by Kevin Stott | Hockey ratings are up and both NBC and Versus have to love the fact that this years Stanley Cup finals are between the Detroit Red Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins and not like last year when Anaheim and Ottawa met for all of Lord Stanleys marbles.
The Las Vegas Hilton has made the Red Wings a -160 favorite for the series while Detroit opened up as -170 favorite in the opener and was bet down 10 cents to -160 with a +150 takeback on Pittsburgh for Saturdays Game 1 at Joe Louis Arena.
Picking a winner in this series is a tough thing as both teams are at the top of their games, are getting superb goaltending and almost always win on their home ice. Looking at a short-term futures bet on the Penguins (+150) may provide the most value in a series that will be tooth-and-nail all the way to the bitter and bloody end.
Getting to these Finals proved to be a little bit more of a big thing to Pittsburgh who was priced at 10-1 to win the Cup at The Palms before the season (18-1 at The Orleans) while Detroit was one of the chalks, being priced at 7-1 for the opening odds at Caesars, 6-1 at the Palms and just 3-1 at The Orleans in Las Vegas.
The Palms will be offering individual period (First, second, third) wagering for the Stanley Cup Finals and has a number of intriguing individual game props now listed in its sports book:
EXACT SERIES RESULT: Penguins 4-0 12-1 Red Wings 4-0 9-1 Penguins 4-1 8-1 Red Wings 4-1 5-1 Penguins 4-2 3-1 Red Wings 4-2 4-1 Penguins 4-3 4-1 Red Wings 4-3 5-2 TOTAL # GAMES PLAYED IN FINALS 6½: OVER +180, UNDER -220 WHO WILL WIN MORE GAMES IN FINALS? PENS -200 WINGS -1½ -+170 TOTAL GAME PLAYED IN FINALS vs TOTAL GOALS SCORED IN GAME 1: GAMES PLAYED -150, RED WINGS -150, GAME #1 GOALS +130 WHO WILL WIN MORE GAMES IN FINALS? PENS -1½, +250 WINGS -220 INDIVIDUAL PLAYER MATCHUPS: CROSBY -105 vs DATSYUK -115 MALKIN +110 vs ZETTERBERG -130 SYKORA -135 vs HOLMSTROM +115 GONCHAR -140 vs KROMWALL +120 LIDSTROM -140 vs WHITNEY +120 HOSSA -175 vs HUDLER +155
Here is the remaining schedule after tomorrows Game 1 with coverage by TV network. All games start at 8 p.m. ET and 5 p.m. PT:
Game 2 PIT @ DET Monday, May 26 (Versus)
Game 3 DET @ PIT Wednesday, May 28 (Versus)
Game 4 DET @ PIT Saturday, May 31 (NBC)
Game 5 (If) PIT @ DET Monday, June 2 (Versus)
Game 6 (If) DET @ PIT Wednesday, June 4 (Versus)
Game 7 (If) PIT @ DET Saturday, June 7 (NBC)