Where do the Stanley Cup Odds Sit During the Hiatus
By: Ryan Gilbert
The hockey world along with the rest of North American sports came to a halt in early March. Now, almost a month later, let’s check in on the Stanley Cup odds to see how things might shake out if we are lucky enough to see the season resume and crown a champion.
The 2020 Stanley Cup odds have a few favorites at the top with several other teams having a chance as well.
Let’s run down the top favorites and look at a longshot that is worth betting on.
Boston Bruins (44-14-12, 100 points in 70 games; Stanley Cup odds: +550)
The Boston Bruins sit atop the league in terms of both points and favorites to win the Stanley Cup.
The reigning Eastern Conference champions once again look like a favorite to come out of the East if the season is to resume. They have the most wins and points in the league, while also having the least regulation losses.
The Bruins have lost just 14 times in regulation this season – and just four times at home! –, five fewer than the St. Louis Blues, who have the second least in the league, and six less than the Washington Capitals, who have the second least in the East.
The trouble with the Bruins is that they have had their rough stretches. They lost four straight games twice this season, including a five-game losing streak. There was also a stretch where they lost eight of nine games in early December.
They aren’t unstoppable and have lost four out of seven games multiple times this season. That’s all it takes in the playoffs to knock someone off, and the Bruins could easily fall victim if their offense doesn’t show up – especially in a tough Eastern Conference.
The Bruins are the clear favorite to win the Stanley Cup (+550 Stanley Cup Odds while the next best Stanley Cup odds are +750 then +1000). They definitely have a chance but there isn’t enough value at +550 to be worthy of a bet.
Tampa Bay Lightning (43-21-6, 92 points in 70 games; Stanley Cup odds: +750)
Is this finally the Tampa Bay Lightning’s year? Well, it didn’t look like that early on, but they went on a huge run from December through March to show that they are for real.
They hit a bit of a speed bump in February, however. They lost four straight games for the first time all season from February 20th to the 27th. That started a 3-6-1 slide for the Lightning who were showing signs of slowing down.
If hockey is to resume, the Lightning have a good of a chance as anyone to win the Stanley Cup. They have had dominant stretches and still have a formidable team.
The Lightning are led up front by Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, and Brayden Point. They are deep as well with guys like Alex Killorn, Anthony Cirelli, Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson, and deadline addition Blake Coleman. Andrei Vasilevskiy is one of the best goalies in the game between the pipes, and he’s done it before.
Tampa Bay will have to go through a tough Eastern Conference, but +750 isn’t that bad of a value for them. I’d err on the side of caution and bet on a longer shot, but you could put some money down on the Lightning.
Vegas Golden Knights (39-24-8, 86 points in 71 games; Stanley Cup odds: +1000)
The Golden Knights are looking to catch magic in a bottle like they did in each of their first two seasons. In their inaugural campaign, the Golden Knights made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final before falling to the Washington Capitals. Then, last season, with another stacked team poised for a run, they fell victim to a controversial penalty call in Game 7 that ended their playoff run at the hands of the San Jose Sharks.
This year, the Golden Knights are back and ready for more.
The Golden Knights are one of the most fun – and best – teams in the league. They offer the thrills of high-flying offense with multiple lines capable of scoring as well as dazzling saves in the crease between Marc-Andre Fleury and deadline addition Robin Lehner.
Vegas has four 20-goal scorers and seven players with at least 10 goals. Stretching that out a bit, they also have four players with eight goals and two more with seven. Odds are that a few of them would reach the 10-goal mark in a full 82-game season, giving Vegas around 10 10-goal scorers. That’s pretty impressive.
One of their few weak spots was in the crease, but they addressed that by trading for Robin Lehner. Prior to the trade they had Malcolm Subban backing up Fleury, and he struggled with a .890 save percentage this season. Now they have Lehner and his .918 SV% from Chicago, who has a .940 SV% through three games – including a shutout.
Vegas was on a roll in the month prior to the stoppage, going 11-2-0 since February 13th. They have put it all together and provide good value at +1000 in a weak Western Conference.
Looking at a Longshot for the Stanley Cup Odds: Here’s a… Achem… Flier
Philadelphia Flyers (41-21-7, 89 points in 69 games; Stanley Cup odds: +1400)
The Flyers were the hottest team in the league when play stopped in early March. Their nine-game winning streak had just ended, but they are still 19-6-1 – with no back-to-back losses – since January 8th.
They are a deep team with a good, young goalie and a solid defense in front of him as well. With Alain Vigneault at the helm, he’ll have them deep in the playoffs if the season resumes. They provide great value at +1400.
So good luck to everybody, and stay happy and healthy.