Hurricanes vs. Bruins Game 4 Odds & Pick (Monday, Aug. 17): Don’t Get Cute; Bet Boston to Win

Credit:

Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Charlie Coyle, Jaroslav Halak

  • The Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes face off for Game 4 of their NHL Playoffs series on Monday evening at 8:00 p.m. ET.
  • The Canes are well-coached an amply motivated, but Boston has more weapons and greater depth -- especially after an injury to Carolina's Andrei Svechnikov.
  • Check out Sam Hitchcock's full betting preview below for odds, picks, and comprehensive analysis for Game 4.

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Boston Bruins Odds

Bruins Odds -124 [BET NOW]
Hurricanes Odds +107 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 5.5 [BET NOW]
Time 8 p.m. ET
TV NBCSN

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So maybe their poor round-robin play was a feint. Despite Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask recently opting out of the playoffs and ace goal-scorer David Pastrnak missing the last two games with an injury, Boston looked scary in Game 3 against the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Bruins finished the game with a 62.21% expected goals rate and thoroughly controlled periods two and three. But it was not just Game 3: In the series, the Bruins have won the expected goals battle and are badly outshooting the Hurricanes at 5-on-5. The Bruins’ special teams are humming. With Boston surging, somewhere NBC analyst Mike Milbury is smiling.

The Hurricanes did not just suffer a defeat in Saturday’s game; they also saw Andrei Svechnikov crumple to the ice holding his knee. His status for Monday sounds inauspicious, which leaves the Hurricanes with a significant hole in their lineup.

Carolina struggled to score against Boston when Svechnikov was healthy. Now they will be without the player who led them in expected goals per 60 minutes in the regular season.

Svechnikov’s size and skill make him a matchup nightmare, and the Hurricanes will be way easier to defend if he is done for the series.

For bettors, -124 on DraftKings for the Bruins is good value when considering what the other favorites are priced at.

Carolina Hurricanes

Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour does an excellent job motivating a roster to exceed expectations through effort and savvy. Having said that, despite having the last change, instead of trying to move star forward Sebastian Aho away from the Bruins’ top line and shutdown defensive pair, he leaned into it in Game 3. That is a problem.

Through three games, in 22:34 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5 against the Brandon Carlo-Torey Krug defensive pairing, Aho and his partner in crime, Teuvo Teravainen, produced eight shots while allowing 10. They were under 40% in expected goals. One goal was scored when those four were on the ice and it was by the Bruins.

When Aho and Teravainen have played against Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, they’ve gotten trounced. Bergeron and Marchand are doubling them in shots and they have a 32.97% expected goals. If Aho and Teravainen are getting neutralized and Carolina is without Svechnikov, it begs the question, where will the scoring come from?

In Game 1, Svechnikov played with Aho and Teravainen, which gives us an indication of what Brind’Amour may try for the bottom-nine forwards without Svechnikov in the lineup.

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The most successful line was Jordan Martinook-Morgan Geekie- Nino Niederreiter, although everything is relative. They produced five shots while allowing five. They had the best expected goals despite the fact that the only 5-on-5 goal came from the Vincent Trocheck line.

In a game that went five periods, the second, third, and fourth lines produced seven high-danger chances and allowed three goals at 5-on-5.

To gin up scoring, Carolina will likely call on their defensemen to be even more aggressive. That may mean deeper pinches and more defensemen leading entries.

But that type of responsibility also leaves Carolina susceptible to the Bruins’ counterattacks. It seems notable that the only goal the Hurricanes scored in Game 3 stemmed from a gaffe by Boston’s Jaroslav Halak.

Boston Bruins

The resilience of the Bruins is truly impressive. By Game 3, it seemed like coach Bruce Cassidy had figured out how to get his top-nine forwards rocking. With Pastrnak out, Cassidy can put an energy forward – whether it be Anders Bjork or Chris Wagner – with Bergeron and Marchand, two-thirds of the Perfection line, and they can still hum.

In the series, Bergeron and Marchand have accounted for two 5-on-5 goals and have a 56.91% expected goals. The Jake DeBrusk-David Krejci-Ondrej Kase line is outshooting the Hurricanes by seven shots at 5-on-5 and are generating way more shot attempts than the opposition.

Third-line center Charlie Coyle has impressive metrics and is doing a quality job stewarding his line and contributing offense when he gets time with the first line or on the power play.

All this comes against the backdrop of a Hurricanes squad that was one of the best possession teams in the NHL during the regular season. They were a superb offensive team in expected goals. But they have run into a wall with the Bruins’ defense.

Among teams left in the playoffs, only the Columbus Blue Jackets and Calgary Flames have a lower rate of high-danger chances per hour. The Hurricanes’ possession metrics and expected goals are in the bottom half of teams still alive.

The most concerning dynamic of this series for Carolina is the penalties. They are averaging four penalty kills a game and the Bruins are not to be trifled with on the man advantage. Even without Pastrnak, Boston has myriad weapons and is creative about outmaneuvering opposition.

In Game 2, Marchand spun off Trevor van Riemsdyk for the tip and finish. In Game 3, a dump-in retrieval led to Coyle batting in the rebound. Krejci is dangerous at the point. Bergeron is a viper around the bumper spot. Their power play can be a trump card.

My Pick

The Bruins have more ways to score than the Hurricanes. They have more depth. They are beating Carolina in the numbers. In my estimation, there is no need to get cute. Take Boston at -124, but reconsider if it rises to -140.

[Bet now at DraftKings. CO, NJ, PA, IN and WV only.]

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