It’s conference finals time for both the NBA and NHL, and that means that wagering opportunities for both sports are winding down right along with the respective seasons. We’ll have just a single game on the docket for both of the winter pastimes for the foreseeable future, but that’s not going to prevent us from kicking things up a notch.
To make things even more interesting, we can tie both games together on a single parlay ticket in a quest for greater returns. We’ll be doing just that for this evening’s games and breaking them both down in full detail right here.
First up, the Boston Bruins head to Carolina to take on the Hurricanes in a continuation of their NHL Eastern Conference finals series. The Bruins picked up big wins in both of the games in Boston, and it looks like they have all the momentum as we head to Game 3. That said, the Hurricanes will be hoping to flip the script as they head back home.
The second game on our ticket is the series opener for the NBA Western Conference finals. The Portland Trail Blazers travel to Oakland to take on the Golden State Warriors. The hosts are installed as big favorites for this one, but they will also once again be without the services of Kevin Durant. Portland was a road dog for Game 7 with the Denver Nuggets as well, but that didn’t prevent them from advancing.
We’re down to the final four in both the NBA and NHL, and the action will only continue to intensify as the playoffs continue to move along. As such, it should be an exciting evening on both the ice and the hard court. Let’s get right to breaking down both of these contests, starting with Game 3 in Carolina.
All betting odds provided by: Sportsbetting.ag
Boston Bruins @ Carolina Hurricanes, 8:00 PM EST, NBCSN
Bruins vs. Hurricanes Pick:
This series got underway in Boston last week. Carolina had control of Game 1 with a 2-1 lead after two periods, but it was all Bruins from that point. The hosts completely dominated the action in the 3rd with four goals as they skated away with a 5-2 win. Marcus Johansson received top star honors for the evening with a goal and an assist.
The momentum from that victory carried over into the second game. The Bruins put up two goals in both the 1st and 2nd periods to take a 4-0 lead. They added on another pair of goals in the third as they cruised to a 6-2 victory. Matt Grzelcyk was among the heroes for Boston as he had two goals on the night. After two games, the combined score stands at 11-4 in favor of the Bruins.
The Bruins opened up the playoffs with a first-round matchup versus the Toronto Maple Leafs. Seven games were needed to decide things, but Boston dominated the finale with a 5-1 win to advance. In the second-round, the club squared off with the Columbus Blue Jackets. After being down 2-1 after Game 3, the Bruins stormed back to win the final three games and move on to the finals.
For the postseason, Boston is 4-2 in away games. During the regular season, the mark stood at 20-15-6. Brad Marchand has been the team’s top performer in the playoffs. He has five goals and 10 assists for 15 points to lead the team. David Krejci, David Pastrnak, and Charlie Coyle have all contributed 12 points thus far in the postseason.
In the opening round of the playoffs, the Hurricanes faced the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals as big underdogs. It took seven games to do it, but the Hurricanes would stun and advance to round two. That set up a date with the New York Islanders, and Carolina was more than ready. The Hurricanes swept the series, outscoring the Islanders 13-5 while doing so.
On the home ice in the playoffs, the team is a perfect 5-0. For the season, the record was 24-13-4 at home. Jacob Slavin and Sebastian Aho are tied for the team lead in playoff scoring with 11 points. Slavin has 11 assists, while Aho has five goals and seven helpers. Jordan Staal and Teuvo Teravainen have added in 10 points each.
Rask has been excellent in the playoffs, and the strong play has carried over into this series. Through two games versus the Hurricanes, Rask has allowed only four goals on 50 shots faced. Mrazek has been good in the postseason on an overall basis, but he was really shaky in the opening two games of this series. He allowed four goals on 23 shots in Game 1, and followed that up by giving up six goals in Game 2.
Meetings to Date
Regular season: The Bruins took two of three from the Hurricanes. Boston was a 3-2 road victor in the first game, while Carolina picked up a 5-3 home win in the second meeting. The last game took place in Boston with the Bruins notching a 4-3 win in overtime.
