Picking a Stanley Cup winner can be tough, so why not make that job even harder by predicting which teams will meet in the finals? One sportsbook has made that possible for bettors so if you’re confident you know who’s going to the ’ship in the NHL this year, you might as well give it a shot.
That online shop 5Dimes has pegged a matchup between the Blackhawks and Capitals as its favorite at +979 so if you like the chalk to come out of both conferences, that’s pretty decent value. However, if you’re like me and some of the lines on this list have you salivating, listen up. Here are my favorite unlikely Stanley Cup matchups.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs St. Louis Blues +6800
The Penguins are a team not getting a lot of respect in futures odds right now and if they fail to get healthy, I tend to agree with oddsmakers. However, Kris Letang is on the verge of a return and if he, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Matt Murray can all stay upright throughout the playoffs, they’re the only players the Pens really need for another run at the hardware.
They won’t be coming into the playoffs as hot as they did last year but that’s a good thing for bettors. Their value is inflated right now and you’d be wise to consider them to return to the Cup finals for the fourth time since 2008.
One team that’s getting even less respect than the Penguins is the Blues. They’ve won seven of their last 10 games and it’s looking like they’ll probably play the Wild in the first round of the playoffs. Minnesota is a terrible hockey team right now and I love the Blues’ chances of taking out the Blackhawks if they meet in the second round.
Coincidentally, the Blues are also one of my favorite Stanley Cup futures bets. Jake Allen has transformed into a reliable No. 1 netminder and if he can stay hot in the postseason, St. Louis has a chance.
Montreal Canadiens vs Edmonton Oilers +8200
How about an all-Canadian matchup in the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since the Flames met the Canadiens in the 1989 finals? I know it’s not incredibly likely, but a real case can be made for both of these teams.
Case for the Oilers: Edmonton is hotter than any other team in the league and as we saw from the Penguins’ 8-2 straight-up record heading into last year’s playoffs, going into the postseason on a heater is a good thing. Although they have less depth than most of the teams in the West, they possess a game-breaking player in Connor McDavid and they’ll compete in any game he dons the navy and orange.
Case for the Canadiens: Carey Price. No other player in the NHL controls the destiny of his team like the Habs’ No. 1 netminder does. When he’s on, the Canadiens win and when he’s not – which is rare – they lose. He’s been getting better and better as the season has progressed and I foresee a run similar to the one that led the Habs to the Eastern Conference finals in 2014-15.
If Price hadn’t gotten injured against the Lightning in that series, it’s more than possible that Montreal would’ve gone on to face the Blackhawks for the right to hoist the Stanley Cup instead of the Lightning.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs Anaheim Ducks +31000
Speaking of the Bolts, why couldn’t they make a run? I know they haven’t qualified yet and that they sit four points back with just four games left but if they get in, they’ll be a dangerous team with Steven Stamkos returning to the lineup.
The Lightning possess all the weapons that you’d expect of a contender and considering they were one of the favorites at the start of the year, I like the value here.
Anaheim is lined up to face Calgary in the first round of the playoffs and that seems like a free pass into the second round. The Flames haven’t won a game in Anaheim in over 10 years, a span that’s seen them lose 26 straight games against the Ducks in California.
As one of the best teams in the West, with one of the best goaltending tandems in the league, there’s no reason the Ducks shouldn’t get to the final.
