The conference finals in this year’s NHL Stanley Cup Finals are underway. In an early play in each best-of-seven matchup, the Boston Bruins have taken a 2-0 series lead against the Carolina Hurricanes in the East. Over in the Western Conference, the showdown between the San Jose Sharks and the St. Louis Blues in knotted at one game apiece heading into Wednesday’s Game 3 in St. Louis.
These early results have already made a big impact on MyBookie’s betting odds to win each of these matchups. While the updated numbers point to a complete mismatch in one series, the odds in the other point to a series that appears to be destined to go the full seven games.
When the top-seeded Tampa Bay Lightning went down in flames in the opening round and the defending champion Washington Capitals made an early exit as well, the Boston Bruins moved into the role as the team to beat in the East. After coming out on top against Toronto in seven games in the opening round and in six games against Columbus in their next playoff series, the Bruins were locked in as favorites to win the East.
Boston has looked sharp in this series on its home ice with a pair of victories as solid favorites by a combined score of 11-4. The Bruins head into Tuesday’s road game against Carolina as even-money +100 underdogs.
The Hurricanes faced Washington in the opening round and they needed back-to-back wins at home and on the road to win that series in seven games. Keeping things rolling into the next round, Carolina rolled over the New York Islanders in a four-game sweep by outscoring its opponent a combined 13-5 over the four games. It will quickly need to regroup to keep this series competitive as a -120 home favorite for Game 3.
The adjusted betting odds to win the East now lean heavily towards Boston as a -800 favorite. The odds that the Hurricanes find a way to win four of the next five games are set at +550. Carolina does make it interesting, but Boston wins in six.
Betting Odds to Win the Western Conference Finals
The St. Louis Blues were one of the hottest teams in the NHL over the second half of the regular season. They rode that momentum to a 4-2 series win against Winnipeg in the opening round. The next series against the surprising Dallas Stars went the full seven games, but St. Louis rose to the occasion when it had to with victories in the final two games while outscoring the Stars 6-2.
The Blues lost the series opener to San Jose 6-3 on the road, but they bounced right back with a 4-2 win in Game 2. They closed as +115 road underdogs in each contest and they are -145 home favorites for Wednesday’s Game 3.
San Jose came into this year’s postseason as one of the most veteran playoff teams in the league, but it is still searching for its first ever Stanley Cup title. Following a seven-game battle against the Vegas Golden Knights, the Sharks needed the full seven games to get past Colorado as another tough Pacific Division foe.
There is no doubt that this team is battle-tested this postseason, but going the distance in both series may have caused some extra wear and tear. San Jose is set as a +125 road underdog for Game 3.
Turning to the betting odds to win this series, St. Louis has the slight edge as a -125 favorite coming off the split on the road to gain the home-ice edge. The Sharks are listed as +105 underdogs. I have been touting San Jose to win the West since the All-Star break and I staying on that bandwagon for the entire ride.