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.
Stanley Cup Playoff Predictions: Ottawa Senators vs Pittsburgh Penguins Game 4
NHL Eastern Conference Finals Game 4 Preview
When the Senators defeated the Bruins, they were still slight underdogs to the Rangers. When they beat the Rangers, they became considerable underdogs to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Now up 2-1 in the series, Ottawa has limited the Penguins, who averaged over 3.5 goals per game, to just three total goals in four games while blowing them out 5-1 in the latest game. The Sens may finally be turning the few naysayers left into bandwagoners. Pittsburgh will look to halt that train by winning game 4 and evening the series.
Series: 2-1 Senators
The Penguins got a quick beatdown at the hands of Sens surrendering a goal within the first minute and leaving goalie Marc-Andre Fleury out to dry. The former first overall pick was on a roll but allowed four goals on nine shots and was replaced by Matt Murray. The Pens started slow to say the least and never recovered as Ottawa came out guns blazing looking like the more rejuvenated team following the first two grueling game in Pittsburgh.
The silver lining is the last two times the Penguins surrendered five goals they ended up winning the next game. Whether it'll be Fleury or Murray in net, the Penguins will need to tighten up on their offense and get their discipline back. The Pens showed visible signs of frustration from the first two games and it got even chippier in game 3. Pittsburgh is playing into Ottawa's back-and-forth emotional game style and are losing a battle in playmaking. Once they maintain levelheadedness, they can find the poise to simplify their offense and limit their mistakes and take away an advantage from the Sens.
There's no stopping the Senators rollercoaster. The nation's capital was rocking as their team turned the golden boys of Pittsburgh upside down. The Sens took advantage of a sluggish start from the Pens and made them pay. Mike Hoffman scored his fifth 48 seconds in. Coupled with the crowd's energy, the Sens generated three goals in two minutes after the 10-minute mark. But aside from their offensive outburst, their defense has been more impressive.
The Penguins had the hottest offense heading into the matchup as they piled points on the regular season's top defense, the Capitals. But the Sens have limited Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and co. to three measly goals. Craig Anderson has been playing lights out and the Sens are getting into the Pens' heads as evidenced by the growing pains from the likes of Malkin, Phil Kessel, and Jake Guentzel who has no points this series. On paper, the Penguins dwarfed the Sens' offensive capabilities but the Sens are playing more inspired. They look to put the pressure on the Pens and go up 3-1 on Friday.
Senators vs Penguins Prediction
While it's tempting to make an emotional bet on the Senators to keep the streak going, -105 is not the same as the plus lines they've been getting. The value falls on the Penguins at -115 in most sportsbooks to bounce back and even the series.
It is unlikely they surrender five goals in two consecutive games and their offense will click sooner rather than later. With a must-win game, Pittsburgh will rise to the occasion and narrowly defeat the Senators in a game more similar to the first two.Pittsburgh Penguins (-115) SportsInteraction
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