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Best bets for the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs

Semyon Varlamov and the Isles are underdogs, but don't sleep on them. AP Photo/Jason DeCrow

We are down to four teams in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Can the Tampa Bay Lightning go back-to-back? Will the New York Islanders get revenge for last year's loss in the conference finals? Underdog Montreal and 2019 finalist Vegas will battle in the other semifinal.

NHL writers Greg Wyshynski and Emily Kaplan and betting analyst Chris "The Bear" Fallica are here to give us their best bets for the Stanley Cup semifinals.


Stanley Cup semifinals

New York Islanders (+240) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (-300)

Fallica: At what point will the Islanders stop being dismissed as lucky or boring? They have scored more goals than anyone this postseason. They have won 21 playoff games over the past two years. In the last three years under Barry Trotz, they have swept Sidney Crosby and the Penguins, beat the division champion Pens, beat the division champion Caps, beat the Flyers (who were the hottest team in the league in the bubble last year), beat the Bruins (who were the toast of the league after the Taylor Hall trade) and came as close as anyone to beating Tampa in a series last year. They took the Lightning to six games in which two of the losses were of the 2-1 variety, including in Game 6.