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Free NHL Eastern Conference Playoffs Picks, Best Bets, and Parlays for 5/3/22
Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Free NHL Eastern Conference Playoffs Picks, Best Bets, and Parlays for 5/3/22

Last night kicked off the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs and there were a couple of surprises. Tonight the final 8 teams will get their Run to the Cup started with two games in each conference. The two top seeds from each conference (Florida and Colorado) are in action as they try to back up their tremendous regular seasons with a Stanley Cup.

We picked Carolina as our Best Bet last night and they were very impressive in dealing the Bruins a 5-1 spanking. That got us off to a good start for the playoffs and raised our Best Bet of the Day record to 47-29 since the All-Star Break.

We went an average 2-2 betting the MoneyLine last night and our overall record is 339-188 as the playoffs start.

The run for the Stanley Cup continues tonight with 4 more games on the schedule. Let’s see what Vegas is thinking about the 2 Eastern Conference games and see if we can get lucky.

*PAPA DUDES BEST BET* Pittsburgh at New York Rangers: This is a matchup of two teams rich in tradition and familiar with playoff hockey. The Rangers finished 2nd in the Metropolitan division and won 52 games. They allowed the 2nd fewest goals of any of the playoff teams and their goaltending and defense are their strengths. Chris Kreider led the way offensively with 52 goals, but only 3 other players reached the 20-goal mark. That lack of scoring depth could be a problem as the playoffs continue. Igor Shesterkin had a fantastic year in goal with 2.07 goals against average, and a save percentage of 93.5%. If he can play at that level they obviously will be hard to beat. On the other hand, Pittsburgh is coming into the playoffs after finishing 5-8 in their final 13 regular season games. They had injury problems to Evgeni Malkin, who played only 41 games, and Sidney Crosby who missed 13 regular season games. Jake Guentzel was their top goal scorer with 40 and Crosby added 31. A lot of pressure is going to be on the shoulders of goaltender Tristan Jarry to play well between the pipes. He is coming off a solid season with a save percentage of 92%. The Rangers are the superior team but the Pittsburgh is one of those teams that can be difficult to beat. I like the New York tonight but Game 1 is always a tricky game to gauge. PAPA DUDES BEST BET: Bet the MoneyLine on the Rangers -130

*PAPA DUDES BEST BET* Washington at Florida: The top team in the entire league starts their playoff run tonight in Miami. The Panthers won 58 games and ended up with 122 points in the regular season. They were 34-7 at home and scored 25 more goals than anyone else in the league. But, this is the playoffs and all of those stats, as impressive as they are, mean absolutely nothing. They are extremely balanced on offense and were led by Jonathan Huberdeau who had 30 goals and 85 assists. They had four other guys with 28 or more goals and can have a lot of depth from all of their lines. Goaltender, Sergei Bobrovsky had a 39-7-3 record in the regular season with a goals against average of 2.67 and a save percentage of 91.3%. He is an underrated goalie and will be a factor in this series. Meanwhile, the Capitals lost their final 4 games and blew a chance to finish 3rd in the Metro division and would have avoided the Panthers in the first round. They aren’t without weapons and any team with Alex Ovechkin is dangerous. He had 50 goals and seems to be playing as well as he ever did. They have had injury problems all year and goaltending has been a concern. Both netminders, Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek have subpar save percentages. This looks like a series that Florida should dominate, but they don’t have a lot of playoff experience and the pressure is on them. Game 1 is always hard to win and they have to avoid taking the Caps lightly. I’m going with Florida tonight. PAPA DUDES BEST BET: Bet the MoneyLIne on Florida -220


This is a very shaky parlay for tonight.

Leg 1: Pittsburgh at New York: Bet the MoneyLine on the Rangers -130

Leg 2: Washington at Florida: Bet Florida -1.5

Leg 3: Nashville at Colorado: Bet Colorado -1.5

Bet $10 for a Payout of $55.28

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