NHL Playoff Odds, 2nd Round: Blues Now Stanley Cup Favorites

April 16, 2012; San Jose, CA, USA; St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliott (1) defends his goal against the San Jose Sharks during the second period of game three of the 2012 Western Conference quarterfinals at HP Pavilion. St. Louis defeated San Jose 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

Two weeks ago, a Los Angeles vs. Washington Stanley Cup final was a 200-1 longshot. But after both low seeds pulled 1st round playoff upsets, a Kings-Capitals final is one step closer to reality. So is a big payout for anyone with the gonads to make that bet two weeks ago.

With favorites Pittsburgh and Vancouver both choking, St. Louis is now the Stanley Cup odds favorite at several sportsbooks tracked by OddsShark.com, SBNation's lines provider.

The 2nd round of the NHL playoffs start Friday in the Western Conference with Game 1 between the Nashville Predators and the Phoenix Coyotes.

"If you're not accustomed to 2nd round betting involving the Preds or Coyotes, that's because they never make it this far," said Jack Randall of OddsShark.com.

Nashville got through the 1st round after knocking off Detroit in what was an upset to many, but not to oddsmakers. Pekka Rinne saved the Preds with a 1.81 GAA and a .940 save percentage while his team was getting outshot 160-116 in the series.

Phoenix got past Chicago in six games also thanks to stellar goaltending. Five of the six games went to OT and Mike Smith was a rock with a 1.81 GAA and a .950 save percentage in the series.

Phoenix is +140 underdog in the series versus Nashville, making the Predators a -160 favorite in the series and a -115 favorite in Game 1.

In the other Western Conference series, the aforementioned Kings – upset winners over top-seeded Vancouver face St. Louis.

This is another series where UNDER bettors could find lots of profits. The Blues led the league in defense. The Kings were second.

The Kings were 3-1 against the Blues and won both home meetings. The Under was 3-0-1 in those four games and the Under is 6-0-1 in the last seven matchups. The Blues are a -160 favorite in the series and a -155 home favorite in Game 1.

In the East, the No. 7 Capitals face the top-seeded Rangers after both teams needed seven games in the 1st round. New York rallied past Ottawa while the Capitals scored in OT of Game 7 to upset the defending champs.

Goalie Braden Holtby was key for the Caps, just as Henrik Lundqvist won the series against Ottawa.

The Caps are 4-1 record in their last five at home against the Rangers and they're also 6-3 in their last nine trips to Madison Square Garden. [ Rangers Capitals Matchup Report ]

In the final series, the Flyers face hated New Jersey, another team that advanced with a Game 7 OT goal. The Flyers took out the Cup favorite Penguins in the 1st round on the heels of Claude Giroux’s six goals and eight assists

Philly moved into second place on the Cup futures menu at 5/1 odds. That series kicks off Sunday afternoon.

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