NHL Playoffs 2012: Best Bets to Win the 2012 Stanley Cup

Kevin HolzContributor IMay 7, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 05: Mike Green #52 of the Washington Capitals celebrates with Alex Ovechkin #8 and Dennis Wideman #6 after scoring the game winning goal in the third period against the New York Rangers in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Verizon Center on May 5, 2012 in Washington, DC. Washington won the game 3-2. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

After two rounds, the Los Angeles Kings are now 2/1 favorites to win the Western Conference.  Yes, the eighth seed in the Western Conference is your Vegas favorite to be the Western representative.

But if you are looking to bet for value then the eighth seed at 2/1 odds is not exactly what you should be looking for.  There are a couple of teams with odds that provide good value that might be worth looking at.

Odds from Bovada:

Phoenix Coyotes: 9/2 Odds

The Coyotes are up 3-1 in their series with the Predators and are flying way under the radar right now. They have no public profile and no owner.  Net minder Mike Smith, 93.7 save percentage, is outplaying counterpart Pekka Rinne, 91.6 save percentage, and the Coyotes seem to be wearing the Predators down.  

The Coyotes have no discernible superstars but are getting contributions everywhere.  Ray Whitney, at 39 years old, scored the overtime game winner in Game 1.  Antoine Vermette and Radim Vrbata, both with three points in the series, continue to contribute when needed.  

If they do get past the Predators, they will face the red-hot Kings with home ice advantage.  Bettors might be a little reticent to put money on the Coyotes, but they are playing better than their 9/2 odds indicate.    

Washington Capitals: 15/2 Odds

A total value move.  The Capitals bounced back nicely from their triple-OT loss in Game 3, and if they can win Monday night at Madison Square Garden, they will be squarely in the driver's seat in their series against the shaky Rangers.

Alex Ovechkin is playing decently but not up to his level, notably having no goals, no points and only five shots on goal in 35 minutes of play in the triple-OT loss.  Ovechkin has two goals in the series but no assists, and he may very well be due for a breakout game where he single-handily carries the Caps to a playoff win.  We know he has the talent to do so.  

If the Caps take Game 5 and close out the series at home, then their current 15/2 odds look mighty appealing.  


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