Stanley Cup odds: Blues, Bruins favored to meet in NHL final

Jared Wickerham

Stanley Cup playoff series odds are up and NHL odds makers seem to favor a Boston vs St. Louis final. The last time that final happened, Bobby Orr was scoring his iconic Cup-winning goal in 1970.

SB Nation 2014 NHL Playoff Bracket

Boston finished first overall so making the Bruins the Stanley Cup favorites makes sense.

But St. Louis, which skidded to the finish line with six straight losses, seems an ambitious pick to win the West and make the Stanley Cup finals.

But that's what oddsmakers believe will happen as they make that matchup the shortest Stanley Cup betting choice as the NHL playoffs get underway.

Other NHL betting lines see first round playoff series odds favoring the Bruins heavily in their matchup against No. 8 seed Detroit Red Wings. St. Louis however is a slight favorite to defeat the defending Cup champions from Chicago.

Both teams are expecting to get top players back from injury in time for puck drop this week. In St. Louis, that means T.J. Oshie and Vladimir Tarasenko and in Chicago, that means Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.

Among the other one-sided first round matchups (according to Sports Interaction lines makers anyway) are the Pittsburgh Penguins against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Pens are big favorites as the second seed in the East.

In the West, Anaheim is a big favorite to defeat No. 8 Dallas in the first round. But the 2 vs 7 seed pairing has much tighter odds as Colorado Avalanche is favored against the Minnesota Wild.

"That line owes to the fact Colorado is such a young team that really hasn't had a slump all season," said Jack Randall of OddsShark.com. "The fear is that they get a case of nerves and fall to the Wild."

Indeed, Colorado has succeeded lately in the face of injuries to stars like Matt Duchene and the question remains whether rookies and overachievers can sustain their regular-season success in April.

The other matchups in the East see Tampa Bay in a dead heat for betting purposes against the Montreal Canadiens (the line Canadian team in the playoff this season) and the New York Rangers slightly favored over hated rivals, the Philadelphia Flyers.

In the other West series, San Jose and Los Angeles clash in a huge first-round battle of top excellent teams.

Lines per Sports Interaction: (see other NHL playoff series odds from other books courtesy of Odds Shark):

Anaheim Ducks v Dallas Stars

Anaheim Ducks   -333

Dallas Stars   +220

Boston Bruins v Detroit Red Wings

Boston Bruins   -333

Detroit Red Wings   +220

Colorado Avalanche v Minnesota Wild

Colorado Avalanche   -175

Minnesota Wild   +125

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning

Montreal Canadiens   -118

Tampa Bay Lightning   -118

New York Rangers v Philadelphia Flyers

New York Rangers   -141

Philadelphia Flyers   +100

Pittsburgh Penguins v Columbus Blue Jackets

Pittsburgh Penguins   -385

Columbus Blue Jackets   +250

San Jose Sharks v Los Angeles Kings

San Jose Sharks   -167

Los Angeles Kings   +120

St Louis Blues v Chicago Blackhawks

St Louis Blues   -141

Chicago Blackhawks   +100

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