The race for the Stanley Cup is now well under way, with the opening round series now all in the books. There were a couple of surprises to be found in Round 1, but perhaps none bigger than what we just saw in the North Division section of the playoffs. Many people had the Toronto Maple Leafs in as the favorites to win it all this season, but their run is over before it even began after losing in Game 7 to the Montreal Canadiens. Round 2 is already underway and the odds to win the Stanley Cup have shifted from what they were at the beginning of proceedings. Let’s take a look at the current favorites as it stands now so you can place your bets against their Stanley Cup odds.
Updated NHL 2021 Stanley Cup Betting Predictions
Colorado Avalanche (+160)
Winning any series in a sweep is a solid achievement, but winning one in the style in which the Avalanche did in Round 1 has to be viewed as a serious warning shot to every other team. The Avalanche didn’t just beat the St. Louis Blues, they absolutely steamrolled them. The series was over in 4 games, with Colorado outscoring the Blues 20-8, which is about as one-sided as it gets. This who might have viewed this series as a mismatch from the start now have to start believing that the Avalanche are for real after they went out and beat Vegas 7-1 in Game 1 of the second round. Is there any team that can slow down the Avalanche offense?
Tampa Bay Lightning (+400)
We all know how tough it is to win championships in back-to-back seasons, but the Tampa Bay Lightning are now one step closer to repeating. The Lightning came into the playoffs as the #3 seed in the Central Division and had a tough opening round series against the Florida Panthers. Winning the opening 2 games of that one certainly helped their cause, and while the series eventually went to 6 games, the Lightning never really looked to be in danger. They started Round 2 with a 2-1 win over the #1 ranked Carolina Hurricanes, but there is still a long way to go in that series.
Boston Bruins (+550)
There were a lot of people who thought the Bruins might win it all last year. They came up short and lost some key personnel this past offseason, but the Bruins are very much in the hunt again. The Bruins started at the #3 seed in the East Division and looked very good in taking down the Washington Capitals in 5 games in the opening round, winning 2 of the first 3 games of the series in OT. The highlight of that first round win was just how good the Bruins looked on the defensive end of the ice, surrendering just 2 goals in the final 2 games. Boston won their opening game against the Islanders in Round 2, but then went on to lose in OT in Game 2.
Carolina Hurricanes (+700)
You can see just how heavily favored the Central Division is right now, with two teams from that division in among the favorites to win the Stanley Cup. Something has to give there, though, as the Hurricanes and Lightning are meeting in Round 2 as we speak. Carolina beat the Nashville Predators in 6 games in the opening round, but it was a brutally tough series, with each of the last 4 games going to OT. It really was a series that could have gone either way, and with Carolina already a game down in Round 2, you have to wonder how far they can ride their luck.
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