- The Avalanche (+500) and Flyers (+550) are the Stanley Cup favorites in their respective conferences
- The Bruins (+800) and Blues (+1200) both fell from first to fourth seeds after round-robin play
- The Blue Jackets’ defensive pair of Seth Jones and Zach Werenski make them an incredible bet at +3300
After Qualifying Round upsets bounced Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby from the bubble, Hart Trophy finalist Nathan MacKinnon is the best player left in the tournament, but should the Colorado Avalanche really be favored to hoist the Stanley Cup?
Let’s review the odds for all 16 NHL teams and provide the best bet to win it all.
ODDS TO WIN 2020 STANLEY CUP
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+700|
|Vegas Golden Knights||+700|
|St. Louis Blues||+1200|
|New York Islanders||+2500|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||+3300|
STANLEY CUP FAVORITES
Colorado (+500) and Philadelphia (+550) certainly looked impressive in round-robin play, but it’s important not to put too much stock in the glorified exhibition games. With the Avalanche and Flyers set to face the two hottest goalies in hockey, the Coyotes’ Darcy Kuemper and Montreal’s Carey Price, there’s no upside in betting for either club at the moment.
It’s also hard to back a Lightning (+700) club that might be without defenceman Victor Hedman and sniper Steven Stamkos for the entirety of their First Round rematch against a Blue Jackets (+3300) club that swept them last year.
“Every time they’re on the ice, they look like Pronger-Niedermayer back in the Anaheim days”
— X – SpecmenceCBJ (@SpecmenceCBJ) August 3, 2020
In fact, at +3300, Columbus might be the best value in the board. With two of the top blueliners in the league in Seth Jones and Zach Werenski, the Jackets are plenty capable of making a deep playoff run despite losing name brand-name stars such as Artemi Panarin, Matt Duchene and Sergei Bobrovsky last offseason.
BRUINS AND BLUES AT DISCOUNT
When the NHL stopped play, the Bruins (+800) were sitting comfortably in first place with 100 points through 70 games. It took only three round-robin losses for their efforts to go up in smoke as Boston dropped to the fourth seed and will now play a hot Hurricanes (+1200) team that dismantled the Rangers in three games.
Boston swept Carolina in last year’s Eastern Conference Finals thanks to lights-out netminding by Tuukka Rask, but they’ll need the Perfection Line (Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak) to shake off the rust in a hurry to get by an ascending Canes squad.
“It doesn’t matter what seed you’re in because you have to beat every team anyways if you want to advance.”
— NESN (@NESN) August 9, 2020
St. Louis (+1200) also fell from first to fourth after going 0-2-1 in the round robin, but get a favorable draw in a young, skilled Canucks team that they should be able to bruise and batter.
Don’t dismiss the defending Cup champs over a few meaningless ramp-up games. They’re my pick to face Columbus in the Stanley Cup Finals.