Stanley Cup Suitors’ Odds Improve Through Season’s Opening Portal

Stanley Cup NHL Background

  • Avalanche still possess best odds to win Stanley Cup
  • Oddsmakers still favor Panthers in the East
  • Stanley Cup Champion Lightning stationed with third best number for a three-peat

That first quenching swallow of the Stanley Cup nectar from Lord Stanley’s mug is a taste like no other for NHL teams and their fans. Interestingly, several teams that are favorites have seen their odds improve through the first one-third of the season.

The Colorado Avalanche came into the season as the favorite to defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning for the Stanley Cup and the Avs have seen oddsmakers raise their chances to (+550) from the (+600) that the team started with in October.

The Avalanche have won four in a row and are 5-0-1 in their last six games. At 16-7-2, though, Colorado is currently in sixth place in the Western Conference.

Colorado’s composite odds to win the Central Division sat at (+113) with St. Louis (+330) and Minnesota (+335) at second and third.

Although the Minnesota Wild lead the Western Conference at 19-8-1, Colorado is still the odds on favorite to win the Central Division as the Avs enjoy a (-170) listing while Minnesota sits at (-220).

Colorado’s 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers in Pepsi Center on Sunday night was indeed a showdown of the top two favorites in the NHL.

The Avalanche used a hat trick by Andre Burakovsky to pull out the victory.

Burakovsky’s third marker came at 11:43 in the third period after hr had scored the first two goals of the contest before Florida pulled even.

Please Note:
The Panthers are listing at (+650) behind the Avalanche after beginning at (+2500) odds.

Florida is tied for first in the Eastern Conference as the Washington Capitals and to toot Maple Leafs join the Panthers with 40 points.

The Panthers have continued to set the pace all season behind 31 points from Jonathan Huberdeau and a team-leading 10 goals from center Aleksander Barkov.

Florida is the current favorite in the Atlantic Division with odds at (+140) as Toronto (+200) and Tampa Bay (+240) are also challengers.

One month ago, the Panthers had composite (+100) odds with the Lightning at (+375) and the Maple Leafs (+425) a close third.

Lightning In Striking Distance Despite Injuries

The two-time defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning lost Nikita Kucherov early in the season to a lower body injury and then Brayden Point went out in late November with what was termed an upper-body injury.

Captain Steven Stamkos has been on a roll in picking up 13 goals and 19 assists for 32 points. Stamkos has posted four goals and ten assists as the Lightning are 8-2-0 in their last ten games and are within two points of the lead in the Eastern Conference.

Tampa Bay has moved from (+750) to (+700) to win the Stanley Cup in tabulating the third best odds as of today.

Legendary net-minder Andrei Vasilevskiy is 14-4-3 with a 92.7 save percentage and a 2.17 GAA while Victor Hedman has a team-leading 22 assists to go along with this five goals.

The Lightning is tied with the Maple Leafs with (+450) odds to win he Eastern Conference as the Florida Panthers are a slight favorite at (+400).

Leafing Through the Numbers

Is this the first season since 1969 that the Toronto Maple Leaf can hoist the Stanley Cup?

The NHL betting sites have to Leafs at (+950) now after they started with a (+1400) setting at the beginning of the season.

Toronto’s power-play percentage is at 30.5 percent, second in the NHL, which is a huge reason whey the Maple Leafs are in the mix.

Auston Mathews has 18 goals and 13 assists to lead the Leafs while John Tavares (13g/18a) is tied with Matthews, who has seven power play goals and seven power play assists.

Goalie Jack Campbell has been a given for Toronto with the 1.99 GAA and a 93.5 save percentage.

Metropolitan Musings

Carolina and Washington join Toronto as consistent contenders in the Eastern Conference as the Hurricanes have continue to sport (+1400) odds which is what they started with this season.

The Hurricanes lost for the first time in five games in Vancouver last night and when the ‘Canes finish their road trip in Minnesota tomorrow, they will have played 12 of the last 15 games away from Raleigh. They are currently 8-5-1 through that stretch.

Sebastian Aho leads the Hurricanes’ offense with 32 points while goalie Frederick Andersen has fashioned a 14-5-0 record with a 93 percent save percentage and a 1.92 GAA.

Carolina is in the mix in the Eastern Conference as their (+700) odds give them a fourth-place tie with the Capitals.

They are favored to win the Metropolitan Division with (+165) odds.

Washington and the Hurricanes are tied in Stanley Cup numbers and Eastern Conference numbers as we have noted, but the Capitals are sitting with the second-best odds to win the Metropolitan Division.

Alex Ovechkin has 20 goals and 24 assists to lead the Caps.

One month ago, the Hurricanes had a composite (+148) number while the Caps planted a (+180).

Gold Rush

The Vegas Golden Knights’ odds Stanley Cup odds have decreased as the Knights are listed at (+900) after opening the season at (+700).

Vegas is 16-11-0 is tied for seventh in the Western Conference as goalie Robin Lehner has struggled as well with an 11-9-0 mark and a 3.15 GAA couple with a 90.4 save percentage.

The Golden Knights are still catching (+350) odds to win the Western Conference and sit just behind the Avalanche (+200).

Vegas is 4-1-0 over it’s last five games as the Golden Knights have the best odds to win the Pacific Division at (+165) while Calgary is second at (+190) and Edmonton is close with a (+260) setting.

Edmonton led the Pacific Division one month ago with (-123) odds as Calgary had (+320) and Vegas stood at (+400).

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Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.

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