NHL Betting Guide: Tuesday 5/17/22

The Conference Semifinals begin on Tuesday. They'll feature two of the top squads in hockey all year playing host to recent Stanley Cup Champions.

Which sides should we back on ?

Note: Lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. All ratings are out of five stars. Please check here to make sure you're seeing the most updated information.

Tampa Bay Lightning at Florida Panthers

Lightning +1.5 (-178) - 1 Star
Under 7.0 (-140) - 4 Stars

The Florida Panthers appeared to be in danger when they were down 2-1 against Washington, but the Ice Cats used a pair of overtime wins to skate into the second round. The Tampa Bay Lightning won Game 7 on the road in Toronto to continue their title defense.

Florida has to be one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup. Their gaudy record was backed up by the third-best expected goals-for percentage (55.5%) in the NHL. While the Bolts were just 10th in that category (52.6%), they played a ton of the regular season without Nikita Kucherov, and they had the eighth-best mark after his return.

Considering the Panthers played a less-talented Caps squad tight, the puckline isn't a bad start in what should be a close series. In the 20 games most similar to this one in numberFire's database, 16 of the teams representing the underdog (Tampa Bay) here covered a one-goal spread.

The under is a great bet as well. In those same 20 games, the final tally was seven goals or fewer on 15 separate occasions. While there's a lot of individual talent on both sides, these two squads were just 9th and 10th, respectively, in Corsi For generated during the first round.

St. Louis Blues at Colorado Avalanche

Blues +1.5 (-130) - 1 Star
Under 7.0 (-134) - 4 Stars

Our model has been waiting to prey on the Colorado Avalanche's downfall as if it were Patrick Beverley ready to eviscerate Chris Paul on ESPN's First Take. It hasn't happened yet.

Colorado had just the ninth-highest expected goals-for percentage (52.6%) despite the second-best record in the league. The Avs swept Nashville despite just the third-best expected percentage (59.3%) in the first round, so the outperformance continued.

It probably would be more into the underdog here if St. Louis wasn't in this space. The Blues' 49.3% expected goals-for percentage this season was the second-worst mark that made the playoffs...to Nashville.

Still, the model is backing the underdog expecting regression here. After all, Colorado's goaltender Darcy Kuemper is likely not at full strength after the eye injury he suffered in Round 1. In the other crease, Jordan Binnington is back to his postseason shenanigans. He carried the Blues with 3.64 goals saved above expectation against Minnesota (fourth-best in the playoffs).

numberFire's model sees St. Louis covering this puckline 58.35% of the time (versus 56.5% implied odds), and of the 20 most similar games to this one in the database, 16 of the squads representing the Blues covered.

Of those same 20 games, 12 either also pushed or failed to meet the 7.0-goal total.