We’re in the thick of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Our NHL Playoffs Predictions for each division are still up in the air as we enter Sunday’s action.
Sunday brings us another full day of playoff hockey with four games from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. ET. A favorite looks to take a commanding 3-1 lead, two teams look to win and advance, and a favorite hopes to finally get a win in the late game.
Let’s get right into it.
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Carolina Hurricanes at Nashville Predators – 2:30 p.m. ET
Game 3: Hurricanes lead 2-1
The Hurricanes took a 2-0 series lead while outscoring the Predators 8-2 in the first two games of the series in Carolina. However, as the series shifted to Nashville, the Preds got their first win of the series in a double-overtime thriller.
Carolina is the better team here and they have gotten the better of the chances at 5-on-5 play. The Predators rode the energy from their home crowd to a Game 3 win, but I think the Hurricanes bounce back here.
The Hurricanes are only -145 favorites after being around -175 in the first two games. I’m taking them here in Game 4
NHL Playoffs Picks: Carolina Hurricanes -145
Colorado Avalanche at St. Louis Blues – 5:00 p.m. ET
Game 4: Avalanche lead 3-0
The Avalanche have been all over the Blues in this series. They’ve won all three games by multiple goals (4-1, 6-3, 5-1) and that’s a fairly accurate representation of how the series has gone overall.
The Blues will look to avoid the embarrassment of being swept on home ice on Sunday. The teams played a closer game in Game 3 in St. Louis than the 5-1 final score showed.
St. Louis is going to be in all-out desperation mode on Sunday while the Avalanche know they have some wiggle room. I’m taking the Blues at +185 for some value as they look to keep the series alive.
NHL Playoffs Picks: St. Louis Blues +185
Boston Bruins at Washington Capitals – 7:00 p.m. ET
Game 5: Bruins lead 3-1
The Capitals stole Game 1 in overtime, but it’s been all Bruins since. They won the next two in overtime as well before bodying the Capitals by a final score of 4-1 on Friday night in Boston.
The series now shifts back to D.C., but I think the Bruins keep the pressure up. The Capitals got outshot 37-20 last game and the Bruins absolutely dominated at 5-on-5 play. Boston had a 21-11 advantage in scoring chances (and 9-1 in high-danger chances), per Natural Stat Trick.
The Bruins, like the Hurricanes, are only slight favorites on the road. Give me the Bruins at -135 and, if you’re feeling cheeky, -1.5 at +180 as well.
NHL Playoffs Picks: Boston Bruins -135 / -1.5 (+180)
Edmonton Oilers at Winnipeg Jets – 7:30 p.m. ET
Game 3: Jets lead 2-0
In a shocking turn of events, the Jets have taken control of this series through two games. Connor McDavid has been mostly invisible as the Jets have defended the Oilers’ one-line attack pretty well.
The Oilers outshot the Jets 33-20 and 38-36 in the first two games, but Winnipeg came out on top 4-1 and 1-0 in overtime.
Edmonton dominated Winnipeg this season and I still think they have a real good shot of winning the series. Once McDavid and the Oilers find their game, it’s over for the Jets.
The Oilers had no problem winning in Winnipeg this season and I’m going back to them tonight in Game 3. McDavid has to wake up sometime.
NHL Playoffs Picks: Edmonton Oilers -130 / -1.5 (+185)