2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round Matchups & Series Odds
The 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs will take center ice this week, and we’ve got you covered on what you need to know with our betting primer for each series.
Read on for our odds and previews for all eight first-round matchups of the long-awaited postseason. And for more from the rest of the sporting world, keep reading Nitrogen Sports Blog.
(1) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (8) Montreal Canadiens
Odds to Win Series: Philadelphia (-215) vs. Montreal (+174)
The Flyers have been absolute beasts since after the pandemic lockdown, having dominated the other top three teams in the East (Tampa Bay, Washington and Boston) during round-robin play. Meanwhile, the Canadiens shocked a lot of fans when they ousted the Penguins from playoff contention, but have little else going apart from the return to form of star goalie Carey Price.
(2) Tampa Bay Lightning vs. (7) Columbus Blue Jackets
Odds to Win Series: Tampa Bay (-230) vs. Columbus (+186)
Speaking of shocking outcomes, the Blue Jackets proved once again that underdogs have just as good of a chance at winning come hockey playoff time, as they outdueled the Maple Leafs for a playoff spot to set up last season’s rematch against the Lightning. Tampa Bay might not have Steven Stamkos nor Viktor Hedman ready for this series, so perhaps another upset at the hands of Columbus is at hand.
(3) Washington Capitals vs. (6) New York Islanders
Odds to Win Series: Washington (-155) vs. Islanders (+128)
Islanders head coach Barry Trotz is set to face his former team that took home Lord Stanley’s trophy in 2018. Trotz’s gang knows that even despite the relative depth and talent working in favor of the Capitals, they should still be ready to exploit an otherwise lackluster performance by Washington’s netminder Braden Holtby this season.
(4) Boston Bruins vs. (5) Carolina Hurricanes
Odds to Win Series: Boston (-155) vs. Carolina (+128)
Storming their way into the playoffs are the Hurricanes, who are they only ones to go a perfect 3-0 in the qualifying round against the Rangers. They’re now set up with another postseason date with the Bruins, who they faced in last year’s conference finals. Prior to the league suspension, Boston was arguably the East’s best team, but slipped to the fourth seed, giving Carolina a better shot at exacting revenge.
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(1) Vegas Golden Knights vs. (8) Chicago Blackhawks
Odds to Win Series: Vegas (-340) vs. Chicago (+265)
The Golden Knights scored an average of five goals per contest across their three round-robin matchups for playoff seeding, further reinforcing their claim as the West’s top-seeded contenders. Although the Blackhawks have a good number of postseason veterans on the roster, the sheer firepower of the boys from Sin City may just be too much for anyone to handle right now, and that’s considering Vegas is just about to get Max Pacioretty back from injury.
(2) Colorado Avalanche vs. (7) Arizona Coyotes
Odds to Win Series: Colorado (-290) vs. Arizona (+229)
The 4-3 overtime loss to Vegas last weekend cost the Avalanche the No.1 seed in the West. Nonetheless, they are still in terrific shape heading into the postseason. Elsewhere, the Coyotes have gotten a nice boost from unheralded goalie Darcy Kuemper, and will need some clutch playoff moments from Phil Kessel to give Colorado more than it can chew in the first round.
(3) Dallas Stars vs. (6) Calgary Flames
Odds to Win Series: Dallas (-155) vs. Calgary (+128)
Setting the rinks ablaze are the Flames, who scored 16 goals in their four-game series against the Jets. However, Calgary’s hot streak might be doused by the Star’s formidable defense, anchored by a stellar two-man goaltending rotation of Ben Bishop and Anton Khudobin. Goals will come at a premium in this series, which makes this one of the more interesting matchups to keep an eye on.
Read: 5 Most Shocking Stanley Cup Playoffs Finishes in NHL History
(4) St. Louis Blues vs. (5) Vancouver Canucks
Odds to Win Series: St. Louis (-155) vs. Vancouver (+128)
This might be the most entertaining series on the slate, as the defending Stanley Cup champs are set to take on the young and feisty Canucks. This is the first time in half a decade that Vancouver made it into the playoffs, and the team will need to seize the opportunity of facing a St. Louis squad that hasn’t looked very impressive during the round-robin phase.
Be sure to check out our sports betting guide after this to get yourself even more geared up for the intense NHL postseason betting action on the horizon.
*All stated odds are subject to change without prior notice.