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Stanley Cup Playoffs betting: Boston, Colorado look to buy more time

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You never get a second chance to make a first impression, but the Panthers and Stars have another opportunity to close out dangerous opponents. It should be more challenging for both since each had home-ice advantage in Game 5. But as the Stanley Cup Playoffs progress, the good clubs don't seem to have a problem playing on the road.

The visiting team is 13-8 in the second round this year. In the 10 games involving Friday's teams, the home side has won just once in each series, with Florida and Dallas winning Game 2. The market's usual addition of a 3.5% to 4% win probability for playing at home seemingly doesn't apply, so let's investigate Friday's moneyline prices and whether we should ignore location entirely.

Game 6: Panthers (-140) @ Bruins (+120)

The concern coming into the series was whether the wear and tear of the postseason would accumulate for the Bruins, as the club had to take on the Panthers less than 48 hours after beating the Maple Leafs in overtime of Game 7. Boston had every excuse to go away quietly in Game 5 but generated 12 even-strength high-danger chances to Florida's four. The Panthers' effort incensed head coach Paul Maurice - a red flag.

Keeping the series alive earned the Bruins bonus time off with two days between Games 5 and 6. Now, they return home with captain Brad Marchand expected back and Jeremy Swayman still playing well (2.57 GSAx).

Boston has scored on four of its 48 even-strength high-danger chances for the series. That's an 8.3% conversion rate that suggests the Bruins have been unlucky, especially compared to Florida's 15% (6-of-40) efficiency on those opportunities.

The Panthers are widely considered the better team but haven't shown enough separation in the underlying metrics. Florida doesn't warrant being a definitive favorite in a game where Boston - the team and city - can taste blood in the water.

Best bet: Bruins moneyline (+120)

Game 6: Stars (+100) @ Avalanche (-120)

The Stars missed their opportunity to buy themselves some much-appreciated rest, but it wasn't for lack of trying. Despite Dallas generating nine high-danger chances and more expected goals than Colorado in Game 5, Cale Makar and Nathan MacKinnon combined for three markers following a poor performance by the Avs duo at home in Game 4.

That's the type of production the Avalanche need from their leaders to compete with a much deeper Stars team. Unlike Boston, they don't have an extra day of rest between games.

Dallas goalie Jake Oettinger struggled in Game 5's third period, allowing 2.51 more goals than expected. It was a relative outlier poor performance for a netminder who saved almost six goals above expected (5.92 GSAx) since a disastrous first contest of the postseason.

The Stars were the NHL's best road team this campaign and are 4-1 away from home this playoffs. With the expectation that Oettinger bounces back, the Avalanche don't go 2-for-3 on the power play, and the Stars contain Makar and MacKinnon, back Dallas to outlast Colorado is the way to play Game 6.

Best bet: Stars moneyline (+100)

Matt Russell is the lead betting analyst for theScore. If there's a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on social media @mrussauthentic.

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