Connect with us


Stanley Cup Favorites – Behind the Odds

Will one of the favorites come away with the Stanley Cup again this season?

If nothing else, the Stanley Cup Playoffs are almost always unpredictable. As the Florida Panthers showed most recently, as long as you get into the dance, you can go the distance. Of course, they would eventually meet their end against Vegas in the Final, but who expected Florida to win three rounds last season? Despite the parity, though, the last four years are telling us that teams among the Stanley Cup favorites are still getting it done. Over these seasons, last year’s Vegas team had the longest odds to hoist Lord Stanley at the beginning of playoffs, but even then, only four teams had shorter odds. 

Here’s a graph showing teams with the eight shortest odds to win at the beginning of Round 1 in the corresponding year. (Odds via Bet MGM)

With this information, it’s logical to assume that there’s a pretty good chance one of the favorites will get it done again this year. Things could change, but as we stand right now, here are Bet MGM’s Stanley Cup Favorites and their odds to win.

So, should we believe the hype with these top teams, or are the bettors getting it wrong?

Carolina Hurricanes (+650)

This one’s tough. On one hand, the Canes are one of the hottest teams in the league right now and the work they did at the trade deadline cannot be overlooked. Jake Guentzel has fit like a glove on Carolina’s top line while Evgeny Kuznetsov is proving he still has gas in the tank. However, this team has been very good for quite some time now but hasn’t been back to the Cup Finals since 2006. They’ve got a lot of things going for them, but when push comes to shove, I’m still not sure if Carolina is fit for a Cup run. They deserve to be put amongst the upper echelon of contenders, but +650 seems a little too generous to me. 

Colorado Avalanche (+650)

Despite a disappointing first round exit last season, this Avs team certainly deserves to be considered one of the Stanley Cup favorites. Unfortunately, though, I think the team still has some of the same issues it did last year. They’re not as deep as they were in their winning season and their goaltending is still a little questionable. Sure, Nathan Mackinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Cale Makar is probably the best trio of players in the NHL, but if they go cold for even a game or two, I’m not sure where this team can pick up the slack. Also, if they can’t overtake Dallas from the top spot in the Central, Colorado’s road to the Cup only gets tougher. 

Florida Panthers (+700)

This Florida Panthers team might just be better than last year’s, but they’ll be coming into the postseason with much different expectations. A year ago, this team was the eighth seed, set to go against the historically good Boston Bruins with nothing to lose. Now, everyone knows exactly what to expect from the Panthers. With the way they played during that run, though, it’s impossible not to consider them one of the Stanley Cup favorites. Sergei Bobrovsky has been great this season, the defensive core is very similar, and their tough core of forwards is built for postseason hockey. The Panthers could definitely run it back.

Dallas Stars (+750)

We love this team. From top to bottom, it’s very difficult to find any holes in Dallas’ roster. Not only are they deep at every position with a mix of both savvy veterans and talented younger players, but they’re also getting very hot at the right time. At the time of writing this, the Stars have won eight straight games and are 13-2-0 in their last fifteen. The core of guys that have been there for a while have no Stanley Cup rings, but they do have experience with success in the playoffs. Last season, they went to the Western Conference Finals, and in 2020, the Stars made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals. With some new additions making big differences and younger players bursting onto the scene this year, the Dallas Stars are as legitimate a contender as any. 

Edmonton Oilers (+800)

With a hungry Connor McDavid on your roster, you simply cannot be counted out. This was already proven once early in the season after Edmonton’s dreadful start, but they’ll be looking to prove it again in the postseason. Like Carolina, the Oilers have been knocking on the door for the last few years but have never made it the distance. Getting eliminated at the hands of the eventual Champs two years in a row is frustrating, but it also shows how close this team really is. Despite the lack of postseason success compared to other teams, Edmonton does deserve to be taken seriously as one of the Stanley Cup favorites. However, nothing will be easy, as the team will most likely see the Vegas Golden Knights in the opening round. Stuart Skinner will need to be great from the get-go.

New York Rangers (+900)

With the sixth-shortest odds to win the Cup right now, New York may be getting a little disrespected by the oddsmakers at Bet MGM. They’re currently at the top of the league, 8-2-0 in their last ten, and the only team to reach 50 wins on the season. Last year’s early exit may be on the minds of many, but this season’s team does feel more ready for the road ahead. The roster remains largely the same, but Jonathan Quick has been a valuable asset all year in relief of Igor Shesterkin. Although this may not mean anything in the playoffs, the ability to go to a Stanley Cup-winning backup is a great card to have up the sleeve if Igor is off his game. Right now, the worst thing for New York would be drawing Tampa Bay in the first round. To avoid that, they’ve got to keep winning.

There’s only one thing we know for certain – we can’t wait for the NHL postseason to get under way. Create your own playoff pool or enter our playoff bracket contest when they open up at!

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Must See

More in Hockey