NHL playoff betting: Eastern Conference Stanley Cup odds preview, trends

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Stanley Cup betting is focused on the Bruins and Penguins in the East, but there is upset potential in Philly and Tampa Bay.

The Boston Bruins are the clear favorite to win the Eastern Conference at 13/10, but the Pittsburgh Penguins aren't too far behind going off at 11/4.

No other team is going off at lower than 9/1 to win the East. Here's a look at the first round matchups in the Eastern Conference with NHL betting lines via Bodog.

Montreal Canadiens +110 vs. Tampa Bay Lightning -120 - Game 1 on Wednesday in Tampa Bay

If the regular season series between these two teams is any indication, this is going to be a great defensive series. Three of the four games went into overtime as 1-1 ties, and the last was a Tampa Bay 3-1 win that was tied 1-1 going into the third period.

All four games went UNDER the total, with Tampa Bay winning the season series 3-0-1. Montreal is going off at 20/1 to win the Stanley Cup and Tampa Bay is going off at 25/1.

The Canadiens have won three of past four visits to Tampa.

Columbus Blue Jackets +165 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins -175 - Game 1 on Wednesday in Pittsburgh

Columbus (50/1 to win the Stanley Cup) has earned a playoff bid for just the second time in franchise history and is still looking for its first ever postseason win. That may be hard to come by against the Pittsburgh Penguins (7/1), who were a perfect 5-0 against the Blue Jackets this season.

Pittsburgh outscored Columbus 16-7 in the season series, are 10-2 vs the Jackets since 2006.

Columbus has won in Pittsburgh just once since 2002.

Philadelphia Flyers +135 vs. New York Rangers -145 - Game 1 on Thursday in New York

The biggest rivalry series of the first round in the Eastern Conference, New York (20/1) and Philadelphia (20/1) split their season series 2-2 in four meetings this season. New York's 9-3-1 finish down the stretch earned the Rangers home ice in this series as Philadelphia finished the year on a 4-5-3 skid.

However, the Flyers have lost eight in a row at New York and 12 of past 15 visits.

Detroit Red Wings +180 vs. Boston Bruins -200 - Game 1 on Friday in Boston

On paper, Boston (7/2 favorite to win the Stanley Cup) is clearly the superior team, but Detroit did go 3-1 against the Bruins this season. Three of those meetings came at the beginning of the season though; the Presidents' Trophy winning Bruins are 24-4-6 over their last 34 games.

Since 2009, the Red Wings are 7-1 vs Bruins.

See full previews on every series and Stanley Cup odds on every game and for every team.

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