NHL Playoffs – Betting The Exact Series Price For The Conference Finals

Making money on NHL hockey has always been a moneyline grind, but if you're looking for a market that could pay you instant and awesome dividends, then I've got one for you. It's the Series Exact Results board on our NHL futures board! Below I've outlined what I predict to happen in each series. Enjoy and good luck.

Eastern Conference - Pittsburgh Penguins over Tampa Bay Lightning in 6
(Series tied at 1-1)

The big caveat in this series is the absence of Steven Stamkos, who is dealing with blood clot issues and is still on a prescription of blood thinners. The NHL does not allow players to play using those meds, which is the same problem Chris Bosh of the NBA's Miami Heat has been battling. Should Stamkos return, the Lightning receive the player that will put them over the top.

Without him, Tampa Bay is still in decent shape but they have an impossible matchup. The Lightning have the best defenseman in the playoffs in the form of Victor Hedman, but he can't hold the blue line all by himself. Pittsburgh has rifled off 41 and 35 shots in the first two games of this series and eventually something's got to give.

Pittsburgh's rookie goal tender, Matthew Murray, is holding steady in place of Marc Andre-Fleury, and though he lets in some errant goals here and there, he's facing far fewer shots on average. The Lighting have only managed 21 and 20 shots of their own in the opening pair of games.

At some point, Tampa needs Stamkos back but not if it's going to cost him his career or his life. In the meantime, the safer money is on Pittsburgh getting cutthroat with a relentless offence that's kept afloat by Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel and Kris Letang.

When the market reopens, the Penguins are a much better bet overall. The Lightning simply can't survive without their two best players (they also lost starting goalie Ben Bishop to a leg injury). There's enough fight in the Lightning to steal another game in this series, but the odds on preference has to go to Pittsburgh.

Western Conference - St. Louis Blues over San Jose Sharks in 7
(Blue lead series 1-0)

If you love old-school hockey teams, then the St. Louis Blues are your team. Right now, they're getting a terrific price of +275 to win in Game 7. Why is that my favorite bet in this market? Because that's exactly how St. Louis has won their last two series against Dallas and Chicago. This team has diesel fuel running through their veins.

They're like a fleet of pick-up trucks. They're Ford Tough. Their roster runs deep like a Chevy. And they're full of guts and glory like a Dodge Ram. And no, I wasn't paid extra to say that by the car companies (I wish). It's just the truth.

The Blues can and will wear down the San Jose Sharks in a series that will be about mental fortitude more than anything else. The Sharks play with a beautiful, free flowing offence that can get jammed up by the Blues pretty easily. When it comes to imposing your will on a series, St. Louis is simply more capable in every way. Their style of play dictates games.

Besides, this is Joe Thornton and the Sharks we're talking about. If there's a poster team for "letdowns in the playoffs", it's San Jose. I still think this one goes the distance. If you're so inclined to believe that Martin Jones and San Jose won't be able to stay vigilant, then a win in Game 6 by St. Louis also nets you +350 odds.