NHL Playoffs Round 2 Matchups, Betting Odds and Insights

FairwayJay Chips-in 2024 NHL Playoff second round previews, picks and information you can bet on.

NHL Playoffs Round 2 predictions and picks

The 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs continue following some exciting NHL action and opening round series. That includes a pair of Game 7s with the Boston Bruins eliminating the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 in overtime, and the Dallas Stars taking out the defending Stanley Cup champions Vegas Golden Knights 2-1 last night. Those low scoring elimination games also saw Vegas beat Dallas 2-0 (empty net) in Game 6, and the Vancouver Canucks eliminate the Nashville Predators 1-0 in Game 6 following a 2-1 Nashville win in Game 5 on the brink of elimination. All five of those elimination games went under the total goals for the game, which is something to monitor during the playoffs for elimination games along with the strength of goaltending. 

NHL payoffs round 2All eight opening round series favorites won to advance to the second round. 

The second round started Sunday, May 5 as well with the New York Rangers holding off the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3. I took a pre-series betting position on the Rangers and the Boston Bruins in their playoff rematch with the Florida Panthers with both the Rangers and Bruins as underdogs in the second round series. See more series notes in my NHL Playoffs coverage in Forbes.  

NHL Series Odds

NHL playoff series and daily game odds from BetUS refresh periodically and are subject to change, including on props and live betting

- Carolina Hurricanes (-160) vs. New York Rangers (+130)
- Adjusted series odds at leading online sportsbooks after Rangers Game 1 win - Carolina (+110) vs Rangers (-130)
- Florida Panthers (-210) vs. Boston Bruins (+175)
- Edmonton Oilers (-265) vs. Vancouver Canucks (+225)
- Dallas Stars (-115) vs. Colorado Avalanche (-105) 

The Panthers are taking more money at the top online sportsbooks with the series odds up more than 35 cents from the opener. Note that 23 of the 24 ESPN reporters, analysts and broadcasters pick the Panthers to win the series over the Bruins. Did many of them place wagers on ESPNBet (i doubt it). Also, 23 of the 24 ESPN team picked the Oilers over the Canucks, which I would suggest laying a smaller price and Edmonton to win in 5 or 6 games (see below). 

BetUS also has more prop bet options in the series and on players. For example, the Bruins Game 7 hero in Round 1 David Pastrnak is +300 to lead the Bruins-Panthers series with most goals and +275 to lead in points followed by Panthers forwards Sam Reinhart (+300/+400) and Matthew Tkachuk (+600/+400). 

Stats and a Tactical Preview of Oilers vs. Canucks

Instead of laying a bigger series price (-235) on the Oilers vs. Canucks, you can bet Edmonton (-145) to beat Vancouver in less than 7 games. Or less than 6 games at +170. The Canucks got a strong opening series performance from third-string goalie Arturs Silovs with both Demko and DeSmith injured. That despite Vancouver sweeping the regular season series against Edmonton this year, but three of those wins early season when the Oilers struggled before firing their head coach. The Canucks outscored the Oilers 21-7 in those four games and 13-3 at 5-on-5. Even the vaunted Oilers powerplay was outscored 7-4 by the Canucks. But Vancouver was not as strong down the stretch with Demko out of the lineup in net, and the Canucks were outplayed by Nashville but survived and advanced. Through Game 4, the Canucks had 71 shots vs. the Predators, which was the lowest total posted ever in the playoffs. Vancouver's transition game is a great strength, and something to watch in the opening game or two as you make adjustments including adjusted series betting and in-game wagers. 

NHL Teams, Records And Stats Leaders 

As noted in my initial NHL Playoffs coverage, I suggest following my Canadian sports betting colleague Sherwood for complimentary hockey plays and value-added insight. Sherwood’s extensive knowledge and understanding of the betting markets is provided in his daily game analysis on sports and filled with insightful information, advanced stats and value-driven betting decisions. Also, you'll see suggestions for adjusted odds prices and bets, how to secure profits when wagering on adjusted odds, and a solid opening round winner with analysis and reasoning on the Dallas Stars (+165) ahead of Game 4 trailing 2 games to 1 after the Stars were a -136 favorite to start the series. 

Vegas Golden Knights And Emotions of NHL Playoffs

My photo in these articles at OSGA is from Press Row during a Vegas Golden Knights game at T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip. I attended Game 3 of the Vegas-Dallas series when the Stars won 3-2 in overtime. I was rinkside early and in Press Row during most the contest. I have never seen a better goalie performance in person than Golden Knights goaltender Logan Thompson displayed in a 3-2 overtime loss. He was named the games No. 1 star in defeat. Check out these Game 3 highlights including of Thompson's remarkable saves and performance starting at the 25 second mark. Dallas dominated the high-danger chances (20-4), and I posted on X about Game 3 DAL-VGK which was pivotal as Dallas avoided falling behind in the series 3-0 and instead won Games 3 and 4 to tie the series 2-2. Vegas Golden Knights Stanley Cup playoffsI was traveling and unable to attend Games 4 and 6, but the energy, exitement and intensity of NHL Playoff hockey is something to experience live and in person. 

I sat in on the coaches and players press conference and not sure I've seen Dallas head coach Pete DeBoer smiling more as he addressed the media having seen Pete in the past during his 2.5 years as head coach of the Vegas Golden Knights after being hired mid-season in 2019-20. Then following the Stars Game 7 win over Vegas, you could see and sense the relief and joy of the coaches behind the bench and players celebration on the ice and comments in the locker room.

"Obviously, really wanted to win this series. I mean, we wanted our turn," DeBoer said after the series-ending 2-1 victory Sunday night. “We felt we did all the right things all year in order to get the first seed. And then you draw a team like Vegas, which I honestly think they’ve got a deeper team than they had last year. And to plow through the adversity of being down 2-0, there’s a lot there to unpack.”

But the emotions of NHL Playoff hockey really stick out when you watch the post game interview with Golden Knights captain, leader and warrior Mark Stone following Vegas' Game 7 loss to Dallas in the opening round. Stone returned for the playoffs after suffering a lacerated spleen in mid February. From the DAL-VGK series and play to relationships with fellow players knowing they won't all be together next season, the finality of potential elimination and losing in the NHL Playoffs brings out great intensity and emotions during and after the games. 

"It's disappointing. We felt like we definitely had a team that had a chance to go on a long playoff run," Stone said noting many injuries but no excuses. "It was a tight series, and there are a lot of high character guys on this team. I have no doubt we'll be right back here in 12 months, and we have a dedicated group of guys," Stone added before finishing with "last year was the most fun all of us have had playing the game of hockey," as Vegas won the Stanley Cup. "We'll use this feeling (elimination) to fuel the fire to for an opportunity to get back where we were last year." Stone added "people say this is addicting, and it is, and I live for this sh*t. As a hockey player, this is the most fun, and you want to be competing to win a Stanley Cup. So when you lose and get eliminated, it's hard. It kind of crushes your soul for a couple days."

Stone also commented about both Golden Knights goaltenders being elite and playing so well, which is key to advancing in playoff hockey but not quite enought from the other Vegas players to take out the top team in the West during the regular season, Dallas Stars. 

It was a great opening round series to watch and wager between Vegas-Dallas, and good luck as you skate, shoot and score for more puck profits during you NHL Playoffs.

You can bet on it. 

FairwayJay is recognized as a leading sports betting analyst providing insights and information you can bet on here at OSGAFollow him on X (Twitter) @FairwayJay for more sports betting news and insights.

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