NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Betting Preview
The puck drops on the NHL playoffs Wednesday with the Nashville Predators the oddsmakers’ favorite to hoist the Stanley Cup.
Nashville is a +375 Cup favorite at Bovada Sportsbook and begins the postseason against the Colorado Avalanche. Colorado is a +3300 underdog, which comes as no surprise considering its record against Nashville. This season the Predators were 4-0 vs the Avalanche and have won 10 straight against Colorado overall.
Sticking to the Western Conference, the Winnipeg Jets are listed at +800 on the Stanley Cup odds heading into their first-round matchup with the Minnesota Wild. Winnipeg was 3-1 vs the Wild this season, but the smart bet might be the OVER. At home the Jets have posted seven straight OVERs vs the Wild.
The Vegas Golden Knights begin their first playoff run vs the Los Angeles Kings listed at +800 on the Cup futures. Vegas and Los Angeles split the season series 2-2, but the last time they met up in Vegas on February 27 the Kings won easily 4-1.
Rounding out the West matchups is an all-California battle between the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks. The Sharks took the season series 3-1 and they’ve won their last three games in Anaheim. The UNDER looks like a solid bet for totals bettors here, as the UNDER is 4-1 in their last five matchups and 10-2-4 in the last 16.
Switching to the Eastern Conference, the Tampa Bay Lightning meet up with the New Jersey Devils in the first round. You’ll find Tampa Bay at +600 on the Cup futures and the Devils at +3300. Surprisingly the Devils were a perfect 3-0 against the Lightning this season. However, at home the Lightning are 4-1 in their last five against New Jersey.
The Boston Bruins face the Toronto Maple Leafs in an interesting Original Six matchup. Boston is listed at +550 on the Cup futures, but the Bruins may not have as easy a time with the Leafs as some think. Toronto was 3-1 vs Boston this season and 7-1 in their last eight.
The Washington Capitals appear to have drawn a good matchup in the opening round against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Washington was 4-1 vs Columbus this season and is 6-1 in their last seven. At home Washington has won four straight vs Columbus and six of their last seven.
The last matchup is a battle of Pennsylvania between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers. At Bovada Sportsbook the Penguins are at +1000 to three-peat as Cup champs. They had the Flyers’ number this season with a 4-0 record against Philadelphia and a 5-1 mark in their last six. The OVER looks like a good bet here, as seven of the last eight between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have gone OVER the posted total.