Stanley Cup Playoff Preview - Hockey Betting

Stanley Cup Playoff Preview

Unlike other sports the NHL standings are tightly packed and as a result the odds of an underdog hoisting Lord Stanley’s chalice at the completion of the grueling playoffs are high. They didn’t win the Cup last year but the Florida Panthers used their run to the Stanley Cup Final as a stepping stone this year. Qualifying for the playoffs on the final day of the season the Panthers were huge underdogs against the record-setting Boston Bruins in the opening round. Florida also had the longest odds to win the Eastern Conference and the Cup. They knocked off the Bruins and eventually reached the championship series before bowing to the Vegas Golden Knights.

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The New York Rangers won the President’s Trophy this season finishing with 114 points. They look to reverse the curse since the last team to finish with the most points to win the Stanley Cup was Chicago over a decade ago. History is on New York’s side, though, since they captured both in the 1993-94 campaign. What makes the Stanley Cup Playoffs so intense is the slim margin between the teams. Five teams in each conference posted more than 100 points and the second wild card in each conference surpassed 90 points. The Rangers are a trendy pick given their popularity and location, but the team with the highest point total hasn’t advanced past the second round since 2015.

NHL futures odds tell us just how competitive the postseason is expected to be. Edmonton is the current favorite with Carolina and Florida not far behind on the futures board. Six teams boast shorter than 8/1 odds with six other clubs with odds between 10/1 and 20/1. Nashville and Los Angeles are around 30/1 while the Islanders and Washington have the longest odds at around 60/1.

The 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs begin on Saturday, April 17. Betting options for every game and series as well as futures and props are available at

NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Preview

The Boston Bruins have been looking forward to this chance for 12 months. Unceremoniously eliminated by Florida in a major first round upset last year, the Bruins should be motivated for a better result and have depth up and down the roster to get the job done. The goaltending duo of Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark produced a .915 save percentage and allowed the sixth-fewest goals. David Pastrnak scored 47 goals and 110 points leading an offense that finished in the middle of the pack. The Bruins will have to win on defense and they have the horses.

They topped the NHL with 114 points and opened with the fifth-best Stanley Cup odds, but the Rangers have pieces in place for a run at the Cup. They finished seventh in both goals and goals against with five players scoring at least 25 goals. Artemi Panarin made a case for the Hart Trophy scoring 49 goals and 120 points, and the Rangers were money on special teams with the third best power play and penalty killing units.

Instead of being the hunter the Panthers are the hunted this postseason winning the Atlantic Division with 110 points. They have many of the same players back from last season’s run to the Cup final and boasted the best goal differential in the NHL at plus-68. Sergei Bobrovsky was solid in net and Sam Reinhart had a breakout season with 52 goals.

This could be the season for the Carolina Hurricanes, who reached the playoffs in a sixth straight season with two conference final losses in the previous five. The addition of Jake Guentzel bolstered a solid forward group and the Canes were great on special teams with the best penalty kill and second-best power play.

The Western Conference boasts plenty of talented teams with each capable of making a run to the Cup. Behind Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl the Edmonton Oilers can score, they can also play a grinder game allowing the fifth fewest goals since an early season coaching change. They’ll have to get past the Los Angeles Kings in the first round with the teams meeting for a third straight season. LA also made an in-season coaching change becoming one of the more stingy defensive clubs under Jim Hiller. And they have a deep forward group with key players coming back from injury. I like the Kings if they can get past the Oilers.

Don’t count out Vegas, which made a huge splash at the deadline. If players like Noah Hanifin and Tomas Hertl make a seamless transition, the Golden Knights are back in the mix. I do like the top teams from the Central Division in the Dallas Starts and Winnipeg Jets. Depth plays a role in the playoffs and the Stars have it. Eight players scored at least 20 goals and Jake Oettinger is solid, though at times inconsistent, in net.

Stanley Cup Final Prediction: Dallas over Carolina

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