Stanley Cup odds update: Is it time to pounce on the Panthers?
Both the Florida Panthers and Calgary Flames have been playing well this month, but is either club a justifiable Stanley Cup bet at this point in time?
Odds to win the Stanley Cup
|Team||2020 Stanley Cup Odds|
Tampa Bay Lightning
St. Louis Blues
Current Odds: +2400
Odds on Jan. 1: +2700
The Panthers have won six games in a row and eight of 10 in January. They received a lengthy respite for their All-Star break, not playing from Jan. 21 until Saturday, when they’ll finally return to the ice against the Canadiens. Normally a vacation like that is a good thing, but it could hinder their momentum. Coach Joel Quenneville is doing his best to keep his club sharp.
“We want to make sure that we recapture the way we went into the break,” Quenneville said. “We were playing some of our best hockey and coming off a real good start to this road trip.”
Florida’s offense has been firing on all cylinders during the six-game win streak, with 30 goals. The Panthers lead in the NHL in goals per game (3.67) and have four forwards at or above the 40-point mark through 49 games (Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov, Evgenii Dadonov, and Mike Hoffman).
But the Panthers’ deficiencies at the other end of the ice have yet to be corrected. They’ve allowed 17 goals over their last six games and are 24th in goals allowed per game this season (3.27). They’ve also struggled against some of the Eastern Conference's elite this year, with a 2-5-1 record against the Bruins, Capitals, and Lightning.
Until goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (3.24 goals-against average, .898 save percentage) can fix himself, or Florida makes an unexpected, splashy trade for a defenseman at the deadline, bettors are best served saving their money on the Panthers.
Current Odds: +2500
Odds on Jan. 1: +2200
The Flames’ odds have increased over the last month, even though they've played well in January (7-2-1). Bettors may want to jump in at this number before it heads back down.
Calgary acquitted itself well against the better teams it faced this month. The Flames defeated the Oilers twice and took the Blues to a shootout. The team leader in points, Matthew Tkachuk (41), hasn’t even played that well in 2020 (five points). It has been Johnny Gaudreau who’s led the way on offense over the last month (nine points). Once Tkachuk puts his feud with Edmonton’s Zack Kassian aside, perhaps he will rediscover his scoring touch.
The Flames are within two points of the Canucks in the Pacific Division. They’re a good bet to make the postseason at this juncture, and anything is possible once the playoffs begin.