Tampa Bay Heavy Favorites to Win the Stanley Cup as NHL Playoffs Start

Posted on: April 9, 2019, 04:01h. 

Last updated on: April 9, 2019, 04:01h.

After tying a National Hockey League record for most victories in the regular season, the Tampa Bay Lightning, find themselves the heavy favorites entering the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Nikita Kucherov, front, celebrates a Tampa Bay Lightning goal during a regular season game. The forward scored 128 points, including 41 goals, to lead all NHL players in scoring this season. (Image: Tampa Bay Lightning/NHL.com)

The Lightning, who won 62 of their 82 games in the regular season, are 2-1 favorites to hoist the Cup, according to the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas. At FanDuel, which has sportsbooks in three eastern states, they’re +195. That means a $100 bet would win $195.

No other team has single-digit odds at the SuperBook, where the Calgary Flames and the Las Vegas Golden Knights have 10-1 odds to win it all.

FanDuel is less bullish on the Golden Knights, who made the Stanley Cup Finals last season as an NHL expansion franchise. Las Vegas has +1600 odds.

SuperBook lists the three Eastern Conference teams – the Columbus Blue Jackets, New York Islanders, and Carolina Hurricanes – with the highest odds of any of the 16 teams still playing. They’re at 30-1. FanDuel offers the Hurricanes at +2900 and the Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche, a pair of Western Conference teams, at +2600 for its longest shots.

First-round series start Wednesday and Thursday. Playoff action will take place through June with the finals. Last season, the Washington Capitals won the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history.

NHL Eastern Conference Series

The Lightning start their playoff push with a first-round matchup against the Blue Jackets. In the regular season, Tampa Bay won all three matchups, dominating Columbus by 14 goals combined.

FanDuel offers the Lightning as -410 favorites to advance, meaning bettors would need to wager $410 to win $100. Columbus is a +310 underdog at FanDuel. SuperBook has it -330/+260 for Tampa Bay.

However, the Lightning know that Columbus, which didn’t clinch a playoff spot until last weekend, will be a challenge in the best-of-seven series. The Blue Jackets won seven of their last eight to earn the final Wild Card spot.

Just the regular season and playoffs, it’s completely different,” forward Tyler Johnson told NHL.com. “I don’t think you can ever go into a series and say, ‘Oh, we did this in the regular season.’ It just doesn’t matter quite frankly.”

Game One takes place on Wednesday.

Other NHL first-round series include:

The Toronto Maple Leafs versus the Boston Bruins. Both FanDuel and SuperBook have the Bruins as -150 favorites, with the Maple Leafs at +130 to advance.

The Capitals face the Hurricanes. The SuperBook offers the Caps as -145/+125 favorites, while FanDuel posts -155/+130 odds for the series in favor of Washington.

The Islanders face the Pittsburgh Penguins. Despite the Islanders holding home-ice advantage in the best-of-seven. Oddsmakers favor the more playoff-tested Penguins in the series. FanDuel offers -148/+120, while SuperBook posts -135/+115.

NHL Western Conference Series

Calgary, the top seed in the West, is a heavy favorite in its first-round matchup with the Avalanche. The SuperBook offers -200/+170 on the Flames, while FanDuel has it -220/+180.

Both books see the Golden Knights first-round series with the San Jose Sharks as a toss-up at -110 for each team. The Sharks hold the home-ice advantage in the series over Las Vegas.

The Nashville Predators face the Dallas Stars. The SuperBook favors the Preds at -200/+170, while FanDuel offers -180/+150 for Nashville.

The St. Louis Blues face the Winnipeg Jets. While the Jets hold home ice, St. Louis is the slight favorite for each sportsbook, both of which have it as +100/-120.