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How To Bet Coyotes Predators - Coyotes Carry Advantage Into Music City In NHL West Semifinals

Posted by Don Melrose on 5/1/2012 2:56:39 PM

The 2012 NHL Playoffs have produced very untraditional matchups in the Western Conference. Two cities without established hockey histories have their teams in the West semifinals.

West Semifinals, Game 4: Phoenix Coyotes @ Nashville Predators – Friday, May 4  
Sports betting line: N/A

Why Phoenix Will Win

When you place a wager on an NHL playoff series, the kind that your wallet will enjoy, you have to gain a feel for the moment, not just the long run of 82 regular season games that preceded the playoffs. When you bet on sports at this time in an NHL campaign, you need to look at the hot goaltender, and right now, it's clear that Phoenix's Mike Smith is riding the wave in the desert. Smith, by most accounts, stole Game 1 for the Coyotes last Friday night, and he was clearly superior to Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne in Game 2 on Sunday evening in Glendale, Ariz.

Smith is not only playing well on a general level in these playoffs; he's handling pressure with extraordinary grace, poise and composure. Smith played in five overtime games in the Coyotes' first-round series against the Chicago Blackhawks, and he won three of them before closing down the series with a dominant performance in Game 6 on the road. Smith then won his fourth overtime game of the playoffs at the start of this series against Nashville. He has made impressive saves, yes, but what's more essential about Smith's performance over the past three weeks is that he's making clutch saves as well.

With this kind of rock between the pipes, it's no wonder that Phoenix is full of confidence and playing the blended team hockey that has the Coyotes on the verge of making the Western Conference finals for the first time in franchise history.

Why Nashville Will Win

The people who are studying this contest will calmly point out that various sportsbook betting sites did not have the Phoenix Coyotes as a top choice to win the Stanley Cup when these playoffs began. Phoenix was either a slight favorite or an even-money choice against the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round, but Nashville entered this second-round series as the favorite. The Predators had just disposed of the heralded and credentialed Detroit Red Wings in five games, looking like a team that could make a deep run in springtime. Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne performed at the very height of his powers against Detroit, becoming the kind of netminder who can carry a team on his back. Rinne has struggled in each of the first two games of this series, but on home ice, he should be better. In what is essentially a must-win situation for his team, he should be able to rise to the occasion.

Who Will Win?

While Smith has been spectacular to this point in the postseason, it's hard to imagine that Rinne will continue to play poorly. In this contest, Rinne will shine, and that will lead the Predators to victory.

NHL Betting Pick: Nashville



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