Whether Iowa bettors look north or look south, they have something to look forward to in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
That’s the good news from product analyst Jason Sylva, who is watching the NHL for Betfred Sportsbook. The Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues both made the postseason. In fact, the teams could meet up in the second round.
But all is not quiet on the West Division front. The Blues face the top-seeded Colorado Avalanche in its first-round playoff opener. The puck drops at 9 tonight in Denver. NBC Sports Network will carry the game.
Keep checking the odds at Betfred, but as of Monday afternoon:
- At +245, a $100 bet on the Blues in Game 1 wins $245.
- At -315, bettors need a $315 wager on the Avalanche to win $100.
Colorado is a heavy favorite to win Lord Stanley’s Cup, according to Sylva.
“The Avalanche are the shortest price by a mile right now. They’re +350 to win the Stanley Cup. So, looking around the NHL, I mean, they’re head-and-shoulders above the league — as far as perception in the betting markets, and I would say probably public perception as well.”
The Avs moneyline is a whopping -450 to eliminate the Blues. St. Louis is +350 to advance. That’s the largest moneyline discrepancy among all the NHL’s first-round playoff matchups.
Wild off to a fast start in Stanley Cup playoffs
Prospects are a little more promising for the Wild on the ice and at sportsbooks.
The No. 3 seed took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series with a 1-0 OT win over the second-seeded Las Vegas Knights on Sunday.
Game 2 is at 9 p.m. Tuesday from Las Vegas. It’s also on NBC Sports Network. Again, check NHL odds at Iowa sportsbooks over the next 24 hours.
As of publication time at Betfred:
- At +130, a $100 bet on the Wild in Game 2 wins $130.
- At -165, bettors need a $165 wager on the Knights to win $100.
Even down a game, the Golden Knights are -120 to win the first-round series. The Wild are +100 as of Monday. Sylva said Minnesota was a trendy team to bet as an underdog in the opening round:
“Some could say that the Wild have Vegas’ number — and look how that turned out in Game 1. It was a 0-0 scrappy game, and the Wild were able to pull it out.”
Blues might be favored in all-Midwest second round
When does a No. 4 seed become a No. 1 pick?
Sylva said it could happen if both the Wild and Blues pull upsets in the first round. Even though Minnesota is seeded higher, the Blues have won 6-of-8 games in the regular season over the Wild. Colorado, especially, is a significant hurdle, however.
“If it is the Avalanche-Wild, I believe it’ll be probably -300 Avs and +240 to +250 on the Wild. Now, if the Blues get past the Avs as we’re speculating and dreaming about here: I think something that’s very important to consider is how they get there.”
If Minnesota sweeps Vegas and Colorado takes the Blues seven games for example, that could change the odds and moneyline at Betfred.
What if Midwest teams are gone by the second round?
The Midwest could lose some rooting interest early on. The Wild and Blues are underdogs. Chicago Blackhawks missed the playoffs this season.
So, what happens when you Jet your Penguins and Panthers to an Island Capital featuring trees with Maple Leafs — all to avoid Avalanches, Lightning and Hurricanes? Sylva sees two approaches, but he personally enjoys day-to-day and series-to-series wagering:
“It depends what you’re looking for, right? Are you trying to get in on the action daily, or are you trying to sit there with a couple tickets and hopefully one of your teams makes it? If you want to go that route, you can take a stab on a couple long shots. And I would suggest probably out of the right side of (the Stanley Cup) bracket.”
Sylva is referring to the East and Central Divisions. Here are the pairings:
- (4) Nashville vs. (1) Carolina
- (3) Tampa Bay (leads 1-0) vs. (2) Florida
- (4) NY Islanders (leads 1-0) vs. (1) Pittsburgh
- (3) Boston vs. (2) Washington (leads 1-0)
- (4) St. Louis vs. (1) Colorado
- (3) Minnesota (leads 1-0) vs. (2) Las Vegas
- (4) Montreal vs. (1) Toronto
- (3) Winnipeg vs. (2) Edmonton