Rocky Mountain High or Sin City? The Vegas Golden Knights are the favorites to win the NHL Western Conference at 13/5 odds, according to a recent update by the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas. The Colorado Avalanche aren’t far behind, with 7/2 odds to win the west, while the defending champion St. Louis Blues are 9/2 odds to repeat as Stanley Cup champions.
Edmonton in Alberta, Canada will host the Western Conference playoffs as a hub city and the second NHL secure zone. The health-conscious NHL selected two cities in Canada to host the restart, purposely avoiding any American cities while the pandemic spikes across the US.
Before the NHL shut down on March 11, the Blues (42-29-10) skated to the best record in the west. The Blues topped the Central Division with 94 points, the second-highest total in the NHL behind the Boston Bruins.
The Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup twice since the team relocated to Denver, after the Quebec Nordiques were sold in 1995. The Avs haven’t hoisted the Cup since 2001.
2020 WESTERN CONFERENCE ODDS
Vegas Golden Knights 13/5
Colorado Avalanche 7/2
St Louis Blues 9/2
Dallas Stars 6/1
Edmonton Oilers 15/1
Nashville Predators 18/1
Winnipeg Jets 25/1
Calgary Flames 25/1
Vancouver Canucks 25/1
Arizona Coyotes 25/1
Minnesota Wild 30/1
Chicago Blackhawks 50/1
Twelve teams qualified for the NHL restart in the Western Conference. The top four teams in the west — the Vegas Golden Knights, Colorado Avalanche, St. Louis Blues, and Dallas Stars — will meet in a round-robin tournament to determine the #1 seed and other top seedings for the second round. The other eight teams will compete in a best-of-five play-in series.
Value: St. Louis or Edmonton?
The St. Louis Blues are seeking back-to-back Stanley Cups. They’re battle-tested and rested. Out of the top three teams in the Western Conference, the Blues offer value at 9/2 odds to repeat as champions.
The Pittsburgh Penguins (2016 and 2017 champions) are the only team to repeat as Stanley Cup champs since The Detroit Red Wings won back-to-back Cups in 1997 and 1998.
The Edmonton Oilers saw their odds jump to 15/1 when news broke that the city of Edmonton will host the Western Conference playoffs. The Oilers, with the #5 seed, are -150 play-in series favorites over the Chicago Blackhawks. The Oilers last won the Cup in 1990 when they capped off their 1980s dynasty with five NHL championships. Edmonton hockey fans would love to end their 30-year championship drought.
Long Shots: Canada Finally?
The Nashville Predators are 18/1 odds to win the West. The #6 Predators are -125 favorites to win their play-in series against the #11 Arizona Coyotes.
Four Canadian teams from the Western Conference qualified for the postseason: the Winnipeg Jets, Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, and the Edmonton Oilers. Will any of them become the first team from Canada to win the Cup since the Montreal Canadiens won in 1993?
The Oilers have a (perceived) hometown edge, so their odds are a tad higher than the Jets, Flames, and Canucks at 25/1 odds to win the west.
Two Canadian teams square off in the play-in series. The Calgary Flames hold the #8 seed and will battle the #9 Winnipeg Jets in a brutal best-of-five series. Both teams are -110 odds to advance to the next round.
The Vancouver Canucks secured the #7 seed. The Canucks are -140 favorites to defeat the #10 Minnesota Wild in their play-in series.
Check out the latest update on NHL Eastern Conference odds.