NHL Odds and Matchups: What to Expect Going into Round 2 of the NHL Playoffs
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NHL Odds and Matchups: What to Expect Going into Round 2 of the NHL Playoffs

The Rangers are first to make it to the second round, but there's another team that is a favorite to win the Stanley Cup

The first round of the NHL playoffs has undoubtedly lived up to the hype, but many of the teams are landing right where we expected them to land.

The New York Rangers have already made headlines by sweeping the Washington Capitals in a 4-0 series, securing their spot as the first team to advance to Round 2.

As we gear up for more insane hockey action in round 2 and beyond, let's break down what's happening in the ongoing matchups and the potential clashes in the second round.

Current Standings and Implications for the Run for the Stanley Cup

  • New York Rangers to Win Stanley Cup: +700

The Rangers' sweep of the Capitals not only sends them through but also gives them a much-needed resting period. This rest could be a double-edged sword, offering recovery time but potentially slowing their on-ice rhythm.

Although they absolutely crushed the Caps, that was to be expected. Washington barely squeezed in as the last seed due to some last-ditch efforts by Philadelphia vying to get in. With that, it's no wonder the Rangers are the first team to make it to the second round, but not the top team when it comes to odds. You might be surprised who is at the top.

As we look at the other series, the competition remains fierce, and predictions are becoming ever more difficult.

This is the 2024 NHL Stanley Cup Bracket for April 29th
This is the 2024 NHL Stanley Cup Bracket for April 29thNHL

All NHL Stanley Cup Odds Brought to you By DraftKings

Vegas Golden Knights vs. Dallas Stars

  • Dallas to Win Stanley Cup: +1500

  • Vegas to Win Stanley Cup: +1000

The Vegas Golden Knights currently lead the series against the Dallas Stars 2-1. The Knights have shown a well-rounded playoff presence, reflecting their strong regular season.

Dallas, however, isn't a team that goes down without a fight. Known for their resilience and strategic play, the Stars could very well bounce back.

This series is likely to go to at least six games, with Vegas favored slightly due to their offensive power. We think the round two matchup for Vegas will be Colorado.

Winnipeg Jets vs. Colorado Avalanche

  • Colorado to Win Stanley Cup: +650

  • Winnipeg to Win Stanley Cup: +7500

The Colorado Avalanche, leading the series 3-1 against the Winnipeg Jets, have displayed their dominance on the ice, particularly in their skilled offensive lines.

The Avalanche's ability to control the game and execute under pressure has put them in a favorable position to close the series in the next game.

For the Jets, however, it's a matter of finding cracks in Colorado's armor, potentially through their defense and making the most on power play opportunities.

It's definitely going to be a tough battle for the Jets and the odds reflect that. 

Despite this, even if/when Colorado moves to the next round, we think they'll handedly take on the Golden Knights.

Vancouver Canucks vs. Nashville Predators

  • Vancouver to Win Stanley Cup: +1,700

  • Nashville to Win Stanley Cup: +15,000

There's no surprise that Vancouver is leading the series 3-1 against Nashville. The Canucks have outperformed expectations, and their aggressive play style has left the Predators struggling to keep up.

If Vancouver maintains their momentum, they could close the series soon, possibly in game 5, setting up an exciting second-round matchup possibly against the resilient Oilers.

No matter how you cut it, the Preds have a tall hill to climb if they want to make it to the next round.

Edmonton Oilers vs. Los Angeles Kings

  • Edmonton to Win Stanley Cup: +500

  • Los Angeles to Win Stanley Cup: +15,000

The Oilers are up 3-1 against the Kings, with their high-speed, high-skill gameplay overpowering the Kings' more balanced approach. While we were expecting this series to be a bit closer, given it's the 2 and 3 seeds, Edmonton is amping up the momentum, taking the Kings by storm.

Edmonton's key to closing out the series will be to keep their offensive lines fresh and dynamic.

The Kings, on the other hand, need to tighten their defense and capitalize on any opportunities to force turnovers. 

Based on how hot the Oilers are right now, we think this series wraps up in game 5 with the Edmonton moving on to round two.

The next round between Edmonton and Vancouver would be the one to watch. That series will most likely go the full 7 games.

Florida Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

  • Florida to Win Stanley Cup: +500

  • Tampa Bay to Win Stanley Cup: +13,000

In what we like to call the battle for Florida (yeah, we're surprised too), the Panthers lead the series against the Lightning 3-1.

The Panthers have been consistent, with a strong offensive showing and solid goaltending. They're also a bit more in tune to the playoffs seeing that they came off of a hot year in 2023.

The Lightning are not out of the race yet and will look to leverage their experience to stage a comeback, though, a 3-1 comeback is a tough one.

Boston Bruins vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

  • Boston to Win Stanley Cup: +900

  • Toronto to Win Stanley Cup: +9,000

Boston's 3-1 lead in the series against Toronto continues a pattern of playoff dominance against the Maple Leafs and the rest of the NHL as they have throughout the regular season.

Boston's blend of experienced players and dynamic new talent has proven tough for Toronto to handle. 

The Maple Leafs need to find a way to break Boston's momentum if they are to avoid another postseason disappointment as they did last year against Florida.

Carolina Hurricanes vs. New York Islanders

  • Carolina to Win Stanley Cup: +425

  • New York to Win Stanley Cup: +40,000

Carolina leads their series against the Islanders 3-1 and it's no surprise that they top the charts with the best odds to win the NHL Stanley Cup at +425.

Known for their disciplined play and strong defense, the 'Canes have managed to suppress the Islanders' attacking threats.

The Islanders, needing to desperately win three straight games, face quite a task against a well-organized Carolina team hence their odds to win it all are at the bottom of the pole with +40,000.

The Road to the Stanley Cup

As the second round of the playoffs prepares to get underway, the intensity is expected to only increase as it does every year around this time.

Matchups like these demonstrate the unpredictability and excitement of the NHL playoffs, where momentum can shift in a single period, and upsets are likely to happen. Through the first round of the NHL playoffs, we've seen it all, but the cards seem to be falling exactly where you'd expect. The second round is where it gets more interesting.

Fans can anticipate strategic, fast-paced hockey as teams vie for a coveted spot in the Conference Finals and, ultimately, the Stanley Cup.

With the New York Rangers already waiting in the wings, the stage is set for what promises to be an unforgettable continuation of the quest for the cup.

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