The top ten list looks very similar to the last time we updated, which makes sense because the runway is running out on those teams bringing up the rear. However, standings don’t matter when the playoffs get going, so all these teams have to do is make the postseason.
TOP TEN ODDS FOR STANLEY CUP WINNER
Odds courtesy of Fanduel Sportsbook.
- Colorado Avalanche: +400 (previously +450)
- Tampa Bay Lightning: +750 (previously +700)
- Florida Panthers: +800 (previously +800)
- Vegas Golden Knights: +800 (previously +800)
- Carolina Hurricanes: +1000 (previously +1000)
- Toronto Maple Leafs: +1000 (previously +1000)
- Calgary Flames: +1600 (previously +2500)
- Pittsburgh Penguins: +1600 (previously +1600)
- Minnesota Wild: +2000 (previously +2200)
- New York Rangers: +2000 (previously +2200)
TEAMS THAT HAVE FALLEN OUT OF THE TOP TEN
- Boston Bruins: +2500 (previously +1800)
- Edmonton Oilers: +3000 (previously +4000)
- Washington Capitals: +3000 (previously +2200)
- New York Islanders: +10000 (previously +7000)
COLORADO AVALANCHE (+400)
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that the Avalanche are one of the deepest teams in the league. Colorado is currently the top team in the NHL. The Avs get scoring from everywhere. Nazem Kadri, Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog, and Cale Makar are scoring above a point a game. Colorado is 16-2-1 over its last 19 games. The Avs are second overall in NHL scoring, averaging 3.98 goals per game. They’ve been a little weaker in their end, allowing 2.83 goals a game, which puts them 14th overall. The playoffs are usually all about defense, so the team’s inability to keep the puck out of the net is a little concerning. At +400, the Avs are a strong bet but not the best value.
FLORIDA PANTHERS (+800)
The Panthers have fallen from first to second since our previous update, but they’re scoring more than any other team in the league. Florida averages 4.10 goals per game but is a little weaker than the Avs on the defensive side. The Panthers are 17th in opponent scoring, allowing 2.96 goals per game. Florida has lost two straight recently, but their losses are really few and far between. Like Colorado, the Panthers also have a balanced attack with four players over a point a game. This season, the East looks stronger than the West, so the Panthers will probably have a more challenging road to the Stanley Cup. However, at +800, they offer as much as the Avs do with more value.
CAROLINA HURRICANES (+1000)
For many, Carolina is flying under the radar, but they should be front and center in your mind. Do you want to talk defense? The Hurricanes are atop the league in opponent scoring, allowing only 2.37 goals a night. However, they’re getting done on offense too. Carolina is sixth in NHL scoring, averaging 3.51 goals per game.
The Hurricanes have the offense to raise their skill ceiling and the defense to keep their floor high. Carolina has arguably the best defensive core in the league and has one of the top Vezina contenders in Frederik Andersen in the net. Ignore the hype. The Hurricanes have great value at +1000.
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (+1000)
Few teams have a Selke, Hart, and Richard candidate on the same team, let alone all in one player. Auston Matthews is a phenom. Matthews leads the NHL in goals with 36 and has played at least three fewer games than the next six top goal scorers. He can single-handily change the momentum of a game. However, we can’t ignore how deep this Leafs’ team is when it comes to putting the puck in the net. William Nylander, John Tavares, Michael Bunting, and Mitch Marner each have 17 or more goals. Toronto is fifth in NHL scoring, putting up 3.53 goals a game. The Leafs are also in the top ten in opponent scoring, allowing only 2.76 goals a night. If you don’t believe in the Toronto playoff curse, they’re a good bet at +1000.
All NHL predictions and picks are courtesy of SportsGrid