NHL playoffs betting guide: Flames vs. Stars

Justin Cuthbert breaks down the first-round matchup between the Calgary Flames and Dallas Stars.

Video Transcript

JUSTIN CUTHBERT: Finally, we're breezing through it here. I mentioned the Battle of Alberta. That would take the Flames to come through as minus 300 favorites over the Dallas Stars who come back at plus 235.

Now, I don't think the Coyotes come back over the Predators, and the final night of the season was particularly beneficial for the Flames, but I'm not triggering the upset here. I ended up playing the Flames on the spread minus 128, so winning at six games or less, just like the Oilers. And I put a portion of that on the Flames at five at plus 320. Kind of wish I didn't do that because minus 128 is a great line for the Flames to get this done in six games or less.

This version of the Stars has had success in the postseason recently, went to the Stanley Cup Final in a bubble two years ago. They really didn't require much of Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn to get there. But as it stands now, the divide between these teams, I think, is pretty severe. The Flames are way deeper. They've got an elite top line. They've got really, really good middle six forwards in that unit.

They've got a great defensive core and a great goaltender and great coaching. They really have it all coming into this season with Darryl Sutter just making a few tweaks from what they did the previous seasons. I just expect the Flames because of the Darryl Sutter factor to be at their potential, and at their potential, they should be able to roll over a team that had a negative goal differential through the regular season.

93 goals separated these two teams across 82 games when you look at what they did on aggregate. So I like the Flames to win this series without a seven-game sweat at minus 128, and if I was to put a full tournament future down right now, $100, you've got to put it on the futures market, I already have some on the Florida Panthers pre-season. I added the St. Louis Blues in the season and Colorado pretty early as well.

So I have some decent tickets out there, and I guess that affects what I would do with this, but the Calgary Flames at plus 800 to win the Stanley Cup, if I had to put money down right now, that stands out for me the most because they have the cleanest path to the Conference Final, at least in my estimation, which is worth something.

You get there, you can manipulate it, you can hedge, you can figure out a way for that to make you some money. I think the Flames at plus 800, there are many, many worse bets right now, if you're looking for a full tournament future, but I think I would just bet the Flames series to series might be more profitable in the end.

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