It’s NHL Playoff time. Who do you think is going to win the Stanley Cup? After Thursday night’s games, the brackets are set, and we are ready for action. In one of the last unknowns, Colorado Avalanche clinched the No.1 spot in the west after their win.
Before we get to the brackets, let’s go over some changes to the format for this year. The NHL realigned with four divisions. Each division has eight teams, except for the North, where there are seven Canadian teams.
The regular season includes 56 games, and the top four teams from each division qualify for the playoffs. The first round is the divisional round, with No. 1 facing No. 4 and No. 2 facing No. 3. The winners then face each other and determine a division champion.
The divisional rounds are played in the team’s arenas. Once the semifinals are set, the NHL will re-evaluate if the Canadian teams can play in their arenas or if further changes need to be made.
Moreover, the Playoffs were supposed to start May 11th but have been pushed to today, May 15th.
So, the big question is who’s qualified and what the match-ups are. Keep reading for that information and some details that might help you if you are looking to bet on the playoffs.
After all, we know that at least 50% of people have placed bets on sporting events at some point.
- No. 2 Capitals vs. No. 3 Bruins match-up opens the playoffs. The first game is on May 15th. The following games are every two days (May 17th, May 19th, etc.)
- No. 1 Penguins vs. No. 4 Islanders start on May 16th. Game two is on May 18th, game three on May 20th, and the rest are every two days
- No. 2 Panthers vs. No. 3 Lightning face off on May 16th. The exact format as the previous one will apply — game two is on May 18th, game three is on May 20th, etc
- No. 1 Hurricanes vs. No. 4 Predators square off on May 17th. The exact format as the East Division for the remaining games
- No. 2 Golden Knights vs. No. 3 Wild start on May 16th. Same format as the East division for the rest of the games
- No. 1 Avalanche vs. No. 4 Blues meet on May 17th. Same format as the East Division for the remaining games
- No. 2 Oilers vs. No. 3 Jets start on May 19th. The only difference from the other divisions is that games three and four are back to back, on May 23rd and 24th
- No. 1 Maple Leafs vs. No. 4 Canadiens start on May 20th. Like the other North game, game three and four are back to back, on May 24th, and 25th
As over 150 million people in the U.S. watch sporting events at least once per month, the NHL playoffs will surely be on the list for many. Also, the games will be broadcasted on the NBC network.
According to FanDuel and Points Bet, the Colorado Avalanche is the most likely team to lift the Stanley Cup in terms of odds. Let’s take a look at the other favorites.
- Colorado Avalanche: Fan Duel (+450), Points Bet (+420)
- Las Vegas Golden Knights: Fan Duel (+550), Points Bet (+500)
- Toronto Maple Leafs: Fan Duel (+650), Points Bet (+650)
- Tampa Bay Lightning: Fan Duel (+750), Points Bet (+700)
- Carolina Hurricanes: Fan Duel (+850), Points Bet (+900)
So, this Saturday, get comfortable in front of the TV, as the games are likely to be very exciting. The West division, in particular, will be the one to watch, since the top two Stanley Cup favorites are within that division.