NHL Playoffs 2021: Latest Fantasy Tips and Stanley Cup Odds

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IMay 23, 2021

NHL Playoffs 2021: Latest Fantasy Tips and Stanley Cup Odds

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    Larry MacDougal/Associated Press

    There hasn't yet been a team advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, but four teams are one win away, including two that are set to play Sunday.

    The Colorado Avalanche and Boston Bruins will look to become the first teams to advance with victories Sunday. But even if they lose, they will still have commanding leads in their respective series and will have time to bounce back.

    Because no series is over, there's still plenty of first-round action on the horizon. Four games are taking place Sunday, followed by five more Monday. And if the teams that are trailing can stave off elimination, there's the potential for it to be an exciting week of hockey.

    Here's a look at the latest Stanley Cup odds for all 16 playoff teams, followed by some daily fantasy tips for Sunday's action, with prices via DraftKings.

Latest Stanley Cup Odds

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    Scott Kane/Associated Press

    Colorado Avalanche: +265 (bet $100 to win $265)

    Vegas Golden Knights: +525

    Boston Bruins: +600

    Tampa Bay Lightning: +650

    Toronto Maple Leafs: +700

    Carolina Hurricanes: +800

    Pittsburgh Penguins: +1600

    New York Islanders: +2000

    Winnipeg Jets: +2300

    Montreal Canadiens: +4000

    Edmonton Oilers: +5500

    Florida Panthers: +7000

    Nashville Predators: +7500

    Washington Capitals: +9000

    Minnesota Wild: +10000

    St. Louis Blues: +25000


    Via DraftKings Sportsbook.

Stack Colorado's Top Offensive Line for Game 4

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    The Avalanche have jumped out to a 3-0 lead against the St. Louis Blues on the strength of their offense. Colorado has scored 15 goals in the series, tallying at least four in each of its victories. And the Avs can move on to the second round with a win Sunday.

    St. Louis faces a large deficit, and if Colorado can get its offense going early, it could lead to a game much like the first three. In that case, it would be wise to stack the Avalanche's top line—Nathan MacKinnon ($8,800), Mikko Rantanen ($7,900) and Gabriel Landeskog ($6,400)—even though it will come at a high cost.

    That line has accounted for a bunch of Colorado's offense in the first three games. MacKinnon (five goals and two assists), Landeskog (one goal and five assists) and Rantanen (five assists) are the Avalanche's top three points-leaders in the series, and they could be poised for one final big showing against the Blues in Game 4.

    If Colorado's top line is in your DFS lineup and each of them helps lead a big offensive charge, then it should bode well for fantasy managers. So don't miss out on what could be a lot of points from this Avalanche line, as it will likely drive the team to secure a series sweep in impressive fashion.

Go with Either Goaltender from Edmonton-Winnipeg Game 3

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    Peter Power/Associated Press

    In Game 2 of the first-round series between the Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets, there wasn't a goal scored until Winnipeg's Paul Stastny put one in the net four minutes, six seconds into overtime. Up to that point, it was a defensive game fueled by a pair of strong goaltenders.

    Although Edmonton goalie Mike Smith gave up the game-winning goal, he recorded 35 saves before that. Meanwhile, Winnipeg goaltender Connor Hellebuyck continued his stellar series, allowing only one goal and making 70 saves as the Jets jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a pair of road wins.

    There's a strong chance that Sunday's Game 3 in Winnipeg will be another low-scoring matchup. That should make both Smith ($7,800) and Hellebuyck ($7,500) solid DFS options. So feel fairly confident about plugging in either at goaltender in a lineup.

    But if you are looking to decide between the two, go with Hellebuyck. He's heating up in the net, and now that the Jets are returning to their home ice, that's likely to continue. The 28-year-old may be the primary reason why Winnipeg upsets Edmonton. Even if the Jets lose, though, Hellebuyck should again rack up saves and hold the Oilers to minimal offense.

Bruins' Smith Could Be High-Value Play in Game 5

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    Winslow Townson/Associated Press

    There are some high-value players available at a lower cost for DFS managers, and one who should be considered for Sunday's action is Bruins forward Craig Smith ($4,000). The 31-year-old has one goal and two assists through the first three games of Boston's first-round series against Washington, and he's capable of a solid offensive showing on any night.

    Smith tallied a goal and an assist in the Bruins' Game 3 double-overtime victory. Although he didn't have a point in Game 4, he still had four shots on goal. So he's getting consistent scoring opportunities, which could continue in Sunday's Game 5.

    Boston is also closing in on a series victory. Since dropping Game 1 in overtime, the Bruins have bounced back with three straight wins, including the past two on their home ice. Although the series returns to Washington for Game 5, Boston is in control.

    That means the Bruins could generate plenty of offense Sunday, so Smith could get involved in a sizable way. And if he does, expect a few points from the veteran that could end up being a difference-maker for daily fantasy lineups.


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