The Stanley Cup Finals are ready to begin and Stanley Cup odds have been set as the Colorado Avalanche prepare to host the Tampa Bay Lightning for Game 1 of this year’s championship round in the NHL Playoffs. The Avalanche have coasted through the playoffs while maintaining their status as Stanley Cup favorites throughout, beginning with a first round sweep against the Nashville Predators. They followed that up by winning in six games against the St. Louis Blues before eventually recording another sweep in the Western Conference Finals against the Edmonton Oilers.
The Lightning began their playoff run with a back-and-forth seven-game series against the Toronto Maple Leafs, one in which they were actually underdogs despite how much success they’ve had in the playoffs in recent years. They were underdogs against the Florida Panthers in Round 2 but won that series as well, taking care of business in just four games. The Lightning then went on to drop the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals to the New York Rangers, but bounced back with four straight wins to earn yet another trip to the Stanley Cup. They’re underdogs again for the third time in four rounds, as the Avalanche are the favorites with odds set at -175.
The other notable market for the Stanley Cup is the Conn Smythe Trophy, which is given to the most valuable player of each year’s NHL Playoffs. The top two favorites are both Avalanche players with Cale Makar at +180 and Nathan MacKinnon at +210, while Nikita Kucherov and Andrei Vasilevky are next with the same odds at +400 for the Lightning. Makar appears to be a deserving favorite at the top as he leads the Avalanche in points so far with 22, an especially impressive accomplishment considering he does his scoring from the blue line. Makar is arguably the NHL’s best defenseman and this is certainly a series that has plenty of star power to go around.
The 2021-2022 NHL Playoffs begin Monday May 2.
The Tampa Bay Lightning won the 2020-2021 Stanley Cup.
Eight teams from each conference are in the 2021-2022 NHL Playoffs for a total of 16 teams.
At the start of the playoffs the Colorado Avalanche are favored to win the Stanley Cup at +330, followed by the Florida Panthers at +550.
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