Updated Odds To Win 2018 Stanley Cup Finals And Early Predictions
After becoming the first team to win back-to-back NHL Stanley Cup titles in almost two decades, Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins are the prohibitive NHL betting favorites to become the first team to pull off the rare three-peat when the 2018 NHL season gets underway starting next October.
If you want to know whether Crosby and the Penguins can become the first team to win three straight Stanley Cups since the New York Islanders won four in a row from 1980-83 or whether another contender or longshot upstart can potentially upset the formidable reigning two-time champs, you’re going to get the expert insight you’ll need right now!
Updated Odds To Win 2018 Stanley Cup Finals And NHL Betting Picks
Pittsburgh Penguins +800
Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins had a solid regular season, but kicked it into another gear for the second postseason in a row to beat out all challengers to win both, the Eastern Conference and NHL Stanley Cup.
While you can expect some roster turnover in Pittsburgh this offseason, the fact of the matter is that the Penguins will be hard to beat again next season as long as Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel all stay healthy.
Make no mistake about it, Pittsburgh could live up their billing as the prohibitive NHL betting favorites next season and will definitely find their way into the Eastern Conference finals at the very least.
Washington Capitals +1000
There’s rumblings that Washington could trade superstar Alex Ovechkin, but I’m against the move unless the Caps get back someone really special. No matter what happens though, I just can’t see the Caps and their boatload of talent dropping too far in the Eastern Conference.
If Washington can either avoid Pittsburgh or beat them in the postseason, they could win it all next season – although I’ll admit that the Caps were my NHL betting pick to do just that this season before underachieving (again) in the playoffs.
Tampa Bay Lightning +1000
The Lightning have a legitimate superstar in young right-winger Nikita Kucherov and another blossoming one in goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy and look like a team on the rise despite coming up just short of reaching the postseason by finishing 10th in the Eastern Conference.
The Lightning have some work to do this offseason to address an offense that ranked 14th in scoring and a defense that finished 16th in goals allowed, but as far as youth and potential are concerned, Tampa Bay looks quite dangerous, which is why they’re a +1000 pick to win it all next season.
Edmonton Oilers +1000
The young Edmonton Oilers had a breakout campaign in winning 47 games and have the best scorer in the game today in Connor McDavid, giving them the look of a team ready to challenge for Stanley Cup titles for the foreseeable future at the very least.
Edmonton ranked a phenomenal eighth in scoring (3.0 gpg) and identical eighth in defense (2.5 gpg) and could very well represent the Western Conference in the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals. I’m picking the Oilers to reach the Western Conference Finals next season.
Chicago Blackhawks +1000
The Blackhawks were looking good heading into the postseason after winning 50 games during the regular season, but then they ran into a Nashville team that completely overwhelmed them in their four-game sweep.
While Chicago has some elite scorers in Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, they apparently need more, seeing as how they never scored more than two goals against the Predators and got shut out twice in four games. Still, I’m thinking a spot in the Western Conference semis next season looks doable at the very least.
Nashville Predators +1400
The Predators may have succumbed to Pittsburgh in the Stanley Cup Finals, but they also look like they’re going to be right back in the hunt next season as one of the top contenders in the Western Conference, even if their 11th-ranked offense (2.9 gpg) and 15th-ranked defense look pedestrian at best statistically.
The Predators won a modest 41 games in the regular season but swept experienced Chicago in the opening round and have a superstar in goalie Pekka Rinne, although they do need to add a couple of scorers to an offense that can best be described as pedestrian this season.