The numbers, at first glance, blend in.
Officially, on sports gambling web site Bodog.com, there is no favorite in the Flyers’ second round series with the Bruins. It’s a pick ‘em.
The Flyers, though, have better odds to win the Eastern Conference:
Washington Capitals 7/5
Philadelphia Flyers 7/2
Boston Bruins 11/4
Tampa Bay Lightning 9/2
But both teams have the same odds to win the Stanley Cup:
Vancouver Canucks 11/4
Washington Capitals 4/1
San Jose Sharks 5/1
Detroit Red Wings 11/2
Boston Bruins 8/1
Philadelphia Flyers 8/1
Tampa Bay Lightning 12/1
Nashville Predators 14/1
Where the numbers start to raise questions, though, are in the prop bets with regards to specific player performance in the series:
Claude Giroux 2nd Round Points vs. Boston Bruins
Over/ Under: 5
Danny Briere 2nd Round Points vs. Boston Bruins
Over/ Under: 5
Mike Richards 2nd Round Points vs. Boston Bruins
Over/ Under: 4
Now, take a quick look at how each of those players performed last year against Boston in the second round:
Claude Giroux: 7 GP, 1 goal, 4 assists, 5 points
Danny Briere: 7 GP, 5 goals, 5 assists, 10 points (28 SOG)
Mike Richards: 7 GP, 3 goals, 6 assists, 9 points
Consider this: the Flyers were shutout in two of those games against Buffalo.
We don’t offer gambling advice on this web site. Despite what that guy on the other end of the 1-800 service is telling you, when he asks for money, there is no such thing as a "stone cold mortal lock." Clearly, any one of those players could have a down series. Giroux had 9 points in the first round, Briere netted 7, and Richards – who was held goalless – still collected 5 assists.
Where the eyebrow gets raised, though, is that the oddsmakers clearly believe the series is a toss-up, since they listed each team with the same series price. Wouldn’t that be a little bit of a hint that it could be a long series? Each game beyond four that the series goes, the less of a chance each one of those players doesn’t bust the over number in those prop bets. Right?
I guess that’s why they call it gambling. But the way we see it, it’s not going to be a short series – for either team. Even if Boston jumps out to a three games to none lead.
For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers
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