NHL Playoff Betting Preview: Eastern Conference Odds

OddsShark.comFeatured ColumnistApril 15, 2014

Boston Bruins' David Krejci, of the Czech Republic, passes during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the St. Louis Blues Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson

The heavily favored Boston Bruins start their march toward the Stanley Cup this week against an old foe.

The top-seeded Bruins, who enter the playoffs as 7-2 favorites to win their second Stanley Cup since 2011, face the wild-card Detroit Red Wings in the opening round. It’s the first playoff series between the two Original Six clubs since 1957.

The Bruins have played dominating hockey since the Olympic break, including a 14-1 run during March that secured the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division titles. The Wings are a 20-1 long shot to win the Cup but have enjoyed success against Boston this season, recording three wins in four regular-season games.

Oddsmakers like the Bruins to face the St. Louis Blues in the Cup final, as that matchup was the shortest odds posted this week by Bovada. The last time Boston and St. Louis played a Cup final, Bobby Orr was scoring his iconic winning goal in overtime of Game 4.

With the puck to drop Wednesday, sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com have game odds, series betting odds and Stanley Cup future lines for fans to consider.

Series odds: Boston -305 | Game 1 odds: Boston -200


The other Atlantic Division matchup has the No. 2 Tampa Bay Lightning taking on the No. 3 Montreal Canadiens. Habs goaltender Carey Price’s gold-medal success at the Olympics carried over into the NHL season as he posted an 8-3 record down the stretch, allowing just 25 goals against while maintaining a stellar .927 save percentage.

The Bolts won their last four games to secure home-ice advantage against Montreal and are 3-1 against the Habs this season.

Despite both teams’ late-season performances, neither have captured the imagination of oddsmakers who peg Montreal at 20-1 and the Lightning at 25-1 in Stanley Cup futures wagering.

Series odds: Montreal -120 | Game 1 odds: Tampa Bay -120


In the Metropolitan Division, the No. 1 Pittsburgh Penguins face the wild-card Columbus Blue Jackets. The Pens, at 7-1 odds, join the Bruins as the only Eastern teams listed among the Stanley Cup favorites.

The Jackets went 5-2 down the stretch to secure the top wild card but failed to gain a point in five regular-season games against the Pens and are distant 50-1 long shots in Cup futures betting.

Series odds: Pittsburgh -280 | Game 1 odds: Pittsburgh -175


The No. 2 New York Rangers enjoy home-ice advantage in their first-round series against the No. 3 Philadelphia Flyers. The Rangers compiled the best road record in the East this season but failed to record a win in Philly, as each team recorded a pair of home-ice victories in four regular-season meetings.

Overall, the Flyers have lost eight straight at Madison Square Garden and may be without starting goalie Steve Mason.

Oddsmakers remain lukewarm on the Stanley Cup chances of the Flyers and Rangers, listing both clubs at 20-1 to raise Lord Stanley’s mug in June.

Series odds: Rangers -145 | Game 1 odds: Rangers -145