The Nashville Predators won a crucial game against the Dallas Stars this past weekend. That win puts the team in the driver’s seat for the final playoff spot in the Central Division.
The team controls its own destiny. Nashville is ahead of the Stars by three points in the standings, but the Stars have one more game on the regular-season schedule than Nashville and aren’t out of playoff contention yet.
The Preds need to win their next matchup to secure the final spot, and Tennessee online sportsbooks think the team will do just that.
Predators favored to win next matchup
The best way for the Predators to cement their playoff spot is to keep winning games. The team’s next matchup comes against the Columbus Blue Jackets, who have already been eliminated from the playoffs.
The Preds have had success against Columbus so far this season, winning five out of the last six matchups. However, this is no time for the team to stop being aggressive.
Tennessee sportsbooks think Nashville will keep its foot on the gas.
Heading into today’s game, the Preds are -1 favorites.
If the Predators can keep penalties to a minimum, it will go a long way toward the team winning this game. On average, Nashville serves over nine penalty minutes per game, the fifth-most in the league.
One of the biggest culprits is Mathieu Olivier, who has served close to 70 penalty minutes this season.
Defense is another issue.
Goaltender Juuse Saros has been playing extremely well inside the net, shutting out the Stars 1-0 in Saturday’s game, but he needs more defensive help.
With fewer penalties and stronger defense, the Preds should be able to win tonight’s game and keep the Stars at bay.
Hopefully, the momentum from last weekend is still going strong in Nashville.
Nashville’s Stanley Cup odds
For those looking for more opportunities to bet on the Nashville Predators, you can wager on the team’s Stanley Cup odds.
As a team still trying to secure a playoff spot, it should come as no surprise that Nashville is toward the end of the pack.
The favorites for this year’s Stanley Cup are the Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights.
Although the Knights were the first team to secure a spot in the playoffs, sportsbooks favor the Avalanche to win it all this year. The team had a handful of key players get back to health just in time for the playoffs.
If you like to bet on the Stanley Cup underdog, now might be the time to get a wager in on the Predators before the odds shift.
2021 NHL Playoffs planning
Speaking of the 2021 NHL Playoffs, the start date is still up in the air.
The regular season was set to end on May 8, with the playoffs beginning on May 11.
However, due to rescheduled games from COVID outbreaks, the regular season was extended through May 16.
The NHL is still working to determine a final date for the start of the playoffs.
The league said the following regarding the schedule:
“The NHL will continue to assess the progression of the regular season before announcing definitive dates for the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. With the newly revised end date for the regular season for the North Division, it is possible that the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the East, Central and West Divisions could open a few days earlier than the North Division.”
The NHL should be announcing precise playoff dates in the next few weeks.