Stanley Cup Finals Matchups
Odds as of April 4 at 5Dimes
- Washington Capitals vs Chicago Blackhawks +979
- Pittsburgh Penguins vs Chicago Blackhawks +1255
- Washington Capitals vs Minnesota Wild +1520
- Columbus Blue Jackets vs Chicago Blackhawks +1625
- Pittsburgh Penguins vs Minnesota Wild +1935
- Montreal Canadiens vs Chicago Blackhawks +2420
- Columbus Blue Jackets vs Minnesota Wild +2490
- Washington Capitals vs San Jose Sharks +2650
- New York Rangers vs Chicago Blackhawks +2800
- Washington Capitals vs Anaheim Ducks +2825
- Pittsburgh Penguins vs San Jose Sharks +3350
- Washington Capitals vs Edmonton Oilers +3450
- Pittsburgh Penguins vs Anaheim Ducks +3575
- Montreal Canadiens vs Minnesota Wild +3675
- Ottawa Senators vs Chicago Blackhawks +4000
- New York Rangers vs Minnesota Wild +4275
- Columbus Blue Jackets vs San Jose Sharks +4275
- Pittsburgh Penguins vs Edmonton Oilers +4350
- Washington Capitals vs Calgary Flames +4525
- Columbus Blue Jackets vs Anaheim Ducks +4575
- Boston Bruins vs Chicago Blackhawks +4725
- Toronto Maple Leafs vs Chicago Blackhawks +4725
- Washington Capitals vs St. Louis Blues +5400
- Washington Capitals vs Nashville Predators +5400
- Columbus Blue Jackets vs Edmonton Oilers +5550
- Pittsburgh Penguins vs Calgary Flames +5700
- Ottawa Senators vs Minnesota Wild +6050
- Montreal Canadiens vs San Jose Sharks +6300
- Montreal Canadiens vs Anaheim Ducks +6750
- Pittsburgh Penguins vs Nashville Predators +6800
- Pittsburgh Penguins vs St. Louis Blues +6800
- Toronto Maple Leafs vs Minnesota Wild +7150
- Boston Bruins vs Minnesota Wild +7150
- Columbus Blue Jackets vs Calgary Flames +7300
- New York Rangers vs San Jose Sharks +7300
- New York Rangers vs Anaheim Ducks +7800
- Montreal Canadiens vs Edmonton Oilers +8200
- Columbus Blue Jackets vs St. Louis Blues +8700
- Columbus Blue Jackets vs Nashville Predators +8700
- New York Rangers vs Edmonton Oilers +9500
- Ottawa Senators vs San Jose Sharks +10400
- Montreal Canadiens vs Calgary Flames +10700
- Ottawa Senators vs Anaheim Ducks +11100
- Tampa Bay Lightning vs Chicago Blackhawks +11300
- Toronto Maple Leafs vs San Jose Sharks +12200
- Boston Bruins vs San Jose Sharks +12200
- New York Rangers vs Calgary Flames +12400
- Montreal Canadiens vs St. Louis Blues +12800
- Montreal Canadiens vs Nashville Predators +12800
- Boston Bruins vs Anaheim Ducks +13100
- Toronto Maple Leafs vs Anaheim Ducks +13100
- Ottawa Senators vs Edmonton Oilers +13500
- New York Rangers vs Nashville Predators +14800
- New York Rangers vs St. Louis Blues +14800
- Boston Bruins vs Edmonton Oilers +15900
- Toronto Maple Leafs vs Edmonton Oilers +15900
- Tampa Bay Lightning vs Minnesota Wild +17000
- Ottawa Senators vs Calgary Flames +17600
- Boston Bruins vs Calgary Flames +20500
- Toronto Maple Leafs vs Calgary Flames +20500
- Ottawa Senators vs St. Louis Blues +21000
- Ottawa Senators vs Nashville Predators +21000
- Toronto Maple Leafs vs Nashville Predators +24500
- Toronto Maple Leafs vs St. Louis Blues +24500
- Boston Bruins vs Nashville Predators +24500
- Boston Bruins vs St. Louis Blues +24500
- Carolina Hurricanes vs Chicago Blackhawks +26500
- New York Islanders vs Chicago Blackhawks +28500
- Tampa Bay Lightning vs San Jose Sharks +29000
- Tampa Bay Lightning vs Anaheim Ducks +31000
- Tampa Bay Lightning vs Edmonton Oilers +37500
- Carolina Hurricanes vs Minnesota Wild +40000
- New York Islanders vs Minnesota Wild +42500
- Tampa Bay Lightning vs Calgary Flames +49000
- Tampa Bay Lightning vs Nashville Predators +59000
- Tampa Bay Lightning vs St. Louis Blues +59000
- Carolina Hurricanes vs San Jose Sharks +69000
- New York Islanders vs San Jose Sharks +73000
- Carolina Hurricanes vs Anaheim Ducks +73000
- New York Islanders vs Anaheim Ducks +78000
- Carolina Hurricanes vs Edmonton Oilers +89000
- New York Islanders vs Edmonton Oilers +95000
- Carolina Hurricanes vs Calgary Flames +115000
- New York Islanders vs Calgary Flames +125000
- Carolina Hurricanes vs St. Louis Blues +137500
- Carolina Hurricanes vs Nashville Predators +137500
- New York Islanders vs Nashville Predators +147500
- New York Islanders vs St. Louis Blues +147500