Avalanche open playoffs as consensus Cup favorites

The Colorado Avalanche are the consensus favorites to win the Stanley Cup with the NHL playoffs beginning Monday night.

Florida (58-18-6) finished with a league-high 122 points during the regular season. Colorado (56-19-7) was close behind with 119, followed by Carolina (54-20-8) with 116 and Toronto (54-21-7) with 115.

The Avalanche are being offered at +285 by BetRivers to win the Stanley Cup, with the Panthers nearly double that at +550. Colorado has been backed by 22 percent of the bets and 19 percent of the handle.

The Avalanche opened the season +600 at BetMGM, but their odds have shortened to +325 ahead of the playoffs. They lead the sportsbook by a wide margin with 26.3 percent of the total Cup winning bets and 31.8 percent of the handle.

Florida opened at +2500 and is now +550, making the Panthers the third-biggest liability for BetMGM. They are behind the Avalanche and the Rangers, who have been backed by 7.7 percent of the bets as +1600 long shots after opening at +2500.

BetMGM reported the Rangers lead the way with 30.9 percent of the handle to win the Eastern Conference with +800 odds. That’s well ahead of the Panthers with 20.9 percent at +250.

BetRivers also reported significant action on the Rangers, who have drawn 8.8 percent of the Cup-winning handle at +1600.

The story is similar at Caesars, where the Avalanche are the +330 title favorites ahead of the Panthers (+550), Flames (+750) and Maple Leafs (+1000). The Rangers are also +1600 at the book, ahead of only Edmonton at +1800 as the playoffs begin.

The defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning finished third in the Atlantic division with 110 points.

The Lightning are in the middle of the pack for most oddsmakers, including +800 at PointsBet, +1000 at BetRivers and BetMGM and +1100 at Caesars. However, BetRivers reported “tepid” wagering on the defending champs, who have been backed by only 6.2 percent of the handle.

The Lightning have been backed by 4.3 percent of the Cup handle at PointsBet, where Tampa Bay is also sixth with 5.3 percent of the total bets. That’s less than a quarter of the action placed on Colorado, which leads with 27.4 percent of the bets and 34.7 percent of the handle at +325.

–Field Level Media

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