@FastMoneyLabs’ Best Bet - 5/15

Rangers/Penguins Under 6 (+100)

Odds via Caesars

It’s been a high scoring series. Here’s why I’m going against the grain and backing the Under tonight: Game 7s tend to play tight as we saw yesterday. All 3 Game 7s finished with 5 goals or less, and 2 of the 3 games finished with 3 goals or less. This isn’t a new trend. Below shows league-wide average game totals by series game number since 2017/18:

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Blindly betting Under 6 in Game 7s is 11-5-2 (68.8%) since 2017/18. I didn’t look back further than that, but I’d bet this trend holds for a much longer sample size. I believe the trend reflects:

  1. Teams’ placing more emphasis on defense and taking less risks in elimination games.
  2. Referees calling less penalties in elimination games, resulting in less power play opportunities and goals.

Under 6 was also 3-0-1 in 4 regular season NYR/PIT matchups this year. It’s 0-6 in this playoff series, sure. But what goes up must come down, right?

Also supporting the Under is the idea that Pittsburgh could get their All-Star starting goalie back tonight. Tristan Jarry might be rusty, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take considering Louis Domingue is our other option.

The main risk I see to this bet relates to Sidney Crosby’s status. He’s a game time decision. In the event he’s announced IN, the Game Total might tick up to 6.5. But it wouldn’t change my view on the bet. I still think they finish Under if Crosby plays.

I’d prefer to bet Under 6.5 to protect against a push scenario. But pushes at the o/u 6 line have been somewhat rare in Game 7s since 2017/18. For that reason, I’m comfortable backing Under 6.0 at even money (+100), though it might be worth waiting for Crosby’s status. If he’s announced in, we’ll get a better price.

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