Stanley Cup Updated Betting Odds: Top Contenders & Best Of The Rest

Doug Upstone

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 7:42 PM GMT

As we move into the last third of the regular season where teams make playoff push or earn better seeding for home ice advantage, time to look at current NHL odds and determine levels of teams.

In reviewing these NHL odds, we will break it down into three quadrants, the teams most likely to reach the Stanley Cup finals, those on the door step and the rest with a chance with a hot goaltender and a couple of snipers who can find the back of the net. The odds listed are courtesy of A+ rated 5Dimes

Top Tier Teams
Compared to the NBA, where almost any given year no more than four teams can win the title, the NHL is more wide open. While it has not necessarily seemed that way with Chicago having won three Cups in the past six years. The Blackhawks and Dallas are the top choices out of the West at +700. You would have to give Chicago the edge on two fronts, one being experience and knowing what it takes to win and the other is Dallas a slightly below average defensive team which could be exposed in playoff series.

Los Angeles is the fourth pick at +800 and they have won Cups in 2012 and 2014 and were in the Western Conference finals against Chicago last season. The Kings have all the elements to make another run, but could stand to play better at the Staples Center than they have this season.

Washington is the overwhelming favorite at +298 and they have been dominate right from the start. We have seen this before out of the Capitals, having a great regular season only to flop in the postseason, but this is deeper Washington squad, less dependent on Alex Ovechkin and Braden Holtby is top goaltender.

For NHL picks, no real value is taking Washington, with Chicago and L.A. the best bets of this group.

 

Next Batch of Cup Contenders
St. Louis is an afterthought even in the Central Division, presently in third place, but is listed fifth at +1600 behind the behemoths. Defensively, the Blues have the right pieces to reach the finals, however, in the playoffs, their lack of offense has put a great deal of pressure on the stop troops and they have played tentative in recent years and not seeing where that changes.

The next Eastern Conference team finally shows up at +1700 in Florida. The Panthers used a 12-game winning streak to take over first place in the Atlantic, but they have been up and down since and seem to lack reliability in spite of good talent. Goalie Roberto Luongo is the wild card.

Also at +1700 is Anaheim which fairly remarkable, considering they were in last place in the Pacific when 2016 arrived. The Ducks are finally reaching skill level and if they can add another scorer or two, excellent potential as longer shot.

Detroit, San Jose and Tampa Bay are all at +1800 odds. The Lightning are the most obvious selection to move up, being a Cup Finalist last year. Though things have not been as smooth sailing this year, Tampa Bay has been putting it together and started grinding, and if goalie Ben Bishop dials in late, the Lightning could reach finals again.

The Red Wings have the franchise pedigree, but are not ready offensively and the Sharks are in a deep conference and have never been able to win three consecutive series, let alone to consider a fourth in June.

 

Real Long Shots
The New York Rangers (+2000) are best true long shot, having an elite goaltender in Henrik Lundqvist, and offense that can score steadily when completely healthy and winning players that were in Finals two years ago. Like any team of this ilk, the breaks would have to go their way and have soaring confidence.

Pittsburgh, Boston and the New York Islanders are all at +2500 and while they have intangibles to like about them, the flaws are as clear as the recent move release of "Hail Caesar", with a talented cast, truly lacking a real direction in key areas.

 

Comparison of Futures Odds available from Top Rated Sportsbooks:[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":2861296, "sportsbooksIds":[1096,93,999996,1602,169,19], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]