Tuesday NHL Game 5 Odds, Preview, Prediction for Predators vs. Hurricanes: Can Carolina Take Series Lead at Home? (May 25)

Tuesday NHL Game 5 Odds, Preview, Prediction for Predators vs. Hurricanes: Can Carolina Take Series Lead at Home? (May 25) article feature image
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Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images. Pictured: Sebastian Aho.

  • The Predators and Hurricanes face off in a crucial Game 5 with the series even at 2.
  • The home team has won each of the first four games, with Nashville coming through with crucial back-to-back wins in the Music City.
  • Pete Truszkowski breaks down where he sees betting value and how he’s backing the Canes on Tuesday.

Predators vs. Hurricanes Odds

Predators Odds +155
Hurricanes Odds -190
Over/Under 5.5
Time Tuesday, 8 p.m. ET
TV CNBC
Odds as of Monday and via BetMGM

It might have taken four overtimes over two games, but the Nashville Predators defended home ice and evened their series with the Carolina Hurricanes. Matt Duchene scored in double overtime of Game 3, while Luke Kunin did the same in Game 4.

Now, we have a brand new three-game series to determine who advances to the second round. 

The Carolina Hurricanes entered this series as prohibitive favorites to advance. Despite dropping two games on the road, that remains largely unchanged. Carolina was -240 to advance prior to game one, and they sit at -225 currently. In this pivotal game five, the Hurricanes are -190 favorites to defend their home ice. 

With home teams going a perfect 4-0 in this series thus far, is Carolina worthy of a bet as large favorites, or is there a better method of attack?

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What We’ve Learned So Far

Coming into the series, there was a large discrepancy between these teams both in results and the metrics we use to evaluate these teams. Carolina finished the regular season with the third-best record in hockey, while Nashville was one of just four playoff teams to not eclipse 70 points. Carolina’s expected goal rate, shot attempt share and 5-on-5 goal differential all were fourth best during the regular season. Nashville ranked 15th, 15th and ninth in those same metrics.

However, this series has been relatively even. In fact, this has been the second-closest first-round series in terms of expected goal rate. Carolina possesses a 9.92-8.66 expected goal advantage. The series between the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins is the only series that is closer. 

Carolina has 10 goals at 5-on-5 this series, while Nashville has nine. The series has also been close in terms of high-danger chances, as Carolina possesses a slight 40-36 advantage. On average, the Canes are generating just one more high danger chance per game. It’s been an impressive feat by the Predators to basically skate evenly with a team that outplayed almost everyone they played all season. 

Leading the charge for the Nashville Predators has been their newly formed top line. The trio of Filip Forsberg, Duchene and Ryan Johansen have combined for 10 points through the first four games. More impressively, they’ve played to an expected goal rate of 75%. This is the best mark of any line of any team in these playoffs that has played at least 30 minutes together. The resurgence of Duchene and Johansen is particularly encouraging for Nashville as the duo had dreadful and disappointing regular seasons. They are paid to be elite players and they’re playing at that level so far. 

Carolina’s top line with Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov and Teuvo Teravainen have also been impressive. Aho has been leading the charge with five points in four games. The trio has an expected goal rate of 61.5% in 53 minutes together during the series. 

Entering the playoffs, these two teams ranked first and second in terms of even strength save percentage. Despite some high scoring games, the goaltenders have played well. Alex Nedeljkovic has stopped 1.1 goals over expectation while Juuse Saros has posted a +0.5 GSAx. Both goaltenders are stopping nearly 93% of the shots they’ve faced. 

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Predators vs. Hurricanes Best Bet

The home team has won every game in this series, and both teams have tremendous support and increased arena capacity. In a year where we have largely ignored the impact of fans in arenas, these two fan bases are making an impact in this series. 

However, at the same time, we can’t ignore how evenly this series has been played. Nobody expected the Predators to play evenly with the Hurricanes here, but there hasn’t been much separating these teams at all. With Nashville being a substantial underdog in game five, there’s definitely value at the current price based on what we’ve seen. I wouldn’t be opposed to a play on Nashville at +163 here. 

With that being said, I don’t want to discard the large sample of the regular season. It feels like Carolina can still reach another level while it’s hard to imagine the Predators playing much better. Even though Nashville has played extremely well, it’s still taken double overtime on two separate occasions for them to get their two wins. For all intents and purposes, overtime is a coin flip and Nashville has won the coin flip twice in a row. 

I’d look towards the Hurricanes here because I think they are the better team. I also think the fans in Raleigh should get their team back on track. However, at -190, it’s a non-starter. After back to back overtime games, I’d look for game five to finish in regulation. The Hurricanes are currently -109 to win the game in the first 60 minutes, and that’d be my strategy to back them in this spot.

Pick: Hurricanes In Regulation (-110)

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