Updated 2018 Stanley Cup Odds - March 7th Edition

Updated 2018 Stanley Cup Odds – March 7th Edition

Written by on March 7, 2018

Does anything beat the Stanley Cup playoffs? I would argue the greatest thing in sports is a Game 7 in overtime in the NHL postseason. That is closer than you may think with the first day of the playoffs starting on April 11. Let’s take a look at some updated Stanley Cup odds from MyBookie.The Tampa Bay Lightning have played in two Stanley Cup Finals in franchise history. In 2004 the Lightning beat the Calgary Flames in a Game 7 in Tampa – this writer just so happened to be in attendance. In 2015, the Lightning lost in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks – this writer happened to attend one of those games as well.

Updated 2018 Stanley Cup Odds – March 7th Edition

As of this writing, the 2017-18 Lightning have the most points in the NHL and lead the league in scoring at 3.6 goals per game. Thus, little surprise they are the +380 favorites to win a second Cup. The Bolts also have the NHL’s leading scorer in Nikita Kucherov, who is a leading candidate to win the Hart Trophy as league MVP. The only thing that might keep Kucherov from winning is teammate and goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, who will get MVP and Vezina Trophy votes. He has a a .933 even-strength save percentage on the season in 53 starts and have been stretches when he has been every bit as valuable as Kucherov.The Bolts also have two other superstars in winger Steven Stamkos and defenseman and Norris Trophy candidate Victor Hedman. In a recent game, they became the first pair of players in Lightning history to each tally at least two goals and two assists in the same game. Tampa Bay was already a top Cup contender before the trade deadline, and then it made the biggest splash in the trade market by acquiring defenseman Ryan McDonagh and forward J.T. Miller from the Rangers. McDonagh immediately gives the Lightning the East’s best defense corps, led by Hedman.

First Title For Nashville?

The Nashville Predators were the No. 16 overall seed last season yet made it all the way to the Cup Finals, losing in six games to the Penguins. Nashville is a +450 second-favorite to win its first Cup. The Predators rank in the top 10 in goals scored, goals against, power play and penalty kill, in part because Kyle Turris and Nick Bonino have helped create impressive depth in Nashville’s lineup.Pekka Rinne is a Vezina candidate. Rinne has won six games in a row and he has eight victories in his last nine starts. His record currently stands at 35-9-4 on the year with a 2.33 goals-against average and .927 save percentage. For what it’s worth, the Predators lost their only matchup vs. the Lightning on Jan. 23 at home, 4-3 in overtime. But Rinne didn’t play. The teams play once more on April 1 in Tampa.

Expansion History?

The Vegas Golden Knights already are having the best season of any expansion team ever in any sport. They are +600 to win the Cup in their inaugural season, which would be almost like Leicester City winning the Premier League a few years ago.“So far, it’s been a perfect season. It really has,’’ Knights coach Gerard Gallant said recently. This is the first major pro sports franchise to ever land in Las Vegas, and they sell out every night.The Florida Panthers used to be the model for a successful NHL expansion team. Florida was more than merely competitive in 1993-94 — it finished one win shy of a .500 record and scored exactly as many goals as it allowed. Vegas could win the Presidents’ Trophy for the most regular-season point. Yes, the expansion 1967-68 St. Louis Blues made the Cup final in their first season. But that was solely because the NHL dropped all six of its new teams into the same division, the winner of which had to make the final.The Knights opened at 200-1 last June to win the Cup and were as high as 500-1 right before the 2017-18 season.The Boston Bruins are also +600. The team got some bad news this week, though, as defenseman Charlie McAvoy has a sprained left MCL and he will be re-evaluated in four weeks. McAvoy was injured in the first period against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.  McAvoy’s conditioning is a concern going down the stretch run, but he will be pushed to maintain his edge by fellow teammate Patrice Bergeron, who is also recovering from an injury. If Bergeron’s foot heals perfectly and is only out 2-3 weeks, he’ll be ready for the playoffs and he will be rested for an extra few weeks and be a be fresh come playoff time.

Expert Stanley Cup Betting Prediction

Tampa Bay beats Nashville in the Cup Finals