Stanley Cup odds return Chicago Blackhawks as top NHL betting pick

Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

The defending champion Blackhawks are back at the top of Stanley Cup futures lists after the Boston Bruins were bounced from the NHL playoffs Wednesday.

Entering the NHL postseason, it looked like the Boston Bruins and the St. Louis Blues were on a collision course to the Stanley Cup final.

However, with the second round one game away from being complete, both of those teams have already been eliminated.

The Chicago Blackhawks dispatched the Minnesota Wild in six games and await the winner of Friday night's Game 7 between the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference final. The defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks are now the favorite to win the Cup again at +187, according to Sports Interaction.

Chicago would probably prefer that the Kings won on Friday; the Blackhawks are 9-2 SU in their last 11 games against Los Angeles and 2-5 SU in their last seven games against Anaheim.

The New York Rangers (+400 to win the Stanley Cup) upset the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 7 and the Montreal Canadians (+300) upset the Boston Bruins in Game 7 to set the stage for an improbable Montreal vs. New York Eastern Conference final.

Montreal came into the postseason as a 20/1 longshot in odds to win the Cup and New York was going off at 22/1, but one of these teams will be representing the East in the Stanley Cup final this spring.

The Canadiens have plenty of reasons to be positive heading into their series against New York. In addition to having home ice in the series, Montreal should also be the fresher team with only 11 games played so far this postseason compared to New York's 14 after back-to-back seven-game series.

Montreal has also fared well against the Rangers with a 12-4 SU record in the last 16 meetings between the two teams.

Bettors looking for value should consider Stanley Cup odds on the Los Angeles Kings (+600) and Anaheim Ducks (+500) at this point. Whichever team edges out the victory in Game 7 will be a serious contender to go all the way.

Deciding which team to back is the difficult part; every game has been close between these two evenly matched rivals, making the Game 7 Ducks vs Kings matchup a tough one to predict.

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