The Nashville Predators will be making their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Final when they take on the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1 of the series Monday as +145 road underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The Predators also became the first wild card team to advance to the Stanley Cup Final after dispatching the Pacific Division champion Anaheim Ducks in six games in the Western Conference final, rewarding bettors as narrow -125 chalk on the NHL series prices.
Nashville’s series win over the Ducks earned the club a seven-day break, leaving them well-rested ahead of Monday night’s Predators vs. Penguins Game 1 matchup at PPG Paints Arena.
The Predators have emerged as this spring’s Cinderella story since entering the playoffs at a distant +2500 on the Stanley Cup odds, and have closed the gap to +135 on those betting futures following their 12-4 run to the final. Nashville has struggled on the road at times, both down the regular season stretch and in recent playoff contests. The Predators have dropped three of their past five playoff road games after opening the postseason with three straight victories, fueling a mediocre 11-11-2 record in their past 24 road dates overall.
Nashville has struggled on the road at times, both down the regular-season stretch and in recent playoff contests. The Predators have dropped three of their past five playoff road games after opening the postseason with three straight victories, fueling a mediocre 11-11-2 record in their past 24 road dates overall.
However, the Predators have regularly paid out as underdogs in these playoffs, going 4-2 while sporting positive odds according to the OddsShark NHL Database, halting a 10-game run during which they claimed an upset win on just three occasions.
The Predators have achieved success on the strength of solid offense and outstanding goaltending. Nashville held the Chicago Blackhawks to just three total goals en route to a first-round sweep of the top seed in the Western Conference, and limited the St. Louis Blues to just over 1.8 goals per game in the second round, but allowed three goals per game against the Ducks.
The Penguins enter their fourth Stanley Cup Final since 2008 as -155 chalk on the NHL series prices after being taken the distance by the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference final. Pittsburgh eventually vanquished the Senators with a 3-2 double-overtime win in Game 7 last Thursday and has now seen three of its past five playoff series go seven games.
Pittsburgh has been the best home team in the NHL this season, going a combined 38-7-6 in 51 regular season and playoff games, and have had the Predators’ number, winning nine of its past 13 matchups with Nashville including a 5-1 victory as -125 home chalk in late October.
Thumbnail photo via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images
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