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Wise Guys Taking Pittsburgh Penguins

The Stanley Cup Finals begin Monday and the Pittsburgh Penguins are solid favorites over the Nashville Predators. The Penguins opened -155 and are up to -167 at Bookmaker.eu, which is known a sharp book. Bovada has the Penguins -150 and is known to cater to more recreational bettors. That is a pretty good indicator the betting public likes Nashville. And that’s evident in Bookmaker’s percentages, which show 76% of the bets on the Predators. It would be easy to lower the price with the underdog getting so much action. But Bookmaker actually raised it.

That’s not to say the public is on the wrong side. While you always would rather be on the other side, there are plenty of times the public is dead on. Witness the NBA playoffs.

It’s easy to see why the public would like Nashville. Not only did the Predators have an easier time reaching the Finals, they are new. And people are a little tired of seeing the same teams each year. Not to mention that Sidney Crosby isn’t the most likable player in the game. Yes, he’s a great player, but unless you’re a Penguins fan, you probably don’t care for the guy.

In addition to betting on the series winner, there’s also the option of how many games each team wins:

Exact Series Outcome Odds:
PITTSBURGH in 4: +1100
NASHVILLE in 4: +1000
PITTSBURGH in 5: +660
NASHVILLE in 5: +493
PITTSBURGH in 6: +375
NASHVILLE in 6: +472
PITTSBURGH in 7: +443
NASHVILLE in 7: +386

It jumps right at you that the odds on the Predators are lower than the odds for the Pittsburgh Penguins if the series goes four, five or seven games. You also have the option of betting just on the number of games, regardless of who wins. A sweep pays +650. But a five-game series drops all the way down to +250. If you think it goes six or seven games you get +190 on either one.

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