Sharks celebrating a goal

Stanley Cup outright odds (As of May 3)

Carolina Hurricanes: 4.20
Boston Bruins: 5.20
San Jose Sharks: 5.40
St. Louis Blues: 6.50
Columbus Blue Jackets: 6.75
Colorado Avalanche: 7.00


From the chaos of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs, the San Jose Sharks emerged – following a Game 7 win against the Vegas Golden Knights that stirred controversy for days.

Now into the back half of the second round, with a number of pre-playoff favourites sitting at home dusting off the golf clubs for a longer-than-anticipated offseason, the Sharks are currently the betting favourites when it comes to which team will hoist the Stanley Cup next month.

With their series versus the Colorado Avalanche tied two games apiece heading into the weekend, the highest percentage of money wagered on the Stanley Cup outright market for the eight teams still alive belongs to the Sharks.

About 10.5 per cent of money wagered is on them to win what would be their first Stanley Cup title – which is still a fact that seems difficult to grasp considering they had such tremendous regular season success over the years and made it to the Stanley Cup Final in 2016.

Their odds have continued to shift here and there throughout the season and during these playoffs. They had odds back in October of 14.00 to win it all, high expectations brought on by the acquisition of Erik Karlsson, and 18.00 when we welcomed in the New Year. Earlier this week, those odds stood at 3.90, putting them in sole possession of Stanley Cup favourite status.

An even series with Colorado, as it goes back to San Jose for Game 5 on Saturday, jockeyed those odds once again to 5.40, which is where they stood at PlayNow.com on Friday morning.

If you were expecting the Sharks to simply roll past the Avalanche, think again.

Colorado not only dispatched the top regular season team in the West – the Calgary Flames – in the first round, but their speed, skill and youth have given them quite a push against the Sharks, and leading the way is Nathan MacKinnon.

(By the way, MacKinnon’s odds to win the Conn Smythe Trophy stand at 16.00 at PlayNow.com going into the weekend.)

Boasting a combination of intimidating speed, strength and skill, MacKinnon woke up Friday tied for the playoff lead in points (13) and was second in goals (6). The only game in these playoffs that he failed to register a point in was the series opener against Calgary. Since then, he has been both productive and dominant.

Of course, his Conn Smythe Trophy odds are tied to the Avalanche and whether they can get beyond the second round. That is still a tall order. If this series goes to seven games, two of the next three games would be in San Jose, where the Sharks were 25-11-5.

As of earlier this week, only 1.98 per cent of money wagered on the Stanley Cup outright market was on Colorado.

The Sharks, meanwhile, enter Game 5 on home ice Saturday as the Money Line favourites to win.

In the Eastern Conference, it is those Bunch of Jerks, the Carolina Hurricanes, that have become the big story.

With a 3-0 series lead over the New York Islanders entering Game 4 on Friday, the Hurricanes had surged their way up the board with the best odds to win the Stanley Cup.

Yes, the Carolina Hurricanes.

A little odds history here on the Hurricanes:

On Oct. 25, with the season only a few weeks old, the Hurricanes’ odds of winning the Stanley Cup were 50.00 at PlayNow.com. On April 13, as they battled the Washington Capitals – defending champs – in the first round, those odds fell to 80.00.

Since stunning the Capitals in a seven-game series and taking a commanding 3-0 lead on the Islanders heading into Friday’s game, those odds have shifted dramatically to where they stand today, currently 4.20 at PlayNow.com. Bettors still have their trepidations about the Hurricanes, however, with only 0.99 per cent share of money wagered on Carolina to win what would be its second Stanley Cup title.

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