@PlayNowSports Presents: This Week Straight Up. May 6th-12th

Thomas Drance
May 06 2013 02:50PM

We at CanucksArmy are big supporters of sports betting, in part because we buy into the Nate Silver theory that putting your money where your prediction is will help improve the aggregate accuracy of forecasting. And after we predicted the Canucks to win their first round series in seven games, we'll take any additional forecasting accuracy we can get!

Always remember to gamble for fun (or for bragging rights), not to make money. From all of us at CanucksArmy and PlayNow: a gentle reminder to use your game sense!

Read past the jump for special offers to CanucksArmy.com readers from PlayNow Sports, and for a preview of this upcoming week of NHL playoff hockey!

"CANUCKSARMY" Promo Code

Because we like our readers and Play Now Sports likes us (and our readers too, I'm sure), they've put together a wicked special offer exclusively for readers of our Canucks blog.

Here's how it works: go to this PlayNow Sports promo page, register for a PlayNow account and insert the promo code "CANUCKSARMY" (all caps) and PlayNow Sports will give you $25 worth of "freebets."

Not too shabby!

The Canucks Week Straight Up:

 
Photograph by: Christian Petersen/NHLI via Getty

Jeff Angus:What a difference five days makes. At this time last week, we were previewing the Canucks/Sharks series. Both Thom Drance and I agreed that this was going to be a series of inches, as Vancouver and San Jose were very evenly matched on paper.

Thomas Drance: Boy were we wrong!

Angus: I think that's a bit harsh Thom. Through the first two games of the series, things played out as expected. The Sharks took Game 1, and the Canucks were less than a minute away from taking Game 2 before allowing a late third period goal. Former Canuck Raffi Torres eventually netted the over time winner, giving the Sharks a commanding 2-0 series lead.

Drance: Of course it was Torres... It just had to be.

Angus: The Canucks were down 2-1 through 40 minutes last night in San Jose. They had played a strong road game, but the trend of them unable to generate sustained offensive pressure was once again quite prominent. Vancouver proceeded to implode in the third period, allowing three consecutive goals (including two in nine seconds).

Drance: It's really all Cory Schneider's fault. I mean, obviously it's not but I'm just so used to blaming the goalies...

Angus: Yeah well look on the bright side. It's a lovely, sunny, warm day in Vancouver. I wouldn’t want to see this city after last night’s loss if it were a typical May day (rain, rain, and some more rain). Speaking of May Days… is it time to hit the panic button in Vancouver? No, not the little one that gets hit after every single goal against, but the one that was hit after the 2011 Cup Final loss to Boston.

I say yes. The numbers show that the Canucks have been in this series from the outset, but their anemic postseason offense (whether unlucky or not) is a major cause for concern. Derek Roy has been a total no-show, and if this UFA crop of centers were stronger, he may have played his way out of a big money, long term meal ticket. Mason Raymond checked out back in February, and the Canucks have gotten nothing from Jannik Hansen and Chris Higgins.

A few lone bright spots have been Zack Kassian and Frank Corrado.

Drance: They've been solid, but do they look like future cornerstones? Kassian's so inconsistent and Corrado certainly looks years away from playing a top-four role (that that's still pretty good for a twenty-year old defenceman). But yeah, I'm just feeling negative today...

In terms of interesting Canucks bets, how about history repeating? You can get 65-to-1 odds over at PlayNowSports on whether or not a puck will deflect off of a stanchion and result in a goal [PLACE YOUR BET HERE]. Considering the Canucks need a miracle at this point anyway, you may as well double down on that I figure!

Predictions:

Angus: I'm taking the Sharks to complete the sweep on Tuesday.

Drance: Yeah... Me too. Damn.

Props:


Photo Credit: AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Angus: I like Pavel Datsyuk to overcome some long odds and outscore Ryan Getlzaf by the end of the Anaheim, Detroit series. [PLACE YOUR BET HERE]

Prop: Pavel Datsyuk will outscore Ryan Getzlaf head-to-head by the end of the Detroit Anaheim Series. Pavel Datsyuk - +600.

Angus: Getzlaf currently has four points through the first three games of the series, while Datsyuk has two points. Datsyuk, of course, is a heavy underdog because he trails Getzlaf. However, two points is far from an insurmountable lead, especially in a series that looks like it will be a long one.

Drance: This is a risky bet, but the pay off is worth it. So yeah I can get behind a risk-reward play here. Even though Getzlaf has been so good all season long, I do still think Detroit will take this series...

Angus: Exactly. I mean, Getzlaf has once again found his dominant offensive form after a miserable 2011-12 season, while Datsyuk has relatively quiet in 2013 (relative to his usually elite standards) before turning the offense up in a major way down the stretch run.

Here's how I see it: Datsyuk has eight shots on goal in this series but only two assists to show for it. Getzlaf, on the other hand, has two shots on goal and two goals. According to my calculations, that means he is scoring on 100% of the shots he has fired at Jimmy Howard. That’s really, really good. But probably not sustainable.

Drance: Wouldn't it be amazing if it was though? Maybe Getzlaf will have a Tim Thomas type postseason, but as a shooter this year.

Angus: That's... Not going to happen.

Drance: For sure. I particularly like this bet because as the series shifts to Detroit, Datsyuk is basically going to be Getzlaf's shadow. As such, I'd think Anaheim's top-centreman is going to be in tough to be as productive on the road as he was at home...

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Thomas Drance lives in Toronto, eats spicy food and writes about hockey. He is an NHL News Editor at theScore, the ex-managing editor of CanucksArmy.com and an opinionated blowhard to boot. You can follow him on twitter @thomasdrance.
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