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 6
NHL Eastern Conference Finals Game 6 Preview
It was the reverse of game 3 when the Sens handed Pittsburgh a 6-1 beating. This time, the Penguins scored four first period goals and chased Craig Anderson to the bench before finishing 7-0 for their biggest win of the postseason. Despite a series deadlock, the Pens remained sizable favourites and they showed why. Ottawa couldn't handle Pittsburgh's calculated and consistent offensive aggression as they attacked the net mercilessly. Evgeni Malkin returned to form as the Pens powerplay was also perfect. The series returns to Ottawa where more drama awaits.
Series: 3-2 Penguins
Based on the opening odds, the Penguins were not peers with the Senators. But the wily underdogs managed to fluster and upset the Pens on numerous occasions holding them to three measly goals in their first three games. The Pens were simply contained and they broke out of their "funk" and quickly dealt with Ottawa. The turning point appeared to be when Marc-Andre Fleury was pulled in favour of Matt Murray, who has all but shut Ottawa down.
The Senators clawed throughout this game even almost doubling up Pittsburgh in the hits department while winning most of the faceoffs. But the Pens again limited their giveaways to only four and perfected their powerplay scoring on all three of them. Evgeni Malkin made history as the Penguin with the most playoff games and dropped three assists as well. As the Pens approach the Stanley Cup Finals, they are looking better than ever and They will be ready for a desperate Sens team that will take the fight to them in game 6.
Win or lose, Ottawa will be proud of their Senators. They hung tough with the Penguins but are likely running out of gas although it is never over in their hearts and minds. The Sens were blown out of Pittsburgh and Anderson knows he must come back better than ever. Captain Erik Karlsson has quieted down and hasn't been able to assert his level of playmaking only being limited to two points while the Sens powerplay has dried up going 0 for 16.
If the Sens are to find success against the Penguins again, they need to somehow disrupt their offensive flow again and score on most chances to break away. This will be a lot tougher against Murray who seemingly has their number and the Pens have maintained their poise. Karlsson will need to help the powerplay and the likes of Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Bobby Ryan get going again. And all this amidst keeping Pittsburgh's big guns at bay. It will take nothing short of a perfect game to match the Penguins who are going in for the kill.
Senators vs Penguins Prediction
The Senators and their "Never say die" playoff run has been a wild success and conventional wisdom dictates it's about to come to a whimpering halt but the series is far from over and most sportsbooks seem to have some faith the Sens will stave off elimination keeping them as curious +135 underdogs. The value is on the Penguins at -150 to keep their scoring ways and take the Sens out in a back-and-forth thriller. Bet the Pens to close out the series.Pittsburgh Penguins SportsInteraction
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