Stanley Cup betting preview: Why the Blackhawks will win

Gregory Shamus

Chicago is favored on the Stanley Cup odds menu of all sportsbooks and there are plenty of reasons to expect them to handle the Boston Bruins. Check out the betting preview and trends.

Boston and Chicago enjoyed ending generations-long Stanley Cup drought so much that they both decided to come back and do it again.

Boston hadn't won since 1972 before claiming the 2011 Cup, while Chicago ended a 49-year drought by winning in 2010. Now, both are back and oddsmakers have sided with the Blackhawks as favorites to lift the cherished mug again.

In the early GGame 1 Stanley Cup betting odds, most sportsbooks tracked by OddsShark.com had Chicago at -145 over Boston, which was getting an underdog price of +125.

And the Blackhawks were also favored by -140 to win this Stanley Cup championship series, with the Bruins getting +120 as the series underdogs.

Thanks to a conference-centric schedule for this abbreviated 48-game season, these two teams haven't met since October of 2011. In fact, they have played just eight times since 2004, with Boston holding a 6-2 edge.

But oddsmakers don't see that trend continuing and there are plenty of reasons why.

To begin with, the 'Hawks, who lost just 12 games this season and led the league in points, come in hot, having won seven of their last eight games. They dispatched the defending Cup champion Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference finals in five games, topped off by a thrilling 4-3 double-overtime victory Saturday night.

Chicago possesses enough championship experience, with the core of the team remaining from the 2010 Cup team that defeated Philadelphia in six games.

And the Blackhawks proved tough in the clutch a couple weeks ago, when down three games to one to rival Detroit in the Eastern Conference semis, they won Games 5, 6 and 7 to advance.

That's not to mention Chicago, which is 9-1 at home in these playoffs, owns home-ice advantage for this series. They are on a 14-2 run at home dating back to the regular season.

Game 2 of this Stanley Cup finals will be played Saturday night also in Chicago (8 p.m. ET, NBCS), before the teams move to Beantown for Games 3 and 4 Monday and Wednesday. (Watch for the latest Stanley Cup odds here at SB Nation).

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