The 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs continue as only eight teams now remain in the hunt to win the NHL’s biggest prize.
Round two continues as we speak and prior to the May 1 games, this is how the 2019 Stanley Cup playoff picture looks like:
|Team||vs||Team||Game 1||Game 2||Game 3||Game 4||Game 5||Game 6||Game 7|
|Columbus||vs||Boston||2-3 OT||3-2 OT||2-1||May 2||May 4||May 6||May 8|
|Carolina||vs||New York||1-0 OT||2-1||May 1||May 3||May 5||May 7||May 8|
|Dallas||vs||St. Louis||2-3||4-2||3-4||May 1||May 3||May 5||May 7|
|Colorado||vs||San Jose||2-5||4-3||2-4||May 2||May 4||May 6||May 8|
The Columbus Blue Jackets lead the Boston Bruins 2-1 while the Carolina Hurricanes are up 2-0 on the New York Islanders. Out West, the St. Louis Blues lead the Dallas Stars 2-1 in their series while the San Jose Sharks are up 1-2 on the Colorado Avalanche. Games played on May 1 have not yet been reflected in the table as they are still being played as of this writing. As a result of the early second round action, we have new favorites on the oddsboards.
Who Are The Favorites?
Here are the latest odds to win the 2019 Stanley Cup. Odds taken from bovada as of 5/1/19:
|San Jose Sharks||+270|
|St. Louis Blues||+350|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||+500|
|New York Islanders||+1500|
The San Jose Sharks find themselves on top of the oddsboard this week. The Sharks currently lead the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 in their second round playoff series with Game 4 on May 2.
San Jose is one of the three teams remaining in the playoffs that hasn’t won the Stanley Cup before. The other two are the Columbus Blue Jackets and St. Louis Blues. Since 1999, the Sharks have the most number of playoff series win in the NHL with 17.
The St. Louis Blues lost three of four games this season to the Dallas Stars but this is the postseason and St. Louis has beaten Dallas 13 times in 14 playoff meetings, the last one being the 2016 Western Conference second round. If St. Louis beats Dallas and San Jose beats Colorado, these teams will play for the Western Conference title.
The Carolina Hurricanes are coming off a first round series where they ousted the defending champions Washington Capital lead the New York Islanders 2-0 heading to Game 3 of their series.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are one of three remaining teams never to have hoisted Lord Stanley’s trophy. The other two are the Sharks and the Blues. Columbus currently leads their second round series against the NY Islanders 2-1
When it comes to hockey betting, you have to know the playoff brackets because the teams on top of the oddsboard could belong to one bracket. If they do, only one of them is going to represent his conference in the Stanley Cup finals.
Looking at the oddsboard, the San Jose Sharks and the St. Louis Blues are 1-2. But when you look at the playoff bracket, these two teams will collide in the Western Conference Finals if they win their current series assignments. That means only one of them will make it to the Stanley Cup Finals.
On the other hand, teams 3-5 in the oddsboard are all Eastern Conference teams, meaning only one of them will make it to the Stanley Cup Finals. Columbus and Boston are #4 and #5 in the oddsboard but they are currently playing each other in Round 2 and that means that only one of them will make it to the conference finals.
In round one of the playoffs, we saw five favored teams fall so this season may not be one where you can just pick the favorites and coast along. With the way this postseason has unfolded, any team can win the Stanley Cup this year. The margin of difference between the top teams and the bottom squads ones is hardly there. Imagine these: three out of the four games in round two over in the Eastern conference have gone to overtime. Six out of the 10 playoff games so far have been decided by one goal.
The Bruins were the betting favorites after the first round of the playoffs but since they trail their second round series against the Blue Jackets, they have dropped to +700. But anything can still happen. Remember San Jose’s comeback from 1-3 down in Round One?
Boston is just down 1-2 and given that they have responded well to adversity this season and they have been the most consistent team all-season long, I’m still going with the Bruins as my pick to win the Stanley Cup Finals this year. If I were to pick a second team, one from the West, I would pick the San Jose Sharks because I think they turned a corner in the first round and destiny may be calling them to hoist the Stanley Cup this year.