NHL Playoffs Hockey

The 10 teams with the shortest odds to win the Stanley Cup at the beginning of the 2018-19 season all made the playoffs, but from there, it’s been unpredictable. With the Stanley Cup Final now set, the Boston Bruins (+1100 at season’s start) are left to face the St. Louis Blues (+2000) in a series beginning May 27.

Here’s a quick look at how the top 10 odds leaders performed.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Odds: +650, points projection: 106.5: Toronto was expected to have a good season with the arrival of John Tavares. The team finished third in the Atlantic Division with 100 points, but it suffered a 4-3 series loss to the Bruins in the first round of the playoffs. Great if you took them to go under the points spread.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Odds: +800, points projection: 107.5: Tampa Bay scored a spectacular 128 points in the regular season only to fall spectacularly in the first round with a 4-0 series loss to the surging Columbus Blue Jackets. Still, a good betting season if you followed them throughout.

Winnipeg Jets

Odds: +850, points projection: 106.5: Not only did the Jets not match last season’s 114 points, but they were well below their 2018-19 projection, accumulating 99. They were downed 4-2 by the Blues in the first round of the playoffs. Only those who took unders on the points were happy.

Boston Bruins

Odds: +1100, points projection: 102.5: No complaints here about the Stanley Cup odds given that the Bruins are in the Final. Their points tally of 107 also went well over the projection, so they exceeded expectations.

Nashville Predators

Odds: +1100, points projection: 105.5: Unexpectedly, the Predators won the Central Division over the Jets. Still, they fell short of their win projection at 100 points and lost to the wild-card Dallas Stars in the first round of the postseason.

Vegas Golden Knights

Odds: +1100, points projection: 96.5: The Stanley Cup odds were arguably too short for last year’s Stanley Cup runners-up given they were predicted to earn far fewer than last season’s 109 points. The Knights’ eventual total of 93 was another victory for those taking the under on the projection. The Knights lost in seven to the Sharks in the first round.

Washington Capitals

Odds: +1100, points projection: 98.5: The defending Stanley Cup champions finished 6.5 points over their projected total and won their division. Despite the first-round playoff loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, those who remained confident in the Capitals to score regular-season points were rewarded.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Odds:+1200, points projection: 103.5: The Penguins lost the same number of games as their division rivals, the Capitals, but 12 overtime losses knocked them down to 100 points, just short of the projection. They were defeated 4-0 in the first round of the playoffs by the Islanders. A good year for punters who expected overtime losses to keep Pittsburgh short of the projection.

San Jose Sharks

Odds: +1200, points projection: 97.5: The Sharks finished comfortably above their points projection with 101 and made the conference finals, where they lost 4-2 to the Blues. An underrated team who was good value for betting the over.

St Louis Blues

Odds: +2000, points projection: 95.5: Early in the season, it looked nearly hopeless the Blues would reach their points projection of 96.5, as St. Louis found itself in last place in the NHL on January 2. Not only did the Blues top the projection, earning 99 points, but they ended up earning a trip to the Stanley Cup Final. Those who bet them at +2000 are happy; though, not as much as those who bet on them at +25000 on January 2.


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