Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:53 AM

NHL Playoff Picks and Predictions for Weekend of August 22-23

Stanley Cup Playoffs NHL Best Bets

Games set for August 22-23, 2020 To be played in Toronto and Edmonton

NHL Favorite Best Bet

  • Matchup: Boston vs. Tampa Bay
  • TV-Time: NBC, Sunday, 8:00 p.m. ET

Tampa Bay ML -117

This series should be fantastic from start to finish, but it's probably more important from a mental standpoint for Tampa to jump out to a 1-0 series lead. Boston's never had an issue trailing early in a series, whereas Tampa has shown in the past that they can get down on themselves a bunch.

But more importantly, being the pick'em series price that it is, we could actually see the lone advantage of being the home team - last change - be quite critical in getting that break or two.

I would guess that Boston will see this -117 line for Game 3 barring two outlier outcomes happening, and as tight as these two teams are, it's probably worth paying the price for.

NHL Underdog Best Bet 

  • Matchup: Dallas vs. Colorado
  • TV-Time: NBC, Saturday, 8:00 p.m. ET

Dallas ML +145

Colorado has definitely looked the part of legit contender all year, and deserve the heavy chalk they are laying for the series line. But both of these teams stumbled in Game 7 of this round a year ago, and Dallas did go 4-0 SU against the Avalanche during the regular season. Not all of that is fluky.

So out of the gate where the perception of Colorado may not get much higher, I'll look for Dallas to get on the series scoreboard first.

Colorado is the team that's been off the extra day, and when they've gotten used to every other day at minimum, that extra time off isn't always good. Just not sure the Stars are getting as much respect as the maybe deserve - including from myself last round vs Calgary.

NHL Over-Under Total Best Bet 

  • Matchup: Vancouver vs. Vegas
  • TV-Time: NBCSN, Sunday, 10:30 p.m. ET 

Vancouver/Vegas Over 5.5

The Canucks are 6-4 O/U overall for their time in the bubble, while Vegas comes into this series with a 5-3 O/U mark. There is too much speed on the ice from both sides not to at least lean this way on a seemingly standard total line to begin a series.

Vancouver isn't a completely different team in terms of make up to what Vegas saw from Chicago, and that series had openers at 6.5 in spots for the first couple of games.

If there is going to be the potential for a major adjustment in the total throughout this series, it's more likely to be upwards in my view, so why not try to stay ahead of that curve here.

NHL Prop Best Bet

  • Matchup: Dallas vs. Colorado
  • TV-Time: NBC, Saturday, 8:00 p.m. ET 

Colorado Team Total Under 3.5 goals -186

The Avalanche never scored more than two goals against the Stars in any of the four regular season losses they suffered vs Dallas, and while they did manage a 4-0 win here in the bubble round robin, an exhibtiion-like game doesn't get a whole lot of stock. Stuff from last November weighs little as well, but at least at the time the teams knew the game mattered more in the standings, and it did happen on four separate occasions.

Game 1's tend to have a feeling out period as it is, and Colorado needed 50+ minutes to score on Arizona in that 3-0 win in Game 1 last round. The Stars are a better team overall, much better defensively, and have a deeper history of knowing how to play against this Avalanche group.

A Dallas win more often correlates with an 'under' cashing on the total in all likelihood, but should another 3-0 Game 1 win happen for the Avalanche, at least I'll get the split.

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