The greatest post-season in sports gets underway on April 15th and a few playoff races remain undecided, but top contenders are beginning to clinch playoff spots and teams are being eliminated on an almost nightly basis.
Betting on the Stanley Cup playoffs makes the peaks and valleys of the NHL post-season that much higher and lower. Most series are incredibly evenly-matched, even a top-seed vs an 8th-seed, while hot goalies and a healthy bench can make all the difference through a brutal two-month playoff campaign.
In other playoff series sports, such as the NBA, top seeds can typically be counted on to reach the second round. That isn’t the case in the NHL. Take for example the Los Angeles Kings who have won the title twice over the past three seasons as an eight seed and six seed.
Anyone in the mood for 9 games tonight? It is the last Tuesday of the regular season after all. https://t.co/71N3NNo0wg
— NHL (@NHL) April 7, 2015
A Closer Look At The Updated Odds To Win The 2015 Stanley Cup
With the end of the 2014-15 NHL season around the corner, its time to take a look at which NHL team has the best odds to win the Stanley Cup.
- New York Rangers – 13/2 – The Rangers sure look like the class of the Metropolitan Division and possibly the Eastern Conference at this time. The odds are tough to swallow, though, since NYR is still going to have to play a great Western Conference team in the finals.
- Chicago Blackhawks – 15/2 – Kane returns in mid-May, but will he be in playing shape? Chicago backers shouldn’t kid themselves. If Kane isn’t 100%, winning the Western Conference won’t happen, which means winning the Stanley Cup won’t happen either.
- Minnesota Wild – 15/2 – The Wild had a fantastic March, but they’ve started out April by losing to the Rangers and Red Wings. They seem like an up and down team that could go either way. You can’t be in love with the odds, can you?
- Anaheim Ducks – 9/1 – The Ducks have what it takes to win it all. The problem is that they’re offering lower odds than both St. Louis and L.A. There’s no guarantee that once the playoffs start either one of those squads won’t put a beat down on Anaheim.
- Montreal Canadians – 10/1 – They’re going to make the playoffs, but once they get there, how well will they play? Montreal is a better pick based on the odds than the Rangers. The Canadians are ranked first in goals against and they’re relatively healthy. They’re the team to back in the East.
- St. Louis Blues – 10/1 – The Blues are ranked in the Top 10 in every important offensive and defensive statistical category. They’re one of the top teams to back in the Western Conference. This is especially true if Kane doesn’t return ready for Chicago.
- Los Angeles Kings – 12/1 – This is the team to back. History says that L.A. has no shot at repeating, but isn’t it time for a team to repeat as Stanley Cup champs? Some trends are meant to be broken and that’s one that should be broken soon. L.A. beat the Oilers 8 to 3 on April 3 signaling that they’re ready to be the team to break it.
- Nashville Predators – 12/1 – Nashville isn’t a bad team, but there’s a huge chink in their armor. They’re a terrific home team, 28-8-2-2 as of April 6, but just an okay road team, 19-14-2-4 as of April 6. If you can’t win on the road in the playoffs, you’re doomed.
- Tampa Bay Lightning – 12/1 – Tampa Bay’s biggest issue right now is their health. The Lightning has 6 guys that are injured and 2 guys on injured reserve: Braydon Coburn and Mattias Ohlund. The odds are decent and this team could surprise, but the injury issues are worrisome.