Stanley Cup Playoffs: Series Odds For NHL Eastern & Western Conference Finals

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Written By Evan Scrimshaw | Last Updated
NHL Playoff odds

After a thrilling conclusion to Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the focus shifts to NHL Conference Championship odds. With Florida vs. New York in the Eastern Conference and Edmonton vs. Dallas in the West, each team can cash Stanley Cup futures for the first time in the modern NHL. Reputations and legacies are on the line across the league. With two elite offensive teams facing teams with outrageously good goaltenders, the series will be intense. Let’s dig into the prices. Click any of the NHL odds below to bet now.

NHL Eastern Conference Finals Odds: Rangers vs. Panthers

Series Analysis

The Rangers, winners of the President’s Trophy, are one of the least respected teams that posted the best record in recent history. Underdogs in Round 2, the Rangers took a 3-0 series lead to Game 6 before closing the door on the Hurricanes. With two of the first three games going to OT, and all three being one goal games, the Rangers have yet to shake their reputation as goaltending merchants.

Ranking seventh in the Regular Season in goal differential, the Rangers are dependent on Igor Shesterkin. Shesterkin has been exceptional in these playoffs, with a .923 Save% through two rounds. It’s boring to say that this series comes down to whether Shesterkin is elite or merely good, but in this case it’s probably true.

The Panthers were an exceptional regular-season team, and they have already dealt with an elite goalie. The experience gained on Jeremy Swayman, who posted a .933 Save% in the playoffs, will be useful in this series. But more importantly, the Panthers were a better regular-season team. The Panthers were fifth in the regular season in 5-on-5 expected goals in the regular season against the Rangers’ 21st mark. The Panthers have played better competition than the Rangers so far as well.

The Rangers have home ice, but home ice has proven valueless this playoffs. Road teams went 16-9 in the second round, putting road teams at 37-33 for the playoffs. The New York Rangers can win, because Shesterkin has the best stats of anyone left. But the thing is, the Panthers have won two series easily, even with a .902 Save%.

A goaltending edge wasn’t enough to save the Bruins. There’s no reason to think the Rangers will fare better. The Rangers obviously could win. You don’t make it to the Final Four by being bad. But they’re not as good as my pick to win the Cup. Florida in 6.

NHL Western Conference Finals Odds: Stars vs. Oilers

Series Analysis

The Stars have been anointed easy victors in this series by many on the platform formerly known as Twitter, but the Oilers are sneaky strong. The Oilers beat the Canucks despite Stuart Skinner giving up a 4-1 lead in Game 1, Arturs Silovs stopping 42 pucks in Game 3, and Skinner posting a .793 Save% in the first 3 games of the Canucks series. Far from getting passable goaltending, they got disastrous goaltending for much of the Canucks series and still won.

Skinner was better in the final two games, putting up a perfectly competent .906. He’s the decidedly weaker goalie in this series, but he needs to be just not terrible to give Edmonton a chance. The Oilers were the best team at 5-on-5 this year, accruing 58% of the expected goals in the regular season. Dallas, in a respectable fourth, only accrued 54%. The Oilers have been dominant since the Jay Woodcroft firing, and their stars are playing like stars. Leon Draisaitl had three goals and 11 assists against Vancouver. Connor McDavid in a down series? One goal and eight assists. The Oilers stars stepped up when they needed to.

The Stars, on the other hand? Jake Oettinger does an admirable Shesterkin impression, and the Stars are better in front of him, but they’re not as good as Edmonton outside of goaltending. Their talent mix of vets aging into smaller roles and young talent coming up is admirable, and they did take care of Colorado well. But the Avalanche did lose a key part of their team to the NHL’s Player Support system halfway through the series. It’s no solace to Avalanche fans or backers, but it’s eminently possible that that series goes differently without outside intervention.

The reason for optimism for the Oilers, outside of the fact that hot goaltending is unstable, is depth scoring. Evander Kane, Dylan Holloway, even Cody Ceci scored in the final two games for the Oilers. Getting more consistent contributions from outside the core group is crucial for the Oilers. They finally seem to have found a way to get more depth scoring.

With home ice being functionally meaningless in this series, the Stars need Oettinger to be elite. Could he be? Sure, but betting on the better goalie behind the worse team is a risky game. That logic got the Canadiens into a Cup Finals in 2021, and even got the Rangers a 2-0 series lead in the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals. But betting on goaltending is so risky.

I’d much rather go down swinging with Connor and Leon than with Jake Oettinger. The Oilers survived horrible goaltending to get here. If it’s just mediocre, they win easily. They can probably get mediocre. And I’m not stepping in front of the bus that is Playoff Scoring Leader Leon Draisaitl. Oilers in 6.

Best of luck betting NHL Conference Finals odds!

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