Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 2 Betting Guide: Futures, props, updated odds

Follow The Money's Mitch Moss and Pauly Howard discuss which way to bet the Battle of Alberta, leaning towards a series of overs, with much depending on which Mike Smith we get for the Oilers, and whether the Flames can stay out of the box.

Hockey fans were treated to a thrilling opening round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs that included five dramatic Game 7s, all of which came down to the wire with four decided by one goal and two requiring overtime.

From a betting perspective, the first round also had plenty of intrigue. The over hit in all seven Rangers-Penguins games, the Avalanche completed a clean sweep of the Predators, while the Blues and Lightning overcame the odds and advanced to the second round as underdogs.

Anyone who tailed the likes of Cale Makar, Evander Kane, Carter Verhaeghe and some video game character posing as a human wearing No. 97 in Edmonton were routinely rewarded on the player prop markets.

We’re down to the final eight teams, so with second-round Game 1 action getting underway Tuesday and Wednesday here’s an updated look at some key playoff betting odds.

STANLEY CUP FUTURES

The Avalanche were the listed Cup favourites prior to the start of the playoffs at +350 and after sweeping the Predators it’s no surprise Jared Bednar’s club remains the chalk pick. The Presidents’ Trophy-winning Panthers had the second-best pre-playoff Cup odds at +425 and remain the favourites to emerge from the Eastern Conference after eliminating the Capitals in six games.

Toronto (+1000), Boston (+1600) and Minnesota (+1600) had the shortest Cup odds of the eight teams eliminated in the opening round.

The Oilers, Blues and Rangers each had +1800 Cup odds before their respective first-round series began and all three teams once again have long championship odds, according to odds at the Bet365 sportsbook, with none of them expected to advance to the conference finals.

CONN SMYTHE FUTURES

Despite being the consensus first-round MVP, Connor McDavid is not the odds-on favourite to win the Conn Smythe Trophy. You can credit that to oddsmakers not anticipating Edmonton making a trip to the Stanley Cup Final.

The Conn Smythe winner ends up on the Cup-winning team nearly every year. The last player to win the award on a Cup-losing team was J.S. Giguere with Anaheim in 2003.

No blueliner had a bigger impact in the opening round than Cale Makar whose Conn Smythe odds have fallen from +2000 to +500 on Bet365 thanks to his 10 points and overall dominance in four games against Nashville. He and fellow Avs star Nathan MacKinnon are currently co-favourites.

Lightning teammates Andrei Vasilevskiy (+1800) and Victor Hedman (+2500) plus Blues captain Ryan O'Reilly (+4000) are the only past Conn Smythe winners still active in these playoffs.

Vasilevskiy also happens to be the lone netminder to be named playoff MVP since 2013. Jacob Markstrom of the Flames currently leads all goalies with +1400 odds after only allowing 11 goals to Dallas in that low-scoring seven-game series.

SECOND-ROUND SERIES ODDS & CORRECT RESULT PROPS

The Avalanche are predictably the biggest moneyline favourites heading into the second round, according to the DraftKings sportsbook, while the Hurricanes are expected to get past the Rangers and emerge from the Metropolitan Division.

Oddsmakers are projecting the Flames to win the Battle of Alberta and the Panthers to take the Sunshine State Showdown even though, on paper, this should be the most competitive series of the second round.

Predicting the winning team is one thing. Nailing the correct side and number of games is where you really start seeing those plus signs.

CALGARY FLAMES (-190) VS. EDMONTON OILERS (+145)

Something to keep in mind: At least seven goals were scored in three of the four regular-season meetings between the Alberta teams this season, so keep an eye on those overs.

Best odds: Flames to win in five or seven games (both +400)

COLORADO AVALANCHE (-380) vs. ST. LOUIS BLUES (+290)

Something to keep in mind: The over hit in all three meetings but none of the games were decided by more than two goals. Both two-goal games were capped off with an empty-netter so Blues puckline odds may have solid value, especially early in the series.

Best odds: Avalanche to win in five games (+275)

FLORIDA PANTHERS (-165) vs. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (+160)

Something to keep in mind: The final two regular-season meetings of the Sunshine State Showdown were penalty-filled and if any of that bad blood carries over into the playoffs then the importance of special teams will be magnified. Florida went 0-for-18 on the power-play in the opening round while Tampa clicked on 21.2 per cent of their man advantage opportunities.

Best odds: Panthers to win in seven games (+400)

CAROLINA HURRICANES (-190) vs. NEW YORK RANGERS (+160)

Something to keep in mind: Carolina won the season series 3-1 with all games ending in regulation. The Rangers didn’t face Antti Raanta this season, though, with Frederik Andersen getting three starts and Pyotr Kochetkov the other.

Best odds: Hurricanes to win in five or seven games (both +400)

(All betting odds listed above are as of Tuesday morning)

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