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 7
NHL Eastern Conference Finals Game 7 Preview
Don't count them out just yet! The Senators edged the Penguins on Tuesday night to extend the series to an iconic game seven. The Sens did it in true underdog fashion coming back despite getting outshot, outplayed and scored on first. Craig Anderson, who was pulled from game 5 in his worst performance this postseason, was on fire stopping 45 of Pittsburgh's 46 shots. Despite a deadlock, the Pens will be sizable favourites come Thursday night but as the Sens have constantly proven: this is anyone's hockey game.
Series: Tied 3-3
The Penguins must feel they let the Senators off the hook. They picked up where they left off from game 5 by piling up shots against the Sens and winning the faceoff battle. The Pens lay siege to the crease repeatedly only to be turned back by Anderson, who was playing like a man possessed. But oddsmakers believe this was more of an aberration and all the Pens need to do is continue the attack. They are still the more talented and prolific team and Matt Murray has more to prove following his first loss this postseason.
Sidney Crosby was held off the scoresheet and will look to bounce back as the Pens will look to solve Anderson. The two goals Murray gave up were difficult shots. Bobby Ryan scored on a powerplay while Mike Hoffman nailed a one-timer. Murray also almost let in a goal that hit the post. The Sens aren't crashing his net or screening him but sniping him. The Pens will tighten up and make it more difficult for Ottawa to pick their goalie from afar.
The dream run continues and the Senators look to join the Predators in the Stanley Cup Finals following an unlikely win over the Penguins. Ottawa owes the game to Anderson who stood on his head and thwarted almost everything Pittsburgh threw at him. The Sens didn't get as many scoring opportunities but made them count although those low percentage shots could've gone either way. If they want continued scoring success, they have a lot of work to do.
Erik Karlsson finally got on the scoresheet with an assist on the Ryan powerplay goal and he'll need to keep the powerplay running while Hoffman finally got on board with a howitzer of a shot. The Sens could use more chances at crowding Murray and making life as uncomfortable for him as possible. The Sens' faithful did plenty of that Tuesday but in enemy territory, the Sens have an uphill battle to climb. They can't expect Anderson to steal another game for them and they'll need to find ways to contain the monstrous attack of the Pens who will again go for the jugular.
Senators at Penguins Prediction
The heart says to bet the Senators as a +160 underdog in most sportsbooks but odds are accurate in assuming Pittsburgh lays waste to the Sens. The favourites outplayed the Sens for most of the series but crafty goaltending and timely goals kept the Sens afloat.
At steep odds however, it may be better to take the Pens on the puck line or to wait for money to come in the other way. Pittsburgh is too good offensively and will make their second straight Stanley Cup Finals with a resounding win.Pittsburgh Penguins (-210) SportsInteraction
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