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Capitals Still Favored to Win Cup

The Washington Capitals are still favored to win the NHL’s Stanley Cup. But it isn’t going to be easy. Not only did the Capitals struggle with No. 8 Toronto in the opening round, they now face Pittsburgh. The Penguins could very well be the biggest obstacle for them to overcome.

Bovada is offering the following odds on winning the Stanley Cup:

Washington +300
Pittsburgh +450
Anaheim +550
Edmonton +550
St. Louis +700
Nashville +700
New York Rangers +800
Ottawa Senators +1100

It doesn’t speak much of the new playoff format when the top two teams are meeting in the second round. Whichever team advances will be a solid favorite when the future odds are released for the conference finals.

The Capitals have yet to perform in the playoffs the way they can and it’s becoming a cliche that the team will choke again. But losing to the Penguins can’t be considered choking. When everybody is healthy, the Penguins may be the best team in the league. Overcoming a number of injuries this season, the Penguins can’t be counted out. The speed of Pittsburgh gave teams problems last year and will do so once again.

The top two teams in terms of odds are also meeting in the second round out of the West. Anaheim and Edmonton should have a decent series that’s fun to watch.

With the odds set up the way they are, you know one long shot from each conference will make it to the conference finals. Either Ottawa or New York in the East and St. Louis or Nashville from the West. Anybody taking one of those teams may have the potential to hedge their bet during the conference finals and/or finals to guarantee a profit.

The NHL won’t get nearly the attention of the NBA playoffs, at least not in the United States. But the teams are much-more evenly matched as evidenced by the series odds, which adds to the appeal.

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