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The Breakfast Spread: Sharks Favored In Western Conference Finals Opener

(USA TODAY Sports)

The San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues both overcame plenty of strife to make the Western Conference Finals in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Already playing in a combined 27 playoff games — both teams are battle-tested and ready to run back the 2016 Western Conference final won by the Sharks. Here’s a look ahead to the sports betting coverage of the series opener.

By now, the playoff beards are in full bloom and the anticipation for the Western Conference Finals is at a fever pitch. The San Jose Sharks will host the St. Louis Blues as -135 favorites — per FanDuel Sportsbook — with the total set at 5.5 goals.

Both teams capped off series victories at home this week. The Sharks — as -149 favorites — took a two-goal lead into the third period against the Avalance and held on mainly due to the contributions of returning captain Joe Pavelski. Pavelski tallied a goal and an assist in the pivotal game — sending home fans home happy in the process.

The St. Louis Blues took the less comfortable route — winning a two-overtime thriller against the Dallas Stars to advance to the Western Conference Finals. The Blues — also -145 favorites — received a goal from an emerging hometown hero in Pat Maroon in the second overtime period to close out the series and move on.

The two teams met in the 2016 Western Conference Finals with the Sharks advancing after six games to the Stanley Cup Finals. The trip to the Stanley Cup Finals was the first in the Sharks 25-year (at the time) history. Unfortunately for San Jose, they came up short in the finals to the champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

Stat of the Day

The Sharks are not afraid of playing a Game 7 in their own building. Per Darin Stephens, the Sharks are the fourth NHL team to win at least 5 of their first 6 home Game 7’s and the first non-Original Six club to do so.

Prop Shop: Series Prices on FanDuel Sportsbook

Besides the outright series odds — with the Sharks favored at -122 to the Blues +115 — FanDuel Sportsbook has all of the potential series total games and series total score props covered. A long series is by far the leader in the clubhouse — with a 7-game series paying bettors +195.

If you wanted to bet that the series will go seven games, there is a way to find a better value with that scenario. With the aforementioned 7-game prop, a $100 bet will pay winners $195. However, for better odds, you can split the bet on both potential outcomes.

Instead of betting $100 on the outright game total — split that bet into two $50 bets on each possible outcome in the case of a 7-game series. A Blues 4-3 series victory pays bettors +500 — so, a $50 bet wins $250. A Sharks 4-3 series victory pays bettors +420 — with a $50 bet winning $210. Regardless of the winning scenario, you are investing a total of $100 and winning more than the earlier $195 for the 7-game series prop.

Similar scenarios crop up regardless of the length of the series, so check the series score props prior to betting on game totals. You could potentially lock in better value by splitting the initial bet between both outcomes.

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The Breakfast Pick

Already alluded to above, the Sharks are a very strong home team in final games of playoff series. Well, this is an opener. Yet, in their last six home games, the Sharks are 5-1 as well as 5-0 when favored at their current price on FanDuel Sportsbook.

San Jose is a small favorite at home (-135) and a small favorite to win the series (-122). They have been so good at home as of late and at +115 for a Blues victory — I am not sure I am getting the right price to take St. Louis. Breakfast Lean: San Jose Sharks Win -135.

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