UFC 253 comes packed with fireworks from both inside the octagon and the betting lines as middleweight king Israel Adesanya settles his grudge with the unbeaten destroyer, Paulo Costa. Both fighters are explosive strikers and with ill will all but guaranteeing heated exchanges. Co-headlining are red-hot fighters Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz facing off for the vacant light heavyweight title. Let's break down these fights and see which bets we can cash.
Predators vs Penguins Online Betting: Stanley Cup Final 2017 Game 1
Nashville vs Pittsburgh Game 1 Preview
It's a tale of two teams that are so different yet have the makings of legendary Stanley Cup champions. The Pittsburgh Penguins won the Cup last year, their first victory since winning it in 2009, and are looking to become the first team to win consecutive Stanley Cups since the Red Wings way back in 2001-2002. The Nashville Predators meanwhile are making their first Finals appearance. The franchise has made the playoffs regularly but never made it past the second round and are now four wins away from championship glory.
The Penguins and Predators are like a mirror match: an inverted version of themselves on paper. For their similarities, they have both lost plenty of notable players to injuries. The Penguins are without top defenseman Kris Letang and key goal scorer Patric Hornqvist. Matt Murray, their top goaltender was also on the shelf to start the playoffs while Sidney Crosby briefly battled injuries. Nashville lost top scorer Ryan Johansen in the middle of the conference finals and captain Mike Fisher is still questionable. Yet both teams found ways to win.
For Pittsburgh, it's due to the strength of their offense. The Penguins led the playoffs in goal scoring and ranked in the top three in most offensive categories. Evgeni Malkin and Crosby lead the league in points. Despite their no-name defense, they won by finding ways to outscore the other team. Murray's return has also pushed them to a new level as he's quickly reasserted himself as an elite goalie and is fresh. He will be their x-factor going up against a highly aggressive Nashville.
Nobody expected the Predators to make it this far. Pekka Rinne has been Nashville's MVP and leads the playoffs with a .941 save percentage allowing only 1.70 goals a game. Rinne is aided by the all-around talent of the defensemen led by P.K. Subban who has blossomed into a shutdown defenseman to complement his offensive skills. If the Preds have a weakness it's their lack of scoring depth and losing Johansen makes them even thinner. They'll need additional scoring help from the likes of Colton Sissons and former Penguin James Neal.
Predators at Penguins Online Betting
The Predators (+120) are a tasty underdog bet but it isn't juicy enough especially considering the many uncertainties they face. They need additional scoring especially against the explosive Penguins. Pekka Rinne also only has one career victory against them and they have no Stanley Cup Finals appearance. Their defense will shine but stopping the star-studded Penguins line and beating goalie Matt Murray at the same time is a heavy task. Nashville may be in for a rude awakening as the Penguins edge the Predators to take game 1.Pittsburgh Penguins (-155) PLAY NOW
The moneyline isn't the only method of betting this game. The puckline is exclusive to Canadian sportsbooks and acts like a point spread. Right now, people favour the +1.5 on the Predators (-220) meaning so long as they don't lose by more than a goal, they will cash the bet. Alternatively, there is value on the Penguins at -1.5 (+180). That is almost double the payout if they win by over a goal. If you're already leaning on the Penguins to win, this could make for a nifty side bet.
The team totals is another interesting game and doesn't involve picking a winner. Instead, you bet if the two teams combine for a total score that goes over (+120) or under (-140) 5.5 goals. A 3-2 final score will go under and conventional wisdom dictates defense trumps offense in this scenario as both teams are prolific goal scorers but also have elite goaltenders and in Nashville's case, elite defensemen. Doing research and checking how either Pittsburgh or Nashville do in team totals then matching that to the odds is a given. Estimate how much value you are getting dependent on the likelihood of your bet cashing.
Visiting multiple sportsbooks is recommended and you can compare different odds and line movements. Various books also offer propositions and have their own set of live betting formats. You can also avail of the many signup bonuses offered per book with some going up to $200 in cash ensuring you have some leeway in testing out the betting waters. Check the books out to see which suit your betting style best.
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