The Nashville Predators may be down 2-0 in their best of seven series with the Pittsburgh Penguins, but that doesn't mean Stanley Cup betting should shy away from the Western Conference champions; or does it?
The Penguins are attempting to accomplish one of the most difficult feats in all of sports, and that is to win the Stanley Cup for the second straight season.
The 1997 and 1998 finals were the last time a team won back-to-back Stanley Cups (Detroit Red Wings), which proves that Pittsburgh's task isn't easy.
Best Defense in NHL Playoffs
Defense wins championships, and the Predators have played well on the defensive end of the ice throughout the postseason.
Nashville allowed just 1.81 goals per game going into the final, and even had a few extra days to relax after qualifying before the Penguins.
Unfortunately, Nashville's defense hasn't been as solid in the first two games of the finals, but online bookies should remember that games 1 and 2 were played in Pittsburgh.
The home cooking of the south should help the squad.
(Nearly) Unbeatable at Home
Nashville has been excellent at home this postseason. The team has lost just once at its home arena, Bridgestone Arena, compiling a 7-1 record.
Meanwhile, the Predators went an impressive 31-18 at home during the regular season. NHL betting should favor the Predators at home, due to the team's great form in Nashville.
However, the team's two games back in Music City are must win affairs.
The Nashville fans are extremely passionate about their team as the Predators are only one of two professional sports franchises in the city.
While it isn't a traditional ice hockey hotbed, the fans have really taken to the franchise, and it has helped the team on the ice.
Nashville started the finals as the clear underdog, clocking in at +135 while the Penguins were placed at NHL betting odds of –155 by online bookies.
Despite being the underdogs and being beaten in the first two games of the series, the Predators have the players to fight back on home ice, and even up the series.
Nashville's Filip Forsberg is second in the NHL Playoffs in goals with eight. Meanwhile, Ryan Johansen is sixth in assists. The two have been strong in the playoffs for Nashville, but the team needs greater scoring power to beat the defending NHL Stanley Cup winners. The team also needs P.K. Subban to be big in defense.
Online bookies thinking about backing the Predators should think twice. Not only were the Penguins the favorites going into the finals, but the team has shown why it’s favored in the opening two games.
Nashville's biggest hope is that its home crowd and home arena will offset the offensive flurry the Penguins have thrown at them in games 1 and 2.
Despite having a solid defense, it really hasn't shown as the Penguins are averaging 4.5 goals per game.
If Nashville is to make it difficult for Pittsburgh to repeat as champions, it will need to win twice in Music City before returning to Pittsburgh. That is a big ask for the Predators at this point.
Remember, during any high-stakes championship games, set max betting limits. There’s a lot NHL bettors who do not want the Pens to win, so there should be a pretty even turn out for wagers.
Still, have layoff accounts ready so the bank isn’t cleared out when the Pens take home their Cup.
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