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Gambling Pit – August 1, 2020

The past is prologue. Welcome to the start of the NHL postseason, featuring qualifying rounds for teams 5 through 12 and a round robin for teams 1 through 4. There’s going to be A LOT of hockey over the next few weeks. The Gambling Pit will feature a bet for every game played with a confidence qualifier for each. As always, please gamble responsibly.

Rangers v. Hurricanes – NBCSN, 12:00 p.m. eastern

I picked the Rangers in 5. In the postseason, I usually tailor my bets to how I feel the series will go, so even if the Rangers win this one, I might be on the Canes in game 2. I neglected to mention this in yesterday’s tutorial, but when betting hockey, ALWAYS check the starting goalies and injury report. Unfortunately, both teams are being cagey about their starting tenders, so I can’t be too confident about this. PICK: Rangers 3-way money line +175

Blackhawks v. Oilers – NBC, 3:00 p.m. eastern

This is another series I predict will go the distance. If the over/under was set at 5.5, I would sprinkle on that, but my site has it at 6. Because I think the Oilers have the advantage in the series, I’m going with the puck line and praying to the empty net gods. PICK: Oilers -1.5, +160

Panthers v. Islanders – NBCSN, 4:00 p.m. eastern

Unfortunately this game will overlap with a game featuring Connor McDavid, Patrick Kane, and Leon Draisaitl, so it will be on the second screen. I picked the Islanders in the series but don’t feel great about the pick. Let’s root for offense and hope Sergei Bobrovsky is still off his game. PICK: Over 5.5, -105

Canadiens v. Penguins – NBC, 8:00 p.m. eastern

Have I mentioned anywhere in this blog that the Montreal Canadiens went 0-4 against the 2019-2020 Detroit Red Wings? PICK: Penguins -1.5, +160

Jets v. Flames – NBCSN, 10:30 p.m. eastern

I think this series is a toss up. Part of me wants to go with the under: Hellebuyck can shut down the Flames offense, and the Flames defense can be a difference maker in the series. But no one wants to root for an under, particularly in the late game. I’m not confident in this at all, so maybe just sprinkle. PICK: Flames -1.5, +185

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