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How the public is betting each of the NHL’s 8 qualifying round series

The NHL opens its qualifying round on Saturday, August 1st. We run down how the public is betting each series at DraftKings Sportsbook 24 hours out.

Boo Nieves of the New York Rangers takes a face-off against Eetu Luostarinen of the Carolina Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden on November 27, 2019 in New York City. Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images

The NHL wrapped up its three-day exhibition period on Thursday, with each team getting one game in to shake off some rust. The league returns to competitive play on Saturday with the qualifying round and round-robin play.

The round-robin play is for the top four seeds in each conference, and will determine how they will be sorted for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The qualifying round will feature 8 teams in each conference competing in five-game series for the second set of four seeds for the playoffs.

DraftKings Sportsbook is offering odds on who will win each series, and on Friday, they updated how the public views each series 24 hours before the puck drops on the first Game 1. The higher seed is getting the majority of the handle in six of the eight qualifying round series. The two exceptions are Hurricanes-Rangers in the Eastern Conference and Flames-Jets in the Western Conference.

The 6th-seeded Hurricanes sit at -136 to win their series against the 11th-seeded Rangers. However, 86 percent of the handle and 73 percent of the bets are on New York. The Rangers won all four games these two played in the regular season, so there could be some value on New York. It is also worth noting the Rangers proximity to New Jersey is influencing this split. DraftKings Sportsbook does business in a host of states, but for the time being, none is bigger than New Jersey. This is potentially influencing it as well.

The 8th-seeded Flames are -132 to win their series against the 9th-seeded Jets. The +105 Jets are getting 69 percent of the handle and 61 percent of the bets. This and the Maple Leafs-Blue Jackets series are effectively toss-ups. Calgary actually finished the abbreviated regular season with one less point than Winnipeg, but played one fewer game, which appears to have influenced the seeding. Meanwhile, Toronto and Columbus both finished with the same amount of points.

Here’s a full rundown of betting splits on each series a day before the qualifying round opens.

2020 NHL qualifying round betting splits, 7/31

Teams Odds % Handle % Bets
Teams Odds % Handle % Bets
(5) Penguins -235 99% 97%
(12) Canadiens +185 1% 3%
(6) Hurricanes -136 14% 27%
(11) Rangers +110 86% 73%
(7) Islanders -122 63% 63%
(10) Panthers +100 37% 37%
(8) Maple Leafs -182 68% 64%
(9) Blue Jackets +148 32% 36%
(5) Oilers -200 86% 81%
(12) Blackhawks +160 14% 19%
(6) Predators -139 71% 67%
(11) Coyotes +115 29% 33%
(7) Canucks -121 76% 63%
(10) Wild +100 24% 37%
(8) Flames -132 31% 39%
(9) Jets +105 69% 61%

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