We have two playoff games on the docket this evening for our viewing pleasure, one in the NHL and one in the NBA. While we have individual wagering opportunities to focus on for both contests, we’ll also be tieing both games together for this evening’s parlay ticket.
On the NHL side, the NHL Western Conference finals changes venues tonight for Game 3. The San Jose Sharks will be on the road to face the St. Louis Blues with the series all tied up at a game apiece. The Sharks picked up a big win in the series opener, but the Blues returned the favor on Monday night with a win of their own. It’s still early in this series, but it’s starting to look like it may last a while.
The NBA side of the equation is the Eastern Conference finals series opener. The #2 seed Toronto Raptors will be on the road to square off with the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks. The Raptors advanced after a Game 7 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday, while the Bucks have had a week off since taking care of the Boston Celtics. The hosts are currently installed as 6.5-point favorites for tonight’s game.
We should be in store for two entertaining games. The Sharks and Blues will be battling to see who can take the early lead in the series, while the Raptors and Bucks will both be looking to make statements in their series opener. Let’s break both of these contests down in full detail, starting with the NHL battle in St. Louis.
All betting odds provided by: Sportsbetting.ag
San Jose Sharks @ St. Louis Blues, 9:00 PM EST, NBCSN
Sharks vs. Blues Pick:
Game 1 of this series took place on Saturday in San Jose. The Sharks took control of the game with a 2-1 lead after the 1st period. They would add on three more in the 2nd and another in the final period as they cruised to a 6-3 win. Timo Meier has two goals and an assist to earn top star honors, while Martin Jones got the victory with 28 saves.
On Monday night, it was the second game of this series in San Jose. This one broke much differently as the Blues put forth a much better effort to take a 3-2 lead heading into the 3rd period. Oskar Sundqvist would add on another goal for St. Louis as they evened up the series with a 4-2 win. Jordan Binnington stopped 24 of the 26 shots he faced in the winning effort.
San Jose opened up the playoffs with a first-round matchup with the Vegas Golden Knights. It was a grueling series which needed seven games to decide things. The Sharks advance after a 5-4 OT win in the finale. The second-round was a similar story as the Sharks needed seven games to take down the Colorado Avalanche, winning by a score of 3-2 in Game 7.
On the road during the regular season, the team was 21-16-4. In the postseason, the record in away games is 2-4. Logan Couture leads the team in playoff scoring. He has 13 goals and six assists for 19 points thus far. Brent Burns has contributed 15 points, while Meier and Tonas Hertl have both chipped in with 14 points.
In round one, the Blues faced off with the Winnipeg Jets, winning the series in six games. They also had a tough second-round, as their series with the Dallas Stars went the distance. St. Louis was facing elimination heading into Game 6, but the club responded with a 4-1 road win. In the final game, they needed two OTs to skate away with a 2-1 victory at home.
The Blues were 24-15-2 on the home ice this season. For the playoffs, the mark stands at 3-4. Jaden Schwartz is the top performer on the team for the playoffs with nine goals and four assists for 13 points. Alex Pietrangelo is next up with two goals and 10 assists for 12 points. Ryan O’Reilly has contributed three goals and eight assists.
Jones has been solid in the playoffs on an overall basis, but he did give up four goals in the Game 2 loss. Over his last five outings, Jones has allowed 14 goals on 133 shots. Binnington was spectacular in the regular season, and the strong play has carried over into the playoffs for the most part. For his last five starts, he has allowed 11 goals on 130 shots.
Meetings to Date
Regular season: These clubs squared off three times in the regular season. The Sharks won two of three, with each side picking up a shutout win. In the third and final game, it was San Jose by a score of 3-2 at home in OT.
The Sharks controlled the game from the outset and held a 5-2 lead after the 2nd period. Logan Couture would close out the scoring in the final frame as the team rolled to a 6-3 win. Meier was top star with two goals, while Jones made 28 saves.
This contest was much closer. The Blues held a 3-2 lead after two periods, and they would get a goal form Sundqvist in the final period to seal the deal on a 4-2 victory. Binnington set aside 24 of the 26 pucks that headed his way.
Two games in, and it’s looking like this will be a closely-contested series which could go six or seven games. For tonight’s contest, we like the hosts to get the win and to take the series lead.
Toronto Raptors vs. Milwaukee Bucks, 8:30 PM EST, TNT
Raptors vs. Bucks Pick:
The Raptors held a 3-2 lead over the 76ers heading into Game 6 at Philadelphia. It was a pick’em spread at tip-off for that one, but the 76ers would live to fight another day with a 112-101 win. The series shifted back to Toronto for the finale on Sunday with the Raptors installed as 6-point favorites. A bouncing shot from Kawhi Leonard at the buzzer ended the series with a 92-90 win for Toronto.
After Game 1 versus the Celtics, it looked like the Bucks would be in for a tough series. Milwaukee was an 8-point home favorite for the opener, but it was the Celtics who walked away with a 112-90 win. That was the high-water mark for the Celtics, as the Bucks rebounded and won the next four to close the series out. Three of the team’s victories were by double digits.
At the close of the regular season, Toronto had a record of 32-9 and had locked down the #2 seed in the conference. They were matched up with the Orlando Magic in round one, and they wound up getting surprised with a home loss in the series opener. The team quickly got it together and rattled off four wins to end the series in five games.
During the regular season, the club had a record of 26-15 in away games. In the playoffs, the mark on the road stands at 3-2 in away games. For the postseason as a whole, Toronto has a record of 8-4 and wins in three of their last four.
Milwaukee is the top seed in the conference and ended the regular season with the best record in the NBA at 60-22. In the first-round, they played the Detroit Pistons, but it wasn’t much of a series. The Bucks completely dominated the proceedings and swept all four games. All four of the team’s victories in that set came by double digits.
The Bucks were a stout 33-8 on the home floor during the year. For the playoffs, the club is 4-1 at home. The overall postseason record stands at 8-1. The team’s lone loss to the Celtics is sandwiched between a pair of four-game winning streaks.
These two squads hooked up four times during the regular season with Milwaukee holding a 3-1 edge. The Bucks won once on their home court and twice in Toronto, while the Raptors picked up a road win in the series. Two games were decided by double digits, both in favor of Milwaukee.
Top Postseason Performers
Leonard closed out the 76ers with a rim-rattling shot as part of a 41-point evening. He has been the team’s biggest factor in the playoffs with averages of 31.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. Pascal Siakam is averaging 20.8 points, while Kyle Lowry is chipping in with 12.4 points and 7.1 assists per contest.
As expected, Giannis Antetokounmpo has been quite the force in the postseason for the Bucks. He’s averaging 27.4 points and 11.3 boards to lead the team. Khris Middleton is the secondary threat with 19.1 points and 4.6 assists per game, while Eric Bledsoe is adding in 16.0 pints per contest.
Playoffs to Date
In the first-round, Toronto was matched up with the Orlando Magic. They were stunned at home in the opener, losing by a score of 104-101 as 9.5-point favorites. The Raptors took control of the series from that point and won four straight to advance. The reward was a tough series with the 76ers. It took seven games to decide things, but Toronto survived to make it to the conference finals.
Through two series, the Bucks have yet to be really tested. They steamrolled over the Pistons in round one, winning four straight games by double digits. The Celtics surprised them with a 112-90 road win as 8-point road underdogs in the series opener. It was all Milwaukee from that point as the team won four straight – three by double digits – to advance.
This series opens up with the Bucks installed as 6.5-point home favorites. The team has been rollling through the playoffs and comes in rested to boot, while the Raptors had a tough time in the last round with the 76ers. We like the hosts to get the win and cover tonight.