When the Ottawa Senators visit the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final, recent history suggests that we’ll see a low-scoring, tight-checking game.
Since 2014, 8 of the 12 Game 7s in #StanleyCup playoffs finished either 2-0 or 2-1. Only 1 went to OT. Only 3 had more than 5 goals.
— NHL Tips (@NHLTips_ca) May 25, 2017
Other than a couple of blowouts in last year’s playoffs (St. Louis whipped Dallas 6-1 and San Jose blanked Nashville 5-0), seventh games in the NHL playoffs have been incredibly tight. Most times, 2 goals has been enough to win, with eight of the last 12 Game 7s finishing either 2-0 or 2-1.
They’re also often decided by one goal. Going back to 2009, 30 of the last 45 Game 7s have been one-goal decisions. Interestingly, just one of the last 12 Game 7s went to overtime, and just two of the last 17.
Pittsburgh/Ottawa Game 7 Betting Odds
Pittsburgh opened as -170 favourites to beat the Senators in Game 7, and that line has only gone up. Less than 12 hours before game time, Sports Interaction was listing the Penguins as -220 chalk, though it was down to -200 again by noon today.
The Over/Under of 5 has seen money come in on the Under. The Over 5 initially cost -135 juice to play, but was down to as low as -110 at www.5Dimes.eu as of this morning.
Penguins/Senators Game 7 Betting Picks
Unless you’re an Ottawa fan and are betting with your heart, you’re probably wanting to bet Pittsburgh tonight. They’re the defending Stanley Cup champions and always seem to find a way to win when they need to.
But it’s pretty hard (and not really a good idea) to lay 2 to win 1 in a Game 7. These teams have split the first six games of the series, so obviously Ottawa is capable of pulling off the upset.
Instead of laying the big juice on the Penguins moneyline tonight, here are two other ways to bet on Pittsburgh at close to even money return (or better).
1. Take Pittsburgh on the Stanley Cup futures
Pittsburgh is a -200 favourite to beat Ottawa, but the Pens pay +140 to defeat Nashville in the exact Stanley Cup finals outcome prop at BetOnline.
Obviously, in order to win the Cup, the Penguins will need to win Game 7 versus the Senators. If they do, they’ll advance to face the Predators in the Stanley Cup final, where Pittsburgh will be a favourite. At this point, you can either let your Penguins +140 Stanley Cup bet ride, or you can bet the Predators (they’ll probably be around +140 themselves, if not higher) and guarantee yourself a profit regardless of what happens in the Cup final.
If Pittsburgh loses to Ottawa, you’ll lose your Stanley Cup futures bet. But at least you didn’t have to lay twice the amount of money that you wanted to win.
2. Take Pittsburgh to win in regulation time
The regulation time bet is a nice way to move big favourites down to the pick ’em (even money) range. The only caveat is that if you lay the -0.5 pucks in regulation time, you lose if the game goes to overtime. That’s the price to pay for the better odds, which in this case is -118 with the Penguins (Pinnacle is the best sportsbook to use for this type of bet.)
The lower scoring the game is, the more likely it goes to overtime, so there’s a bit of risk to this wager. But as I said earlier, only one of the last 12 Game 7s and two of the last 17 went to overtime, despite being such competitive and low-scoring games.
If the game does go to OT, it’s basically a coin flip at that point. You don’t want to be laying -200 with Pittsburgh in a coin flip scenario, so why not take a shot at the Penguins to win in regulation time at much better payout instead?