Wow, Easter Monday night might have been one of the most entertaining, historic playoff nights in Stanley Cup betting history. You had underdogs prevailing and see-saw, high-scoring affairs. Who said NHL picks were all about selecting the team that will win 1-0 or 2-1? These playoffs have been epic so far. Let’s look at a couple of new teams to consider for this 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs odds and for wagering.
2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs Odds
Toronto Maple Leafs
Okay, I admit it. I had the Caps to win the cup and thought that this series would be quick and painless for Washington. But it’s been a hell of a grind so far. Three overtime games? Are you kidding me? And the team with a ton of rookies is the one in the lead? Wow. I guess coaching and innate talent are the overriding factors in postseason play, not experience.
Can the Leafs win the Cup? Well it’s still a stretch to say that they should be considered a favorite. But then again we counted them out versus the top regular season NHL team, so you never know.
Initially, I thought that the Leafs would be in tough because the Capitals had too much scoring, plenty of playoff experience, a steady coach and a hungry captain in Ovechkin. But the Leafs have been the hungrier team. They’ve overcome injuries on defense and their goaltender has been much better than I thought.
Someone needs to explain to me how a team plays sub par heading into the playoffs and then ends up one game away from sweeping the top team in the conference. I and many experts did not like what we were seeing from Pekka Rinne in the regular season. He looked tired and not as crisp as in previous years. Yet here we are, talking about him as an early playoff MVP candidate. Makes sense, right? Incredibly, the Predators have flipped a magical switch and are playing the best hockey of the season when it comes the most.
The key thus far has been several goals from their bottom six forwards and a tremendous defense that’s able to role out top tier blue liners on both of their top 2 pairing. We’re talking about the Hawks here, a team you can never count out. But no one believes that they will win three straight. The Preds a re looking like a legitimate cup contender right now – as long as Rinne continues to play at the level that he has so far.
Matthew Ross is a sports commentator and a radio host on TSN 690 Radio in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Follow him @MatthewWords.