The Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning are still favorites to win the 2020 Stanley Cup at 6/1 odds each after a recent update by Fan Duel, which reflected the recent announcement that the NHL will resume play with a 24-team playoff format.
If and when the NHL finally gives the go-ahead to resume action on the ice, the playoffs will commence with a play-in series for the #5 through #12 seeds in both conferences.
As expected, all games will be played without fans in attendance. In addition, the NHL will seek out a couple of hub cities to host the postseason. A couple of Canadian cities were included on the hub list, including Vancouver, Toronto, and Edmonton. Commissioner Gary Bettman also named six US cities that could host the playoffs, including Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, and Dallas.
NHL 2020 STANLEY CUP ODDS (As of 5.27.20)
Boston Bruins 6/1
Tampa Bay Lightning 6/1
Colorado Avalanche 15/2
Vegas Golden Knights 17/2
Washington Capitals 9/1
St. Louis Blues 10/1
Philadelphia Flyers 11/1
Dallas Stars 15/1
Pittsburgh Penguins 20/1
Edmonton Oilers 23/1
Toronto Maple Leafs 30/1
Calgary Flames 35/1
Vancouver Canucks 35/1
Minnesota Wild 40/1
The top four teams in each conference will participate in a round-robin tournament to determine playoff seeding. The top four teams in each conference will face winners of the play-in series.
The Eastern Conference top four teams include the Bruins, Lightning, Washington Caps, and Philadelphia Flyers. The top four teams in the Western Conference include the Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights, Dallas Stars, and the defending champion, St. Louis Blues.
Contenders: Bruins, Avs, Caps, Lightning
The Bruins are the only team with 100 points. They’ve been at the top of the futures board, or held a share of the top spot, for the majority of the season. The Bruins, currently at 6/1 odds, have been the team to beat since the first puck drop of the season.
The Lightning looked like they were going to run away with the 2019 Stanley Cup after posting a record-setting regular season. However, they were ambushed and smoked in the opening round of the playoffs. The Columbus Blue Jackets swept a stunned Lightning 4-0. The Lightning aren’t the best team in the league this year, but they’ve been in the front pack.
The young Colorado Avalanche have become a hip pick to win the Cup this year. They are currently 15/2 odds, but if they have to play in a hub city instead of Denver, the Avs lose their Mile High City advantage.
Never count out Alex Ovechkin, especially in the postseason. Ovi and the Caps are 9/1 odds to win the Cup.
Last year’s champs, the Blues, are 10/1 odds to repeat. It’s not easy to pull off that feat in the NHL, but if anyone can do it, Jon Hamm’s Blues can in this 24-team playoff format.
Value Bets: Oilers, Leafs, Penguins
A team from Canada hasn’t won the Stanley Cup since the Montreal Canadians hoisted the Cup in 1993.
The expanded playoff system means that a couple of extra Canadian teams have a shot at the Cup. But can any of them have a legit shot? The Toronto Maple Leafs have been offering up great value all season. The Leafs were 20/1 odds during the pandemic, but have seen their odds drop to 30/1 to win the Cup.
The Edmonton Oilers are 23/1 odds to win the Stanley Cup, adjusting from 20/1. If the Oilers get a chance to play their play-in games in Edmonton, it would be a huge boost. Sure, the games would be without fans, but the Oilers would get an emotional boost skating on their own rink.
The Oilers also have the top two scorers in the NHL. Leon Draisaitl has 43 goals and 110 points, while Connor McDavid has 34 goals and 97 points.
The Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks are both 35/1 odds. The Flames meet the Winnipeg Jets in the play-in series with two Canadian teams slugging it out to advance to the next round.
The Penguins were 13/1 odds to win the Cup, but dropped to 20/1. Sidney Crosby missed time with a nagging groin injury. He returned to action after a lengthy layoff, but hopefully the time off gave him extra time to heal.
Longshots: Hurricanes, Predators, Rangers
Both New York teams were on the playoff bubble in the Eastern Conference. The Islanders, led by Barry Trotz’s stifling defense, are 42/1 odds to win the Cup. He’s won it before with the Caps, but they had Ovi. If anyone can pull off some upset magic during this 24-team expanded playoffs, it’s certainly Trotz.
The New York Rangers were on the east bubble, but they were one of the hottest teams in the NHL before the shutdown. They went on a 16-6 tear to get themselves into possible wild-card contention. The Blueshirts end up with the #11 seed and find themselves at 48/1 odds to win their first Cup since 1994.
In his first season with the Rangers, Artemi Panarin leads the team in scoring. The Bread Man ranks fifth overall in the NHL with 95 points on 32 goals and 63 assists.
NHL 2020 STANLEY CUP ODDS (As of 5.27.29)
Carolina Hurricanes 42/1
Nashville Predators 42/1
New York Islanders 42/1
Arizona Coyotes 45/1
New York Rangers 48/1
Winnipeg Jets 55/1
Columbus Blue Jackets 65/1
Florida Panthers 65/1
Chicago Blackhawks 100/1
Montreal Canadiens 100/1
The Carolina Hurricanes and Nashville Predators, both at 42/1 odds, offer up long-shot odds. Both teams are favorites to win their respective play-in series. The Canes, with the #6 seed, host the NY Rangers. The Preds, also with the #6 seed, host the #11 Arizona Coyotes.