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Liiga play-offs, day by day

Betting thoughts about the Finnish Liiga quarterfinals, Thursday 21.3.2024

Tappara 1-0 (Power Rating: 63 from 64, Championship odds: 3.60x from 3.90x)

Tappara was my initial favorite before the season. They won the regular season, albeit with "poor play." Criticizing Grönborg may be fashionable, but he is an experienced coach who has won big games. However, Tappara was just a mid-pack team in the league's net goal expectation statistics. Was the team lucky, or were their goal attempts of exceptional quality? And is Heljanko that superior? At least Heljanko is a good and experienced goaltender. However, Tappara lacks a strong backup. This could be a disadvantage in the playoffs.

In the first match-up with TPS, Heljanko saved Tappara from being the trailing team after the weak first period—and even during the second period. In the third, Tappara improved a bit in their play, but the final score of 4-1 flattered Them. We'll see if Tappara was just "sleepy" after the off week or if the criticism of Tappara's way of playing is deserved.

TPS 0-1 (Power Rating: 52 from 50, Championship odds: 41x from 31x)

I initially considered TPS a modest, poorly managed organization, but I was wrong. TPS has had good coaching, and their acquisitions during the season have been more successful than expected, especially the two young IFK players, Teissala and Salin. The team has the physicality needed for the playoffs. TPS has excellent puck control and allows very few shots. Therefore, TPS can keep their home games against Tappara surprisingly even and low-scoring, although advancing to the next round seems unlikely.

Already in the first away tie against Tappara, TPS had more of the puck and good scoring opportunities! The scoreline 4-1 to Tappara with two empty-net-goals was misleading. "Under" could be a good bet again on the second game in Turku, because it can be expected to be as tight as the first one.

Ilves 0-0 (Power Rating: 63, Championship odds: 3.90x)

Ilves' young players have exceeded expectations. Their defensive pairings are among the best in the league. Niku was a crucial addition. Pennanen is arguably the best coach in the league. Ilves' goal production has not yet reached the level needed to compete for the championship, but their game level improved significantly towards the end of the season. Ilves' PowerAI Rating barely rose above zero for the entire season, considering the addition of Adam Clendening and Sami Niku during the season. Critics have questioned Ilves' goaltenders, but the statistics do not support this claim.

KalPa 0-0 (Power Rating: 52, Championship odds: 19x)

KalPa appears to be a stylistically consistent and disciplined playoff team. They are not far behind Pelicans in terms of quality, but they are far behind the top four when the real games begin.

Pelicans 1-0 (Power Rating: 57 from 56, Championship odds: 6.50x)

Pelicans exceeded expectations last year and have exceeded expectations again this year by finishing third in the regular season. However, I still consider Pelicans to be inferior to IFK, although the market disagrees. My philosophy is to play according to class and bet on fitness, play on improvement potential, and bet on those who have performed well at their limits. Therefore, I have to go against Pelicans again. I like Pelicans, but I have bet – and will continue to bet – against them. Pelicans' goaltender, Kokko, proved to be a valuable addition. He has played very well, but the sample size is small. Kokko may not be as good under the pressure of the playoffs. Pelicans cannot expect help from their backup goaltenders.

HIFK 0-1 (Power Rating: 59 from 61, Championship odds : 9x from 6.50x)

HIFK had a difficult time early in the season due to injuries among their defensemen. Now, the team has good defenders on the ice, excluding Ilari Melart. The acquisition of Luke Martin was better than expected, possibly making him the best defender in the league. Lehterä's risk of regression did not materialize. Overall, many players have had a good season despite poor luck in scoring. Pihlström was a good acquisition. Jonas Rask is a versatile and exceptional player. HIFK's power play and penalty kill look strong, and the statistics support this observation.

IFK were beaten in the first match-up vs. Pelicans in a strange anybody game. The significant home advantage with the crowd and the advantage of matching Tyrväinen-line vs. Lehterä-line affected the outcome. IFK could be underestimated in their home tie on Friday. The overall quality of the team has not disappeared with media criticism or with weaker than expected few performances.

Kärpät 1-0 (Power Rating: 59 from 58, Championship odds: 6.75 from 8.50x)

I may have been wrong about Marjamäki. Either he was not at the level of his previous performances as a coach, or things went wrong for Kärpät. Kärpät's new coach, Ville Mäntymaa, has an excellent Mikko Mantere by his side. There have been changes in the team's lineup during the season, but the player material is still of high quality. Kärpät has two good goaltenders. Westerlund is excellent, and Karhunen is decent.

Karhunen started vs. Jukurit and played well as the skaters, too. Karpät actually scored all five goals in the match - the only Jukurit goal was an own goal from a "too well won" face-off ! Kärpät (and their home support might be on the way back to a level the classy team deserves.

Jukurit 0-1 (Power Rating: 56 from 57, Championship odds: 18x from 11x)

Jukurit has played well according to our goal expectations. Their numbers are impressive overall. Jukurit is a better team than their players' salaries and market values suggest, thanks to Olli Jokinen's coaching. He has developed the players well. Jokinen's coaching skills are evident, but there is no evidence of his tactical abilities or his ability to handle pressure in the playoffs. Jukurit's goaltenders are only adequate. These question marks could become problems in the playoffs. Nevertheless, Jukurit is a surprise contender.

In the first tie, Jukurit played well, but Kärpät was better.

ESBC:n kanssa enemmän iloa vedonlyönnistä

ESBC:n voittamisen resepti perustuu Suomen tunnetuimman vedonlyöntisijoittajan Jorma Vuoksenmaan tutkimustuloksiin ja yli 30 voitollisen vuoden kokemukseen vedonlyönnistä. Jorma Vuoksenmaa ja ESBC:n työntekijät pelaavat samaan analyysiin perustuen samoja kohteita kuin asiakkaamme.

ESBC:n sivustolta peliharrastajat ja -sijoittajat saavat ajankohtaiset sijoitusneuvot vedonlyöntiin. ESBC ylläpitää kykyään parantaa asiakkaittensa menestystä yliopistotasoisella tutkimuksella pelisijoittamisesta ja urheilusta.


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