NHL

NHL playoff odds 2020: Avalanche, Lightning keep Stanley Cup favorite status after qualifying rounds

The (official) Stanley Cup playoffs are here.

After an eight-day frenzy of play-in series and seeding games, the entrants for the chase for the Cup are set, and the Stanley Cup playoffs as we know and love them are upon us. And according to Vegas, there’s a surprise at the top.

As it stands, the Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning open as equal favorites for Lord Stanley’s Cup, building off of successful regular seasons and somewhat surprisingly finishing with higher odds than the Golden Knights and Flyers, who both went undefeated during qualifying round play.

Jon Cooper and the Lightning have flirted with that elusive second Stanley Cup over the last decade, coming closest in 2014-15, being ousted in six games by the Blackhawks in the Final. This season could present the opportunity for Cooper and Tampa Bay to finally break through, with the red-hot Nikita Kucherov leading the way for a volatile Lightning offensive attack.

In the Western Conference, the Avalanche are looking to build on last year’s moderate playoff success after being ousted by the Sharks in seven games. Colorado allowed the third fewest goals in the league this year (191), making for one of the best goal differentials in all of the NHL in 2019-20. With Hart Trophy finalist Nathan MacKinnon reaching 93 points — 43 points more than the Cole Makar, a defenseman — the Avs attack is going to need more from all areas to march on into the late summer. Still, they’re just as formidable as any other team — at least according to Vegas. (Oddsmakers, not the Golden Knights.)

But as we know with the NHL playoffs, the only thing that we know for sure is that nothing is for sure. Below are the odds for the Cup — believe them if you dare.

Stanley Cup odds 2020

Courtesy of SportsInsider, here are the 2020 Stanley Cup Final odds for all 16 remaining teams in the NHL playoff bubbles:

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