The 2016 NHL Playoffs kicks off this week with 16 teams vying for Lord Stanley’s Cup. The favorite are the Washington Capitals who dominated the 2016 NHL Regular Season starting on Day 1. But, the Caps aren’t the only team with a shot at winning the Stanley Cup this season.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 12, 2016
There is no sport on the planet that year in and year out has as much parity as professional hockey. The last team to go back to back in NHL was the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998. That’s a lot of years without a repeat winner. See below for the favorite, my smart bet and my long shot bet to win the 2016 Stanley Cup.
My 2016 Stanley Cup Expert Picks
The Favorite To Win The 2016 Stanley Cup: Washington Capitals, 7/2
The Capitals should definitely be favored. After all, Washington went 56-18-6-2 during the regular season. The Caps went an awesome 29-8-4 at home and close to as good 27-10-2-2 on the road. Alex Ovechkin might be the best player in NHL. He along with Evgeny Kuznetsov make a powerful 1-2 punch.
But the Caps finished the regular season by losing 6 out of their last 10 games. They also face Philadelphia in the first round, a team that matches up very well with them. At the odds, Washington is hard to back.
The Smart Pick To Win The 2016 Stanley Cup: Los Angeles Kings, 8/1
The Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup in 2012. Then, they won the Stanley Cup in 2014. Because it’s an even year, the Kings are expected to win it again in 2016, right? Although that’s a powerful trend, the real reason to bet on the Kings to win it this year has to do with their defense. Los Angeles is ranked third in NHL in goals allowed per game at 2.3. They are ranked third in shots against per game at 27.3. They are ranked 6th in NHL with 7 shutouts during the regular season.
Goalie Jonathan Quick will be on top of his game. This team knows how to win in the playoffs. The odds are close to double-digit. What’s not to like?
The Long Shot Bet To Win The 2016 Stanley Cup: Nashville Predators, 25/1
Nashville has a better than 25 to 1 shot to win the Stanley Cup this season. The Preds went 41-27-12-2 during the regular season. They went 23-11-5-2 at home. The key will be whether or not Nashville is able to win any games on the road during the playoffs. If they can win some road games, they only won 18 road games during the regular season, they’ll be tough because they’re money at home. I also like how Nashville allows only 27.3 shots per game. I think the Predators are the best long shot bet in the sports book.
The Complete Odds To Win The 2016 Stanley Cup:
- Washington Capitals 3/1
- Chicago Blackhawks 5/1
- Dallas Stars 13/2
- St. Louis Blues 8/1
- Los Angeles Kings 17/2
- Anaheim Ducks 9/1
- Pittsburgh Penguins 10/1
- New York Rangers 12/1
- San Jose Sharks 13/1
- Florida Panthers 15/1
- Tampa Bay Lightning 15/1
- Nashville Predators 20/1
- Minnesota Wild 25/1
- New York Islanders 25/1
- Philadelphia Flyers 28/1
- Detroit Red Wings 40/1