NHL Stanley Cup Odds: Hurricanes, Panthers Are the Favorites as the Playoffs Begin

Scott Edwards Jr.
Scott Edwards Jr.@ScottEdwardsJr
NHL Stanley Cup Odds: Hurricanes, Panthers Are the Favorites as the Playoffs Begin

The 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs officially arrive on Saturday night.

After 82 grueling regular season games, the postseason starts as 16 teams fight it out to become Stanley Cup champions. As with any hockey playoffs, there's going to be favorites and surprises throughout the bracket -- making for an exciting time and a field worth betting on. This season feels like one that has more potential winners than any year in a long time, proving it harder to make a pick.

Let's dive into the Stanley Cup odds via the NHL odds on FanDuel Sportsbook.

NHL Stanley Cup Odds

Stanley Cup Odds
Carolina Hurricanes+650
Florida Panthers+700
Dallas Stars800
New York Rangers+800
Colorado Avalanche+850
Edmonton Oilers+850
Vegas Golden Knights+1100
View Full Table

Carolina Hurricanes (+650)

It's simple -- the Carolina Hurricanes are absolutely loaded and have everything they need to finally make the run.

Under head coach Rod Brind'Amour, the Hurricanes have been contenders for the past five seasons. And, yet, they haven't made it to the Stanley Cup Finals once. Carolina has made their way to the Conference Finals twice in that span, including last season -- when they fell to the Florida Panthers. Their problems have ranged from consistency to goaltending in the playoffs, both of which they've fixed this season.

No team was as good as the Hurricanes on both ends of the ice.

The Hurricanes led the league in Corsi for per 60 minutes (CF/60) at 70.21 and Corsi against per 60 minutes (CA/60) at 48.25. Carolina was also top 10 with 3.34 goals for per 60 minutes (GF/60) and top five with 3.41 expected goals per 60 minutes (xGF/60). On the defensive end, they limited opponents to 2.55 goals against per 60 minutes (GA/60) while also posting the best expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60) at 2.60.

Carolina screams dominance every night on and off the ice. There's nothing holding them back from making the run this year, and they made the biggest addition at the deadline via Jake Guentzel. With the 'Canes having so many players potentially heading into free agency this offseason, this is the time for them to make a run.

If you're going to consider betting on any team, the Hurricanes deserve the attention.

Florida Panthers (+700)

There's been times this season where the Florida Panthers look like the best team in the NHL. After Florida ended the regular season on a four-game winning streak, there's a good chance they're back to their best heading into the playoffs.

Florida was right behind Carolina in both CF/60 (67.88) and CA/60 (53.13), which makes them the top challenger in the Eastern Conference. If there was a reason to potentially favor the Panthers over the Hurricanes, it's that they're the team that made it to the Stanley Cup Finals a year ago.

And to follow that up, the Panthers are a better team than they were a year ago.

The Panthers made a big addition at the NHL Trade Deadline, acquiring Vladimir Tarasenko to bolster their offense. On the defensive end, they're starting off the playoffs on the right foot as Aaron Ekblad will be ready to go in Game 1 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Nothing is guaranteed in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but the Panthers know what it takes to get to the Finals. This time, they want to get it done, and they're in position to do exactly that.

Dallas Stars (+800)

While the Dallas Stars didn't have the top seed in the Western Conference until late into the 2023-24 regular season, no team showed the consistency game-in and game-out like the Stars did. It's why -- out of all the Western Conference squads -- this is the one to be most afraid of.

Dallas has been trying to get themselves back to the Stanley Cup Finals since making it in the 2019-20 season. It was a year ago under head coach Peter DeBoer that they made it to the Conference Finals before falling to the eventual Stanley Cup Champions, the Vegas Golden Knights.

Still hungry and still determined, the Stars have a great mix of star power and veterans. Dallas ranked sixth in the NHL with a 63.84 GF/60 and had the same rank on defense, as well, with a 57.08 CA/60.

The biggest question for the Stars in this year's playoffs will be Jake Oettinger. Statistically, this was Oettinger's worst season in the NHL -- even if it was still solid compared to other goaltenders in the playoffs. He posted a 2.72 goals against average (GAA) and .905 save percentage (SV%) -- both ranking as career-worsts in his four-year career. The bright side, however, is that Oettinger began to really find it as the season came to a close, winning back-to-back games and allowing just one goal in each contest.

If this is a sign of Oettinger finding his game, then the Stars are right there with the Hurricanes, in my opinion. They have to go through the Golden Knights, though. If Dallas can get through the reigning champs, it's going to be their conference to lose in my eyes.

New York Rangers (+800)

It may seem a bit odd to see the Presidents' Trophy winners anywhere but the top of this market, but that's the reality for the New York Rangers.

The Rangers have everything a contender needs -- great goaltending, fine defense, and a good offense. Igor Shesterkin finding his top level of play pushed New York to the Presidents' Trophy. On the season, he finished with a 2.58 GAA and .913 SV% but has been better in his team's last 20 games as he had a 2.33 GAA and .918 SV%.

With the goaltending locked up, it is interesting to look elsewhere with this team. New York ranked 13th with a 62.31 CF/60, 7th in GF/60 (3.35), and 8th in xGF/60 (3.23). They're not the top offensive team in the league, which is why a potential matchup with the Hurricanes in the quarterfinals could be a problem.

The defensive side of the puck is where they don't rate well compared to the other teams ahead of them. The Rangers ranked 15th with a 59.11 CA/60, but their solid goaltending brought them to a 2.73 GA/60 (seventh-best).

New York is in a position to succeed, but the Presidents' Trophy curse has been real. It's been more than a decade since the top regular season team won the Stanley Cup. The Rangers have the team to contend and change that trend, but that's worth keeping in mind if you're contemplating a wager on New York.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.