The NHL playoffs are down to the final two teams as the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues will battle it out in the Stanley Cup Final. The NHL postseason has been riddled with drama, excitement and upsets from the very start, and we expect the last series of the 2018-19 season to be no different. Here, BonusSeeker is going to take a look at Stanley Cup Final odds using line from Resorts Online Sportsbook and make a NJ sports betting pick to close out the year.
First, let’s quickly take a look at how each of these two teams reached the Final:
Boston’s Road To Stanley Cup Final
- First Round - Defeated Toronto, 4-2
- Second Round - Defeated Columbus, 4-2
- Conference Final - Defeated Caroline, 4-0
St. Louis’ Road To Stanley Cup Final
- First Round - Defeated Winnipeg, 4-2
- Second Round - Defeated Dallas, 4-3
- Conference Final - Defeated San Jose, 4-2
Stanley Cup Odds: Bruins Favored To Defeat Blues On Resorts Online Sportsbook
The sports betting outlooks for these two teams have been very different to this point. Boston has gone into each of its three series as substantial favorites as a team with 107 points in the regular season. Although St. Louis finished with 99 points and the hottest team in the league, it has entered every playoff series this postseason as underdogs before emerging victorious.
New Jersey sports betting oddsmakers have once again gone in this direction while setting a line for the 2019 Stanley Cup Final. After sweeping the Carolina Hurricanes en route to winning the Eastern Conference for the first time since 2013, the Boston Bruins enter the Stanley Cup Final as -150 favorites on Resorts Online Sportsbook. The Western Conference-champion St. Louis Blues come into the Cup Final as underdogs once again, this time at +130 after closing out the San Jose Sharks at home.
Keys To Making Stanley Cup Final Pick On Resorts Sportsbook App
Making NHL playoff predictions isn’t easy. Hockey has more parity among its teams than any other pro league in North America, meaning truly any playoff team is capable of winning the Stanley Cup. That was confirmed once again this postseason after all four division winners were eliminated in the opening round of the postseason. That said, there are many factors that come into play when making NHL predictions before a playoff series begins. Here, we look at a few that can potentially impact this series.
Between The Pipes
Teams don’t win the Stanley Cup without incredible goaltending when it matters most, and Tuukka Rask is playing as confidently as ever while the Bruins coast into the Stanley Cup Final. Rask, the current favorite for the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the NHL playoffs, is taking things to a historical level.
After allowing five goals on 109 shots over four games against Carolina, Rask’s postseason save percentage of .928 ties him with Capitals netminder Braden Holtby for second all-time (minimum 50 games) behind Tim Thomas, who led Boston to a 2011 Stanley Cup title (.933 save percentage). In three closeout games this postseason, Rask surrendered one goal and made 95 saves. Those are the type of numbers that help teams win Stanley Cups.
On the other side, Jordan Binnington couldn’t look any less like a rookie goaltender. This guy is composed in net, can handle the puck to help his defense and makes key saves in traffic in addition to posting gaudy numbers. After posting a 1.89 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage enroute to a 24-5-1 record down the stretch of the season, Binnington carried his play into the playoffs. His GAA has risen to 2.37 this postseason, but there isn’t any doubt St. Louis has a goaltender that can help them steal the series.
Star Power Against Balanced Offense
These two teams produce offense in pretty opposite ways, and it’s something NJ sports betting players should be aware of before making any NHL picks at the Resorts Sportsbook app.
The Bruins’ top line of Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak is perhaps the most lethal in the NHL. This postseason, they’ve tallied 46 points in 17 games and is absolutely dominating on the power play as well, scoring at an incredible 34-percent clip with the man advantage. Slowing Boston down starts with slowing these three down, which is a tough task for any club, and staying out of the penalty box is the first step to doing that.
Speaking of the Blues’ back end, it’s had a ton to do with why St. Louis is here. They’ve gotten 44 points from the defense in 19 playoff games. No offensive player has tallied more than 16 points this postseason run (Jaden Schwartz), but seven players have 10 or more. The Blues’ balanced offense doesn’t rely on one line to get it done, which could serve as an advantage. It makes sense that St. Louis’ power play made San Jose pay in a big way in the conference final.
The Blues still do have some star power of their own as well. Winger Vladimir Tarasenko has caught fire after a slow start to the playoffs following a 68-point season in 76 regular-season games. Tarasenko tallied at least a point in every game against the Sharks and is up to 13 this postseason. Will the current balance be enough, or will Tarasenko, Schwartz or Ryan O’Reilly need to start piling up points for St. Louis to win?
Rest Or Rust In Stanley Cup Final After Boston’s Layoff?
Anytime one team in a series experiences a huge layoff, the question of Rest vs. Rust comes into play. It’s a fair point considering by the time the puck drops in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, the Bruins will have had 11 full days off from the time they last played. St. Louis may not be as well rested, but is also less susceptible to being off its game due to not having played.
There’s a chance that it takes Game 1 (maybe just a period or two) for the Bruins to regain their playoff legs after only going against themselves in practice for the better part of two weeks. The Blues, meanwhile, have been playing playoff-intensity games since the final month of the season and will undoubtedly be ready to go from the jump.
Stanley Cup Final Betting Pick
As painful as it may be to admit for most of us non-Boston fans, the Bruins are an awful matchup for almost any team.Having so much time off could lead to Boston being a step slow early in this series, but I don’t see it ultimately changing the result. Between a fatal first line, massive depth on offense, critical playoff experience and Tuukka Rask playing like a hall-of-famer, we aren’t going against the Boston Bruins to win their seventh Stanley Cup.
The balance between physical, gritty play and offensive skill to go with upper-echelon goaltending is exactly the combination needed to win the Lord Stanley’s Cup. This series will be fun and St. Louis will scare, but 1970 repeats itself. The Bruins are our NJ sports betting Stanley Cup Final sports betting pick at -150 on Resorts Online Sportsbook.
Stanley Cup Final Pick: Boston Bruins (-150)
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Tuukka Rask