Unfortunately, the Stanley Cup will not be heading to Southern California this summer, as both the Kings and Ducks finished out of the playoff hunt. And following last week’s Game 7 between Vegas and San Jose, the Sharks remain the Pacific Division’s only hope this season. With the league’s top two teams from the regular season Tampa Bay (Eastern Conference) and Calgary (Western Conference) already eliminated from post-season play, things appear to be fairly wide open.
Fans of the NHL continue to have their eyes on the playoffsthough, as we march closer to crowning a new Stanley Cup champion sometime in June. For folks looking to to place a bet on who will lift the trophy this year, one of the best options appears to be with the New York Islanders. Perhaps this is the year they end their 36-year wait for the biggest prize in the sport – after dominating the NHL in the later ’70s and early ’80s, winning the Stanley Cup in four consecutive seasons. Although it is far too early to predicting any kind of similar dominance, the ‘other’ team from New York may be set for a golden period again.
Casey Cizikas and Jordan Eberle score with less than 2 minutes left to help #Islanders stun #NHLJets 5-4 in Winnipeg. New York jumps past #Penguins into second place in Metropolitan Division, three points back of #Capitals. #NHL https://t.co/qrRu4GrTPL pic.twitter.com/ULjbashT6e
— SportsCentre (@SportsCentre) March 29, 2019
Bookmakers give the Islanders NHL betting odds of +550 following their first-round victory against Pittsburgh who they blew away 4-0. Those odds look generous as the New York team finished the regular season in good form, where only the Washington Capitals had a better record, losing one game less than the Islanders.
Washington Won’t Repeat as Champs, Leaves Door Open for Others to Bet On This Season
If you were looking to bet on two teams in the playoffs, the Capitals weren’t the team to do you any favors. They were available at +600 in the outright market for the Stanley Cup when they were tied in their series against Carolina in the first round. Most consider it to be a huge shock that they did not advance to the next round. After compiling a 48-26-8 record and winning the Metropolitan Division, they were thought to be serious Cup contenders again this season. If they had moved into the second round, to take on the Islanders, with the winner of that series most likely lined up as a short-priced favorite in betting to win the Stanley Cup. Now, for fans looking to back two teams in the same half of the Eastern Conference draw, several of the options may be appetizing. The bookmakers have a difficult job of trying to separate the four remaining teams on that side of the bracket. Once a team gets their third win a series, expect them to become a quick favorite to close things out. However, it would be no surprise to see any series go into a seventh game, as there were plenty in the first round.
Colorado Avalanche Lively Outsiders at Tasty Odds
With the Colorado Avalanche having already taken out the Calgary Flames, and now underway in the second round, they are a solid play in the Western Conference, coming in with great value, around +1400.
Down 2-1 in the series, the #Flames will be looking to tie things up against the #Avalanche tonight for Game 4. The puck drops in just half an hour – join us and our team of reporters live in Colorado here: #BringTheRed #StanleyCup https://t.co/ELjPppMYRd pic.twitter.com/62zLy6xEyJ
— Calgary Herald (@calgaryherald) April 18, 2019
Avalanche only just crept into the Stanley Cup playoffs as they finished their regular season campaign with a record of 38-30-14. That left them in fifth place in the Central Division. Although that isn’t the most impressive record, they look a team for the big occasion so now we are into the knockout stages of the competition, they may just raise their game again.
The Western Conference looks a lot weaker than the Eastern Conference and that is reflected in the betting as the latter is -125 to produce the winner of the Stanley Cup this year. Colorado has a great chance to set themselves up for their first appearance in the Stanley Cup final since 2001.
Regardless of the team you’re backing, good luck with those Stanley Cup bets and enjoy all the hockey to come, as we travel through one of the biggest sporting events of the year.