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Free NHL Western Conference Playoffs Picks, Best Bets, and Parlays for 5/2/22
Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Free NHL Western Conference Playoffs Picks, Best Bets, and Parlays for 5/2/22

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are finally here and this should be some of best matchups we’ve seen in a long time. There are some very good teams who are capable of making a deep run into the playoffs that won’t survive the first round. Some of these first round series are too close to call in my opinion and I’m looking forward to seeing how it all turns out.

On the last day of the regular season we missed our Best Bet as Toronto defeated Boston. So, we will start the playoffs with an overall Best Bet of the Day record of 46-29 since the All-Star Break.

We went an average 9-6 betting the MoneyLine and our overall record is 337-186 which will be our starting point for these difficult playoff games.

The Upset Special came is as well as Minnesota defeated the Avalanche and we made a nice bonus profit.

And, finally we stayed hot with the Parlays as we hit another one. Our $10 wager had a Payout of $70.75 to cap off the final night of the regular season.

But, tonight starts a whole new challenge as the run for the Stanley Cup begins with 4 first-round games on the schedule. Let’s see how Vegas sees things and see if we can get lucky. We will begin with the two games in the Western Conference.

St.Louis at Minnesota : This is a another matchup without a clear favorite as these two teams are a mirror of each other. St.Louis is not thought of as a high-scoring team, but they scored the 4th most goals in the entire NHL. They have 9 guys with at least 20 goals and that is something that is so valuable in the playoffs. It is hard to shut down that many players who can score. They are led by Vladimir Tarasenko, who rebounded from an injury filled 2020-2021 and scored 34 goals and added 48 assists. There is plenty of depth to support him. The issue with the Blues will be their back-line defense and goaltending. And, unfortunately, that is an issue you don’t want. The 2019 Stanley Cup hero, Jordan Binnington, has been inconsistent and was replaced by Ville Husso for a good part of the year. It is up in the air which way they are going to go. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Wild have been spectacular down the stretch gaining points in 22 of their last 24 games. They, are much like the Blues, in the fact, that they are a high-scoring team too. The Wild have Kirill Kaprizov (47 goals and 61 assists) and Kevin Fiala (33 goals and 52 assists) plus plenty of other dangerous weapons. They acquired Marc-Andre Fleury at the trade deadline but he hasn’t been able to take the position away from Cam Talbot who has been shaky.

So, we have two teams with a lot of offensive firepower, but question marks in the net. It is pretty safe to say that whoever gets the most reliable goaltending will win what should be a long series. I flipped a coin and it came up in Minnesota’s favor. But my money will stay in the bank on this one. PAPA DUDES PICK: Bet the MoneyLine on Minnesota -125

Los Angeles at Edmonton: This is a matchup that features two teams that play out West so a lot of people don’t know much about them. There games don’t finish till late and that is why they slip through the cracks. The Oilers are a little better known because of their two young stars, Connor McDavid (44 goals and 79 assists), and Leon Draisaitl (55 goals and 55 assists). They finished 2nd in the Pacific division and they went 27-9-3 after a midseason coaching change. I think they are an underrated team in the West. The key to the Oilers will be the goaltending of Mikko Koskinen who had a shaky 3.10 goals against average. The Los Angeles Kings ran off a 5 game winning streak in the last couple of weeks to hold off Vegas and are playing well coming into this series. They are a low-scoring team and depend on a strong defense and the solid goaltending of veteran Jonathan Quick to give them a shot against the more talented Oilers.

If you look at the stats of the two teams, the Oilers should be the dominant favorite in this series. But, anytime you have Quick in goal, you give yourself a chance. Combine that with the lack of success in the playoffs for a young Edmonton team and the possible leaky goaltending as well and the Kings can make this a series. I really gave a lot of thought on taking the Kings to steal this one, but I’ll give Edmonton the nod. PAPA DUDES PICK: Edmonton


We are going with 1 upset and 2 favorites today

Leg 1: Tampa Bay at Toronto: Bet the MoneyLine on Tampa Bay +110

Leg 2: Boston at Carolina: Bet the MoneyLine on Carolina -120

Leg 3: Los Angeles at Edmonton: Bet the MoneyLine on the Oilers -200

Bet $10 for a Payout of $48.89

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