With the NHL set to return to action after the coronavirus pandemic that brought professional sports to a complete halt in early March, it’s time to take a look at the odds to win this season’s Stanley Cup Trophy. Now, as the restart gets set to get underway this Saturday, August 1, you should know that two sites in Canada have been chosen for the league’s bubble. Edmonton will host the Western Conference and Toronto will host the Eastern Conference. Let’s find out how each team stack to each other so you can place your bets against their NHL odds.
2020 Stanley Cup Odds, Picks, Favorites & Darkhorses
The Stanley Cup Final will be played in Edmonton in October. All games will be played in empty arenas and players will be living in their own “bubble” communities during the course of the postseason.
The bottom eight teams in each conference will play a best-of-five play-in series, while the top four teams in each conference have a round robin tournament to determine seeding. Once the field narrows to 16, the teams will play traditional best-of-seven series until two teams reach the finals.
In the Eastern Conference, the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers are the top four seeds. Out in the West, the defending champion St. Louis Blues, along with the Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars are the top four seeds. Now, let’s take a look at the value-packed odds to win it all.
Tampa Bay Lightning +550
The Lightning have been installed as prohibitive favorites despite sitting in second place in the Eastern Conference behind Boston. Tampa Bay ranks first in scoring (3.5 gpg) and eighth in goals allowed (2.8 gpg). The Lightning are loaded with talent, starting with winger and reigning league MVP Nikita Kucherov (33 goals) and centers, Steven Stamkos (29 goals) and Brayden Point (25 goals). Then, there’s the fact that Tampa Bay needs to make up for one of the all-time playoff upsets after getting ousted in the first round a year ago by Columbus despite being the top seed in the East.
Boston Bruins +600
Boston leads the league in fewest goals allowed (2.39 gpg) and the Bruins also rank an encouraging ninth in scoring (3.2 gpg). Right-winger David Pastrnak is tied with Alexander Ovechkin for a league-high 48 goals while Brad Marchand has 87 points and 59 assists while center Peter Bergeron has racked up an impressive 31 goals. The bad news is that, in the last 10 seasons, only one team has advanced to the Stanley Cup Final in consecutive years and that was the the Pittsburgh Penguins, who repeated as champions in 2016 and 2017.
Colorado Avalanche +700
The young and talented Avalanche are tied with St. Louis with a Western Conference high, 42 wins while ranking a stupendous fourth in scoring (3.4 gpg) and equally eye-opening sixth in goals allowed (2.7 gpg). Center Nathan MacKinnon leads the way with 35 goals and 58 assists. Oh…did I forget to mention the Avs are the only team in the Western Conference ranked inside the top 5 in scoring?
Vegas Golden Knights +750
Vegas struggled out of the gate, but the Golden Knights got their act together in a hurry before the hiatus and are just three wins behind St. Louis and Colorado in the win column. Left-winger Max Pacioretty has a team-high 66 points while right-winger Mark Stone has 63 points. The Knights have two other players that have topped the 20-goal mark heading into the restart.
Philadelphia Flyers +1000
With 41 victories, Philly has recorded the third most victories in the Eastern Conference. More importantly, the Flyers rank an identical seventh in scoring (3.3 gpg) and goals allowed (2.8 gpg) and have a whopping nine players that have reached double digits in goals scored. Not only that, but Philadelphia was the hottest team in all of hockey at the hiatus and now they’ll look to pick up where they left off.
St. Louis Blues +1100
The defending champs got off to a slow start, but they picked up the pace nicely and now hit the restart with a conference-high 42 wins. Despite ranking a modest 14th in scoring (3.1 gpg), St. Louis is elite defensively in limiting the opposition to just 2.7 goals per game (5th). A whopping 11 players have reached double digits in goals scored, though no player has more than25 goals.
Washington Capitals +1200
The Caps are tied with Philadelphia with 41 victories. Washington ranks an Uninspiring 18th in goals allowed (3.1 gpg), but a stellar second in scoring by putting up 3.4 goals per contest. Defenseman John Carlson has a team-high 75 points and a whopping 60 assists (fourth) while perennial all-star Alex Ovechkin is tied for a league-high 48 goals.
Pittsburgh Penguins +1200
My other top legitimate contender is Pittsburgh. The Penguins have 40 wins heading into the restart while ranking 10th in scoring (3.2 gpg) and an encouraging 12th in goals allowed (2.8 gpg). Star center Evgeni Malkin leads the way with a team-high 74 points and the Pens have a mind-boggling 11 players that have reached the double-digit mark in goals scored.
Dallas Stars +1500
The Stars rank fifth in goals allowed (2.52 gpg) and that kind of defense means they’ll have a decent chance in a Western Conference that isn’t exactly loaded with offensively explosive teams. The bad news is that Dallas averages a paltry 2.6 goals per game (26th).
Toronto Maple Leafs +1800
Sure, the Leafs have been awful defensively this season in giving up 3.2 goals per game (26th), but Toronto also ranks an encouraging third in scoring (3.4 gpg). Center Auston Matthews may be the best player in the game today (47 goals, 80 points) and right-winger Mitch Marner is an all-star. Make no mistake about it, the Leafs could outscore their way to a couple of upsets this coming postseason.
Edmonton Oilers +2200
I believe the Oilers are offering some terrific value as a +220 pick. Edmonton had 37 wins at the break and they have a superstar in 2017 league MVP Connor McDavid. The Oilers rank an identical 15th in scoring (3.1 gpg) and goals allowed (3.0 gpg) and that’s just not the worst thing ever.
New York Rangers +3300
My last longshot selection is the New York Rangers. Not only are they the top money team in the league, but the Rangers rank an encouraging fifth in scoring (3.33 gpg). Yes, they allow a generous 3.1 goals per contest (23rd), but New York has absolutely owned Boston and they look worthy of a longshot wager if you ask me.
The Rest of the Field
- Chicago Blackhawks +2500
- Vancouver Canucks +3300
- Nashville Predators +4500
- Carolina Hurricanes +4500
- Florida Panthers +5000
- Calgary Flames +5000
- Arizona Coyotes +5500
- Winnipeg Jets +6000
- Minnesota Wild +6600
- Montreal Canadiens +6600
- Columbus Blue Jackets +7000
Stanley Cup Picks
No. 5 Vegas
I love the solid hockey the Knights play at both ends of the ice.
No. 4 Boston
The Bruins are outstanding at both ends of the ice, plus they’re super hungry!
No. 3 Colorado
The Avalanche just look like a team that should win it all this season in ranking inside the top six at both ends of the ice.
No. 2 Philadelphia
No, they’re not the Broad Street Bullies of old, but Philadelphia can absolutely explode on anyone and they were on fire at the break.
No. 1 Tampa Bay
I like the Lightning to go from one of the all-time playoff failures to league champions. In what has been an absolutely crazy year, it just seems fitting to me that Tampa Bay gets a do-over for their epic postseason collapse a year ago.