Stanley Cup odds: NHL betting lines favor Pittsburgh Penguins in 2013

Jamie Sabau

Pittsburgh was the favorite a year ago heading into the playoffs but they were bounced in the first round. This time, the loaded Penguins are again favorites on the odds to win the Stanley Cup betting menus.

Just like 2012, the Pittsburgh Penguins open the Stanley Cup playoffs as favorites to win the NHL championship.

Unlike 2012, the Penguins do not expect to be upset in the first round.

Pittsburgh has gotten Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang back just in time for the playoffs. And with Sidney Crosby's return looming, it's no surprise online sportsbooks and Vegas shops have them atop the Stanley Cup odds lists.

"They loaded up at the trade deadline, they have the deepest roster and they have the best two players in the world," said Jack Randall of OddsShark.com.

"But their defense is leaky and their goaltending is not rock-solid, so it's not like they are locks to win. Last season proved that."

Bodog.eu had them at 7/2, just ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks who enjoyed a record-setting win streak this season. Chicago is 15/4 at Bodog.

Boston, despite its late-season struggles, is the third betting choice, well back at 17/2. Anaheim had a terrific season and the Ducks are sitting at 12/1, along with the Montreal Canadiens.

If you are wondering about the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Los Angeles Kings are 14/1 longshots. The St. Louis Blue and Vancouver Canucks are also at 14/1 in a tough Western Conference.

The longest longshot is the New York Islanders, back in the playoffs after a lengthy absence. They are 40/1 and have to upset the Penguins to advance to the second round.

Washington is intriguing as a 16/1 bet because they have been on fire in the second half of the half season. The Rangers (18/1) are also deep and talented and have one of the league's best goalies in Henrik Lundqvist.

If Minnesota can get hot, they could be the surprise of the West, but the Wild's late-season swoon earned the 8 seed and a date with the Blackhawks. And hockey fans in Ontario have the Leafs and Senators to cheer on in 2013, but both are longshots at 20/1 and 28/1 respectively.

Check out the latest Stanley Cup betting lines and NHL playoff odds on every game every day at OddsShark.com.

Pittsburgh Penguins 7/2

Chicago Blackhawks 15/4

Boston Bruins 17/2

Anaheim Ducks 12/1

Montreal Canadiens 12/1

Los Angeles Kings 14/1

St. Louis Blues 14/1

Vancouver Canucks 14/1

San Jose Sharks 16/1

Washington Capitals 16/1

New York Rangers 18/1

Toronto Maple Leafs 20/1

Minnesota Wild 22/1

Detroit Red Wings 28/1

Ottawa Senators 28/1

New York Islanders 40/1

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