Bruins vs. Hurricanes Odds & Pick: Carolina’s Price Is Finally Right For Game 5
Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Jake DeBrusk.
- The Boston Bruins lead the Carolina Hurricanes, 3-1, heading into Game 5.
- The price is finally right on the Hurricanes, though. Michael Leboff analyzes the odds and explains his pick.
Bruins vs. Hurricanes Odds
|Hurricanes Odds||+128 [BET NOW]|
|Bruins Odds||-148 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||5.5 (+118/-143) [BET NOW]|
|Time||4 p.m. ET|
It only took Boston winning three of the first four games, injuries to two of Carolina’s most effective forwards, and the B’s orchestrating one of the most clinical third-period comebacks you’ll ever see, but the odds for this series are finally starting to make sense.
The Carolina Hurricanes are a really good hockey team, but the Boston Bruins are elite. Any best-of-7 series with the B’s is a war of attrition, and it looks like Carolina is going to fall short against Boston for the second year in a row.
The Bruins are one of the few teams in the NHL that are equipped to handle Carolina’s relentless forechecking, and they have done a great job thus far. Boston is allowing just 1.25 expected goals and 5.75 high-danger chances per hour through the first four games.
The Bruins are the NHL’s best defensive team, and they are suffocating one of the league’s most impressive offenses.
|5-on-5 stat||Boston Bruins||Carolina Hurricanes|
|High-danger scoring chances||36||23|
Expected goals (also known as xG) is a predictive statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as shooting luck or outstanding goaltending.
Simply put, an expected goals rate (xGF%) above 50% is considered good because it means a team is creating the majority of the scoring chances. Anything below 50% is usually a sign that a team is struggling to control play.
xG numbers cited from Evolving Hockey.
The Bruins aren’t dominating on the shot clock or even territorially, but they are much more equipped to win low-event hockey games than the Hurricanes. Carolina has never had issues generating scoring chances, but finishing them has been a different story. The Bruins, on the other hand, may not generate a ton of opportunities, but they sure do polish off the ones they do get.
Boston has the edge in games in which scoring chances are at a premium.
|Boston Bruins||Carolina Hurricanes|
Odds via DraftKings
The betting history of this series needs some context. The Bruins came into Round 1 on the heels of a three-game losing streak in the round robin, while the Hurricanes swept the Rangers in the Qualifying Round, so the market was always going to be high on the Canes and a bit cautious on the Bruins out of the gates.
You’d think a win in the curtain-raiser would swing bettors toward the B’s, but Boston’s odds actually dipped before Game 2 because it was announced that David Pastrnak was out.
The Hurricanes saw more support before Game 3 because they won Game 2 and Tuukka Rask opted out of the postseason the morning of the third game. I thought it was an overreaction because Jaroslav Halak is a very minor downgrade from Rask (if any at all), and the Hurricanes lost Andrei Svechnikov in Game 2.
Svechnikov may not be as good as David Pastrnak, but he’s just as important to the Hurricanes as Pastrnak is to the Bruins. Boston’s price ticked back up after winning Game 4, but I still thought the B’s were good value.
Following their capitulation in Game 4 and a potential injury to Jordan Staal, the Hurricanes have blimped back up toward +130 for Game 5. This is about where I expected the odds for this series to be throughout the contest. The Bruins may have looked a bit weary-eyed in the round robin, but they are one of the best teams in the NHL.
Now that the price has corrected, I’m interested in betting Carolina for the first time in this series. The Hurricanes are hanging between +128 (DraftKings) and +140 (FanDuel) at the time of writing (Tuesday, 10 p.m. ET). At +140, you’d need Carolina to win just about 42% of the time to start seeing value, and I think they meet that criteria. In fact, I’d bet them down to +135 on Wednesday afternoon.