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Capitals Now Favored to Win 2019 Stanley Cup, Lightning Listed at 12-1 Odds

Alex Ovechkin
Can Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals repeat as Stanley Cup champs? (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)
  • The Tampa Bay Lightning, who have long been favored to win the Stanley Cup, face an 0-3 first-round series deficit
  • The Washington Capitals are now favored to repeat as Stanley Cup champions
  • The New York Islanders have limited the Pittsburgh Penguins to just five goals so far while keeping Sidney Crosby off the score sheet

For the first time since late October, someone other than the Tampa Bay Lightning is listed as the favorite to win the Stanley Cup. The Lightning, who are on the brink of elimination, are still at 12-1, but Washington now has the shortest Stanley Cup odds. Are they a good bet or is there value elsewhere on the board?

Odds to Win 2019 Stanley Cup

Team 2019 Stanley Cup Odds
Washington Capitals +500
New York Islanders +700
Calgary Flames +800
St. Louis Blues +800
Vegas Golden Knights +800
Columbus Blue Jackets +900
Boston Bruins +1200
Nashville Predators +1200
Tampa Bay Lightning +1200
Toronto Maple Leafs +1200
San Jose Sharks +1800
Dallas Stars +2000
Winnipeg Jets +2000
Colorado Avalanche +2500
Pittsburgh Penguins +4000
Carolina Hurricanes +5000

*Odds taken 04/15/19

Lightning Fading Away

No team in NHL history has won more games than the 62 that the Tampa Bay Lightning finished with this season, but winning in the playoffs has been a far greater challenge. They’ve lost the first three games of their first-round series with the Tampa Bay Lightning putting them on the brink of elimination.

The Lightning held a 3-0 lead in the first period of Game 1 but have been thoroughly outplayed ever since. As hard as it is to believe, it looks like they’re dead in the water, so it’s time to see who else is a good bet.

Capitals Have Become Favorites

The Capitals, who are the defending Stanley Cup champions, had been overlooked heading into the playoffs. However, they’re now favored as the Lightning have faded and the Capitals lead their series 2-0.

With the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs duking it out in the first round, and the Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Islanders on the brink of advancing, it seems like the Caps might have an easy-ish path to the Stanley Cup Finals. However, I’m not interested in betting them to win the Cup.

The Playoffs are Wide Open

Before betting anyone to win the Cup, remember that the NHL playoffs are wide open. The top seed in the East could be ushered out shortly while the top seed in the West – the Calgary Flames – are a young, inexperienced team with questionable goaltending.

Washington was just 19-19 against teams with a winning record this year, and they’ll only see winning outfits the rest of the way. I wouldn’t bank on them winning it all again.

Take a Flier on Vegas

I was concerned about the Las Vegas Knights having to face a tough opponent from the Eastern Conference, but with Tampa Bay seemingly out of the picture, I’m interested in taking a shot with them. This is a team that finished the season well and has plenty of playoff experience from last year’s run.

Vegas has one of the hottest lines in the league right now as Paul Stastny, Mark Stone, and Max Pacioretty have 20 points through three playoff games. Along with the strong goaltending of Marc-Andre Fleury, this team is going to be a tough out.

What About the Islanders?

It’s time to take a good, hard look at the Islanders. This is a team that finished the regular season by winning six of their last eight and 11 of their final 17. Their head coach led the Capitals to the Stanley Cup last season and has this team humming.

We know that goaltending and defense wins championships and the Isles are elite in both areas. Goaltender Robin Lehner was second in the NHL with a .930 save percentage while the Isles led the league with 2.33 goals per game allowed.

In the playoffs, they’ve held the Pittsburgh Penguins to just five goals in three games while keeping Sidney Crosby off the score sheet. This team is legit and it’s no accident that the oddsmakers have them second in line at +700.

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