NHL postseason 2021 gambling guide: Avalanche odds, series breakdowns, and prop bets to watch – The Denver Post

The NHL playoffs are underway with 16 teams competing to hoist the Stanley Cup. Here is a breakdown for sports gamblers in Colorado and what they need to know.

Five favorites to win the Stanley Cup

Colorado Avalanche: You won’t be considered a homer if you gamble on the Avs to win it all. Goalie Philipp Grubauer is playing the best hockey of his career and a healthy Nathan MacKinnon is ready for Game 1. Title odds: +450

Vegas Golden Knights: Ageless starting goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, 36, and backup Robin Lehner serve as arguably the best net defense in the NHL. The Knights play a physical brand of hockey that should serve them well in the playoffs. Title odds: +600

Toronto Maple Leafs: Forward Auston Matthews leads the NHL in goals scored with 41, including 10 on the power play. Goalie Jack Campbell was also phenomenal this season with a .921 save percentage over 22 starts in net. Title odds: +700

Carolina Hurricanes: The Hurricanes won their first division title since 2006, due in part to a 13-game point streak (9-0-4) late in the season. Forward Sebastian Aho has paced Carolina with 24 goals and 33 assists. The Hurricanes are expected to feature up to three different goalies. Title odds: +750

Tampa Bay Lightning: The last team to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions were the Pittsburgh Penguins (2016-’17). Are the Lightning next? Tampa Bay touts goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, a favorite to win the Vezina Trophy, and returns injured star forward Nikita Kucherov (hip) in the playoffs. Title odds: +750

* Odds via BetMGM on Monday

First-round series odds

— Avalanche (-500) vs. Blues (+400)

— Lightning (-275) vs. Panthers (+200)

— Hurricanes (-250) vs. Predators (+190)

— Maple Leafs (-350) vs. Canadiens (+270)

— Oilers (-185) vs. Jets (+155)

— Knights (-110) vs. Wild (-110)

— Islanders (-175) vs. Penguins (+140)

* Odds via BetMGM on Monday

Five prop bets to watch

Extra hockey:  The odds that exactly one game in the Avs-Blues series will head into overtime sits at +140, slightly better than +220 for no OT games. How about four or more games with extra time (and the nightmare for every beat writer on deadline)? It’s +2,500.

Blanks: Don’t expect a shutdown to happen between the Avs and Blues. BetMGM has the odds of none happening in the series at -145. The odds that there will be four or more in the series is +8,000.

King of the North: It’s been 28 years since a team from Canada has won the Stanley Cup. That’s when Patrick Roy and the Montreal Canadiens beat the Los Angeles Kings in 1993. The odds are +400 for a Canadian team to buck the trend, according to BetMGM. Toronto has the best shot, at +700.

Comeback victor: The Avs are favored to advance to the second round without falling behind in their series to the Blues at -147, according to sportsbetting.com.

Playoffs’ best: Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon is the favorite to win the Conn Smythe Trophy for most valuable player of the playoffs at +750, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. He’s ahead of Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov (+1,100) and Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews (+1,100). Colorado winger Mikko Rantanan is tied for eighth at +2,000 and goaltender Philipp Grubauer is 14th at +2,500.

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