Justin Cuthbert breaks down the first-round matchup between the Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes.
JUSTIN CUTHBERT: Wrapping up the East and the Metropolitan Division is Boston and Carolina. The Hurricanes are minus-124 favorites. The comeback on the Bruins is plus-102. The spreat-- excuse me, the spread has the Hurricanes at plus-172, while the Bruins come back at minus-215.
Now, this is one of the more interesting buildups or situations leading in to a postseason match-up, because this is the path that Boston chose. The Bruins sat key players on the final day of the regular season to ensure that they crossed over. And Leaf fans are puffing their chests out because they believe it was to avoid Toronto. It was probably also about avoiding Florida in a potential semifinal match-up in the Eastern Conference.
But the thing is that Carolina has embarrassed Boston this season. The total on aggregate, I believe, is 17 to 1. The Hurricanes have owned the Boston Bruins all year. But despite that, I still think it's a smart move.
Boston has claimed two of the last three series victories over the Hurricanes in the postseason. The other one went to the Tampa Bay Lightning. So Boston has had its way in the playoffs. The Hurricanes are without Frederik Andersen to start. He probably gets nominated for a Vezina, and he won't be available, at least we think.
And any wall that the Bruins have hit in recent years in the [? postseasons-- ?] and I actually think that has happened with this team-- won't be erected yet. That wall is not going to exist in the first few days and weeks of the postseason, at least not until maybe late in the series. I think motivation is going to be a huge factor here for Boston. It could be the last ride for captain Patrice Bergeron. I think, because of that, the strong effort and the desire and the urgency will be there.
So Boston at plus-102 is a bet for me. But if you like the Hurricanes, plus-172 on the spread seems more appealing than just taking the moneyline because, yeah, they could win in seven games. But that's a pretty good plus money number on a likely outcome, which is 6 or less for the Metropolitan winners this season.
If it is Boston and New York, which I think it's going to be in round 2, I'm sure the US networks will be clamoring for that even with the [? Sid ?] factor. But if that happens, it will be highly profitable on this podcast because we have the two underdogs in the Metropolitan Division advancing.