2016 NHL Stanley Cup Finals Updated Odds and Predictions
The 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs just got very interesting. The stage for both conference finals series isn’t officially set until after a huge game seven showdown between the Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks, but we’re close. And it’s awesome.
This is actually great for anyone wanting to lay down some last second Stanley Cup Finals bets, too, as the Predators have a shot to take down the Sharks, yet have the worst standing odds to win it all (+1000), per Bovada.
— Bovada Official (@BovadaLV) May 12, 2016
Stanley Cup Favorite
The favorite is obvious. The Pittsburgh Penguins finished second to the Washington Capitals in the Metro Division, took them out in round two of the NHL playoffs and even took down the pesky New York Rangers in round one.
Sidney Crosby leads the way for a potent offense and a team that just doesn’t lose at home very often (26-11-4 on their home ice), while they also have a solid defense that can go toe to toe with anyone.
However, they still have a tough task ahead in the Tampa Bay Lightning, and considering they got swept (0-3) during the regular season in that matchup, the fun in betting on them as the favorite is even less appealing. The odds don’t offer much return for any of the favorites, either, as the Penguins, St. Louis Blues and Lightning only go as high as +425.
The best play going into Thursday night’s game seven showdown between the Predators and Sharks, needless to say, will be the Predators.
Predators seek first conference finals berth, Sharks seek to maintain this series’ home-ice trend. Game 7 preview https://t.co/hoOv6AEd2s
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 12, 2016
Not only has Nashville worked their way into a huge game seven for tonight, but they carry the best playable odds at Bovada (+1000), which naturally gives you the most upside on your bet.
That certainly doesn’t make them the safest bet or the most likely Stanley Cup champion, but their road to this point suggests they could be worth a shot.
They’re a wild card team in every sense of the word, as they didn’t have an amazing offense or defense when you compare them to the rest of the league, but they’ve been feisty and pretty impressive, overall. They also took down the Anaheim Ducks in round one and once again proved their grit by forcing a game seven this past Monday.
They’re still underdogs going into Thursday night’s game 7 showdown, which is a huge reason why they carry the worst odds of the five remaining NHL squads. If you’re a believer in the Predators, you could place two big bets tonight, one for Nashville to upset the Sharks, and the second to run the table and take down the 2016 Stanley Cup Finals.
It sounds crazy for a team that’s only existed in professional hockey since 1998 and has never won a Stanley Cup Finals, but sometimes the magic of a wild card team is all it takes to bring a unit together and motivate them to great heights.
Who Wins It?
You can make a strong case for any of these teams. If San Jose breaks through, they’re just as interesting of a sleeper as the Predators.
Nashville is really only in play when you look at the NHL betting landscape for Thursday specifically, as they offer the best return on your investment and so far have been relatively shocking through the first two rounds. If they knock off the Sharks, they’d be two series wins away from the impossible and you probably don’t want to miss out on that payoff for a lousy $20.
If you want a reliable winner, of course, you’re going with the three best options in the Penguins, Lightning or Blues.
St. Louis was one of our favorite NHL sleepers earlier in the playoffs and are still a good team to roll with. However, the Penguins and Lightning are going to end up being the more battle tested teams and whichever one that gets to the 2016 Stanley Cup Finals probably will seal the deal.
Tampa Bay (made it to the Stanley Cup Finals last year) is quite dangerous and could easily win a tough series we see going to seven games, but there’s something magical about Pittsburgh.
We’ll take the safety with the Penguins, but we’ll also consider a toss-in bet on the Predators.
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