Listing Odds To Win Stanley Cup: Which NHL Team Deserves Our Pick?

Doug Upstone

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 2:00 PM UTC

Tuesday, May. 17, 2016 2:00 PM UTC

When writing about Stanley Cup Playoff Futures odds, you have to keep in mind this is a fluid situation, because after every game played the numbers will change in often dramatic fashion.

Because of sportsbooks variances based on a variety of factors, we reviewed Cup Futures before the start of any of the Conference Finals games and we were able to arrive at mean average for NHL odds and here is what it looked like: 
Pittsburgh +140
St. Louis +210
San Jose +320
Tampa Bay +490

With a few games having been played, we start to find differentials you would not normally anticipate. For example, as of May 17, some books have the Blues the favorite to win the Stanley Cup by virtue of Penguins splitting two home games with the Lightning and St. Louis having won their lone contest.

Here are the latest numbers from Bookmaker:
St. Louis +171
Pittsburgh +172
Tampa Bay +469
San Jose +525

Clearly, the Blues and Penguins are the favorites, believed to have more complete teams and having home ice advantage for the Conference Finals.

What teams should you be looking at and why for NHL picks, here are reasons for all four clubs so you can decide.


Why St. Louis Wins
Of the four remaining teams, the Blues are the one 'power' squad in the mix. St. Louis likes to play physical, bump you whenever possible to take you off stride or just delivering body blows that add up in a series. St. Louis has been a solid defensive club for a few years, but have a little more speed in the backend and have excellent depth in at least three lines on offense, which has made them a much harder team to defend. Telling mark of their skill and toughness 5-2 playoff record on the road.


Why Pittsburgh Wins
After dispatching of Washington, Pittsburgh appeared to have their ticket punched for the Cup Finals. However, in splitting two games with Tampa Bay, the Pens have looked slower than anticipated. Best guess as to why is a combination of hangover from Capitals series and Tampa Bay is better than most thought. Pittsburgh has more answers to posed questions of the four remaining squads. If Sidney Crosby and Evgani Malkin start producing at the same time, this tournament is over and lost because of all the talk on offense, the Penguins were 6th in the regular season in goals allowed.


Why Tampa Bay Wins
After being in the Cup Finals a year ago, the Lightning became a forgotten team after the "hangover effect" of losing in the finals. Once Tampa Bay got itself together, they lost top players Steven Stamkos and Tyler Johnson to injury, to close the regular season. (Johnson came back earlier than expected in the playoffs and has been a factor) In other words, Tampa Bay has been written off more times than Ted Danson's television acting career, yet here they are. Even if Ben Bishop misses another game or two in goal, the Lightning have the attributes of what have won many Cups in the past, a hot goaltender and a collection of shooters who can find the back of the net on any shot attempt.


Why San Jose Wins
While some might be stunned to see San Jose here, do not count us among them. You don't win 31 road games in the regular season by mistake. The Sharks still have remarkable scoring talent among its top two lines and this is by far the fastest skating crew San Jose has ever sent to the West Finals and possibly beyond. While there has been some rumbling the Sharks have lost their edge with four consecutive road losses, three were by one goal and theoretically, all they need is one away victory in last two series if they hold serve at the Shark Tank to become champions.


Live Stanley Cup Odds[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":2861296, "sportsbooksIds":[93,1096,1602,169,180,139], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

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