fantastic game:

Bet $10, Win $200 if Either Team Score a Goal >>

Carolina Hurricanes (-110) at New York Rangers (-110), Total 5.5

The Hurricanes responded incredibly well to two straight losses at Madison Square Garden. Carolina put up arguably their most dominant performance of the postseason, scoring a goal at even strength, on the power play and while shorthanded. They out-shot the Rangers 34-17 and dominated possession (55.88 Corsi For Percentage) at 5-on-5 play.

It was another dominant performance on home ice for the Canes. But that’s where the problem lies. Carolina is 7-0 on home ice and 0-5 on the road. Whether energy level or matchups, Carolina has struggled to replicate their strongest efforts in enemy territory.

As for New York, their biggest struggles have generated opportunities in 5-on-5 play. The Rangers have the worst expected goals for percentage among the teams still alive in the postseason at 40.08%. They’ve often had to rely on their power play and goaltender Igor Shesterkin to keep them in games. Shesterkin has been terrific in this series after a shaky first round. The likely Vezina Trophy winner has posted 8.1 goals saved above expected and has rediscovered his elite form in this series.

In Game 6, the question will be whether New York can seize momentum back on home ice. And while the Rangers outscored Carolina 7-2 in Games 3 and 4, the advanced analytics tell a different story. Carolina won both the possession and expected goals for battles in both contests at 5-on-5.

Shesterkin was magnificent in both games at MSG, stopping 73 of 75 shots in the victories. Unless the Rangers can find a way to take control at even strength, they may need Shesterkin to steal another game to keep their season alive.

Betting Prediction 

Two prevailing trends have held true throughout this entire series: the home team has won every game, and every game has gone under the total thus far. That’s why some sportsbooks like DraftKings have dropped the total to just five goals, with the over posted at a juicy -140.

It’s a little too rich for my blood at -140, but over five goals might be worth a look, as these teams have plenty of firepower to light the lamp if their goaltenders have an off night.

As for the side, I’m a bit torn. I agree with the advanced analytics in that Carolina has been the better team at even strength in this series. But I also don’t trust the Hurricanes outside of Raleigh.

In this case, I will trust my eyes and the analytics and throw the prevailing narrative out. The Hurricanes are simply the stronger, deeper team. And goaltender Antti Raanta has matched Shesterkin’s play throughout most of the series. This will be another closely-contested game, but I’ll roll with Carolina to close it out.

The picks: Carolina moneyline (-110), lean over 5 goals -140

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Hockey, Picks