The Hurricanes controlled the early part of the game, but the Bruins would storm back in period three. Four goals later, and Boston skated off the ice with a 5-2 victory. Rask made 29 saves in the win, while Johansson got top star honors with a two-point evening.
Boston dominated the action throughout. It was 4-0 after two periods, and the team would ultimately cruise to a 6-2 win. Grzelcyk had a pair of goals to earn top star. Rask was solid once again with 21 saves on the night.
Boston is riding a five-game winning streak as they get set for tonight’s game, while the Hurricanes need to right the ship to make this a series. A shift to the home ice may help, but Mrazek has been shaky in this series to date. We like the Bruins to get the win and take firm control of this conference final series.
Portland Trail Blazers @ Golden State Warriors, 9:00 PM EST, ESPN
Trail Blazers vs. Warriors Pick:
Portland was in Denver on Sunday for Game 7 versus the Nuggets. At game time, the Trail Blazers were 5-5-point underdogs and facing a tall task. The club was down by nine points at the half, but they managed to turn it on in the second half to walk off the floor with a 100-96 victory. C.J. McCollum dropped 37 points to lead the team in the winning effort.
Golden State faced the prospect of Game 6 in Houston on Friday night as 7.5-point underdogs and without the help of star forward Kevin Durant. It was all tied up at the half, but the Warriors would take control from that point and close the series out with a 118-113 win. Stephen Curry led the way for the victors with a 33 point, five rebound, and four assist night.
The Trail Blazers faced the Oklahoma City Thunder in the opening round of the playoffs. They closed that series out in five games with a 118-115 win in the finale. Portland was down 3-2 to Denver heading into Game 6, but they bounced back to win the final two and move on. On the road during the season, the team was 21-20. For the playoffs, the mark stands at 3-3.
The Warriors were matched up with the Los Angeles Clippers in round one. They had a tougher time than expected and needed six games to close it out and advance. They won the opening two games versus Houston, but the Rockets would tie the series up before Golden State won the final two contests. The Warriors were 30-11 at home this year. In the postseason, the record is 4-2 on the home floor.
These two squads hooked up four times during the regular season. They split the meetings, with each side winning one at home and another on the road. Three of the games were decided by double digits, while the second meeting broke as a 110-109 decision in favor of Portland.
Top Postseason Performers
Damian Lillard has been the top force for the Trail Blazers in the playoffs. He’s averaging 28.4 points and 6.0 assists per contest. McCollum has been contributing 25.6 points, 5.8 boards, and 3.4 assists per game. Enes Kanter is chipping in with 12.9 points and 10.5 boards.
For the Warriors, Durant leads with an average of 34.2 points. He’ll be out tonight with a calf injury, and his status for the rest of the series is unclear. Curry is averaging 24.3 points, while Klay Thompson is contributing 18.3. Draymond Green is averaging 12.6 points, 9.6 boards, and 8.0 assists for the playoffs.
Playoffs to Date
Portland’s overall record for the postseason is 8-4. The team is 5-1 on the home floor and 3-3 in away games. Five of the team’s playoff games have been decided by double digits – three in their favor and two against. Lillard and McCollum have taken turns leading the way, as both have six games as leading scorer under their belts.
Golden State is also 8-4 in the playoffs. The record on the home court stands at 4-2, and it’s a matching 4-2 mark in away games thus far. Just three of the team’s postseason games have been decided by double digits. All three came against the Clippers with the Warriors winning all three. Durant has been the leading scorer eight times. Curry has turned the trick three times, while Thompson did it once.
The absence of Durant is certainly a factor, but the Warriors can still get the job done regardless. Just ask Houston. For tonight’s game, Golden State is a big 7.5-point home favorite. We’re expecting things to be a bit closer than that, and we’re rolling with the Trail Blazers plus the points as a result.