NHL Playoffs 2012: Western Conference Finals Series Odds Preview

Just like we all thought, right?

An NHL playoffs final four of the Los Angeles Kings, Phoenix Coyotes, New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers...

Any semi-rabid sports fan can predict a Packers-Patriots Super Bowl, or a Cardinals-Rangers World Series or a Thunder-Heat NBA Finals. But show me just one expert, or novice for that matter, who had the Coyotes or the Kings going to the Stanley Cup Finals. Just one.

Exactly. Crickets.

And that’s one of the things that make the NHL playoffs so great. Only the strong survive, and regular season records and stacked rosters go out the window when that first puck is dropped in Round 1.

So that “hot goalie” cliche you hear every April is obviously more than just a cliche, as the four netminders for the conference finalists have proven again through the first two rounds.

It's time to size up the odds heading into the Western Conference Finals, fresh from sportsbook director Jay Kornegay and his crack staff over at the LVH SuperBook here in Sin City.


Western Conference Finals Series: Kings -165, Coyotes +145

After disposing of the Blackhawks and the Predators in the Western Conference quarterfinals and semifinals, the Coyotes and goalie Mike Smith (8-3, 1.77 GAA, .947 save percentage, two shutouts in 2012 playoffs) now go toe-to-toe with the Kings and an equally dominant guy in the crease in Jonathan Quick (8-1, 1.55 GAA, .949 save percentage, one shutout).

Los Angeles and Phoenix both opened at -105 (Total: 4½, over -120) for Sunday night’s Game 1 (NBCSN, 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT) at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Ariz. 

The two teams split the season series 3-3, with five of those six skates being decided by just one goal and the other by only two goals. In two preseason games, the Kings and Coyotes also split two more one-goal contests.

So to say th...

About the Author