With the NHL returning on August 1, the action is starting to pick up on gambling sites around the world. Lines are going up on who is going to win, in how many games, and so forth. Sports Interaction has added some juice to the gambling component. Along with the series prices and props, all eight series’ have top point scorer bets as well as head-to-head matchups with a wager of “who will score more points in the series? Player A or player B.” We here at Last Word on Hockey will be looking at all eight qualifying round matchups from a gambling perspective. Today we will be looking at the Vancouver Canucks vs Minnesota Wild and where you can make your money.
Qualifying Round Matchup: Vancouver Canucks vs Minnesota Wild
While this series does not get the attention as the others do, the Minnesota Wild vs Vancouver Canucks will be a fun series to watch. Another contrast in styles between these two teams. The Wild play a more defensive style capitalizing on mistakes from their opposition. Not to mention the Wild have experience being in the playoffs. On the other hand, the Canucks are a young team that has not been in this position before. They play a more offensive game but have a solid defence and a goaltender that can take them far.
Even though the Wild have the experience, they are a heavy underdog coming into this series. Knowing their history in the playoffs, the Wild should not be taken lightly. Travis Green will have his Canucks team ready to play in the qualifying round. However, even with the coaching change, and the Wild’s record down the stretch before the break, the Canucks have too much firepower on offence which has given the Wild fits in the past. With Vancouver, a -165 favourite take the Canucks to win this series in five games at +279.
Top Point Scorer
No surprise that Elias Pettersson is favoured to lead the series in scoring at +300. Pettersson has been a great find by the Canucks. Ever since he has come into the league Pettersson has been an offensive juggernaut for the Canucks. Following him is his teammate J.T. Miller at +350. Following them, we find four more Canucks players. We do not see the first Wild player come on the board until Kevin Fiala at +800.
Elias Pettersson +300
There is no reason not to think Pettersson can lead this series in scoring. Since coming into the league, Petterson has recorded four points in four games against the Wild including three goals. The winner of the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s Top Rookie last season, is only getting better. It is tough to contain a player than can do everything so well. And if you want a shot at some long odds to lead the entire qualifying round in scoring make a play with Pettersson.
Tyler Toffoli +650
A sneaky pick if you are looking to make some money is Tyler Toffoli. The Canucks acquired Toffoli at the trade deadline. In 10 games with the Canucks this season, he has 10 points (six goals and four assists). There is no reason to think Toffoli could not lead this Canucks team and the series in scoring. He has the experience of winning a Stanley Cup with the Los Angeles Kings. If he is put in a position to succeed lookout.
Mats Zuccarello +1400
A good play if you are looking at some long odds is Mats Zuccarello. In his career, when the lights have shined the brightest, Zuccarello steps up. Last season with the Dallas Stars, he had 11 points in 13 playoff games. So it’s not out of the question that Zuccarello can lead the playoffs in scoring. When a big goal is needed Zuccarello is always around.
Not So Fast
Kevin Fiala +800
While Kevin Fiala looks like a solid play, his playoff history says otherwise. Even though he led the Wild in scoring with 54 points in 68 games, in the playoffs Fiala has six points in 18 career playoff games. The numbers just do not equate despite having a stellar regular season.
Brock Boeser +550
Like most of the Canucks, they do not have any playoff experience. And with all the speculation surrounding Brock Boeser and his status in Vancouver, it will be interesting to see how he performs. It was somewhat a down year for Boeser having dealt with injuries so there needs to be hesitation when placing a bet on Boeser.
Eric Staal +1000
Another player that you should shy away from is Eric Staal. Even though Staal is having a career resurgence with Minnesota, his recent performance in the playoffs says otherwise. Granted Staal was dominant in his past with the Carolina Hurricanes. But in two recent playoff series with the Wild, Staal has three points in 10 games. That just spells disaster.
For what it is worth I would stay away from the head to head matchups with any of the Vancouver Canucks players just too close to call.
Mats Zuccarello over Tanner Pearson +115
As previously mentioned when the playoffs come around Zuccarello always steps. And while he did not have a bad regular season it could have been better. While Tanner Pearson had more regular-season points for the Canucks, Zuccarello has more postseason points and that is what matters here.
Zach Parise over Eric Staal +130
As far as Wild head to head plays, the battle between Zach Parise and Staal is interesting. As noted Staal has not performed well in the playoffs recently. Parise has outscored Staal in the playoffs since becoming teammates and has the chance to do it again this year as well.
Out of all eight Qualifying Round series, this one is too close to call between the Wild and Canucks. However, I will take youth over experience in this series. For my official plays a .25 unit on the Vancouver Canucks at -165 to win the series but to do it in five games at +279. It is easy to go with the favourite in this won and why not by placing a .50 unit on Pettersson to lead the series in scoring.
If you want to go out on a limb place a .25 unit on Alex Galchenyuk at +2800 to lead the series in scoring. He has the ability to explode at any moment.
The choice is yours and yours alone. But we are here to guide through this difficult process. Again this is for entertainment purposes only. Nothing guaranteed, and please enjoy responsibly.
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