NHL Stanley Cup Odds: Panthers Favored with Playoffs Approaching

Scott Edwards Jr.
Scott Edwards Jr.@ScottEdwardsJr
NHL Stanley Cup Odds: Panthers Favored with Playoffs Approaching

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are right around the corner, and the true contenders have established themselves from the rest of the pack.

There may be no playoffs in professional sports more unpredictable than the NHL's, which makes the Stanley Cup odds market all the more enticing this time of year. Right now, it feels like there are 11 teams in contention to take home Lord Stanley's Cup.

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

NHL Stanley Cup Odds

Stanley Cup Odds
Florida Panthers+650
Colorado Avalanche+700
Carolina Hurricanes+700
Edmonton Oilers+800
Dallas Stars+900
New York Rangers+1000
Boston Bruins+1100
View Full Table

Florida Panthers (+650)

On a night-to-night basis, there is no one playing at the level of the Florida Panthers these days.

Last season, they learned what it takes to get to the Stanley Cup Finals. Now it's about winning the whole shebang. Florida still has a chance to secure the top seed in the Atlantic Division, being two points back from the Boston Bruins.

The Panthers turned a corner when 2024 came around. In the first half of the NHL season, the Panthers had the second-best Corsi for (CF/60) and Corsi against per 60 minutes (CA/60) in the NHL. The problem for them was that they weren't scoring, averaging just 2.96 goals for per 60 minutes (GF/60).

When January 1st arrived, the goalscoring switch flipped on. They've averaged 3.43 GF/60 in 36 games while having the second-best expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60) at a 3.40 clip.

Florida's greatest attribute, however, is keeping the puck out of their own net. Led by Sergei Bobrovsky, the Panthers have limited opponents to 2.63 goals against per 60 minutes (GA/60) -- an NHL-best. They're also third with 2.74 expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60), so they're playing up to the standard they've set. Bobrovsky has a great resume to work off of when it comes to the playoffs, giving them an advantage.

At +650 odds, no team has a better case than Florida. They have everything going their way to make the run in this year's playoffs.

Colorado Avalanche (+700)

The Colorado Avalanche are an offensive juggernaut that knows what it takes to win the Stanley Cup. It's only right they're respected in this market.

No team in the NHL averages more goals on a per-game basis, scoring 3.69 GF/60 to lead the league. The Avalanche are outdoing their xGF/60 by almost half a goal (3.25) with Hart Trophy favorite (-300) Nathan MacKinnon leading the way.

Where there might be hesitation with the Avs is in goal. Colorado does rank ninth with a 57.62 CA/60 but is 15th with 3.00 xGA/60. That's the lowest mark for any team in the top five odds-wise, which says a bit. Heading into the playoffs, the good news for them is that they have been slightly better with 2.93 GA/60.

Alexandar Georgiev will need to show up big in the playoffs. He's got a 2.82 goals against average (GAA) and .903 save percentage (SV%) while ranking 30th with 7.32 goals saved above expectation. Nothing jumps off the screen, and it will be their goaltending that wins or loses them the Stanley Cup.

Carolina Hurricanes (+700)

Consistency has been the name of the game for the Carolina Hurricanes for years now. And yet they haven't reached a Stanley Cup Final since 2006 -- the last time they won.

It's been apparent under head coach Rod Brind'Amour that this team is one of the best in hockey. And they're having the best statistical year possible heading into the playoffs. Carolina ranks first in the league with a 69.98 CF/60 and 48.78 CA/60 -- both by a solid margin. At 3.33 GF/60, they're in line with their 3.30 xGF/60.

The Hurricanes do have a similar problem to the Avs, but they've been able to keep the puck out of their net thanks to their top-rated defense. The NHL lead in xGA/60 is 2.66 by the Hurricanes, which they're slightly outperforming with 2.63 GA/60.

Carolina has been counting on Pyotr Kochetkov between the pipes all season. He's not the type of goalie to steal a game for his team, as shown by his 40th-ranked 3.76 goals saved above expectation.

The savior for them may be the returning Frederik Andersen, who missed a majority of the season but is back now playing some of the best hockey of his career. He's got a 2.05 GAA and .925 SV% through 12 games this season. A goalie stealing games in the playoffs is how teams win. We've seen it year after year, with Adin Hill being the most recent in 2022-23. Andersen is fresh and that might give them a huge edge.

Time isn't fully out of hand for the Hurricanes, but with so many free agents following this year, it's near now or never to win. They've made the moves with Jake Guentzel being among them -- now it's time to show up.

Edmonton Oilers (+800)

A coaching change in the first half of the season changed everything for the Edmonton Oilers. Sitting at +800 odds, there's reason to like their chances.

On November 12th, the Oilers named Kris Knoblauch as their new head coach. In the 57 games since, no club in the league has been better than Edmonton. The Oilers are 40-14-3 with 83 points to show for it. They're third in the league in CF/60 (64.46), CA/60 (54.91), and GF/60 (3.73) while ranking first with 3.69 xGF/60.

Edmonton is doing big things in their own end, which is where the main change came with Knoblauch taking over. He's coached them to hold their opponents to 2.82 xGA/60, good for sixth.

Stuart Skinner is one of the stories of the season as a result. His numbers were as bad as you could imagine, posting a brutal .861 SV% and 3.53 GAA. The type of switch he made in net is impressive, as he's had a .913 SV% and 2.48 GAA ever since.

There's an argument that the Oilers are the best team in the NHL under Knoblauch. If they can keep up their level of play when the times get toughest and the pressure is set to the highest level, then the Oilers are a team worth betting on.

Dallas Stars (+900)

The Dallas Stars deserve to be in the conversation, and at +900 odds, they are a value in the market.

Everything that the teams above them in the odds do well, the Stars are right there with them. Dallas is in the top 10 in the important offensive categories. They rank eighth with a 63.35 CF/60 while placing second in GF/60 (3.61) and ninth in xGF/60 (3.24).

Defensively, they're very strong, as well. The Stars are eighth with a 57.43 CA/60 and second with 2.68 xGA/60. These are the most important statistics heading into the playoffs, as they are playing at a high level where it matters most. They do rank only 12th with 2.93 GA/60, though, so it's important to get closer to their expected total when the playoffs come around.

As I've discussed with the other teams, this will come down to goaltending. Jake Oettinger has not lived up to expectations this season, as shown by his .898 SV%. He also had a 2.97 GAA, which isn't great, either.

The good sign for him is that he's held up in his last three games, allowing only two goals per game while making 20-plus saves. It's little things like this that the Stars need to look at to hope their franchise goalie turns things around in time for the playoff run.

The +900 odds are quite good for a team that has experience and talent like Dallas. It's a team to seriously consider in the market and the best beyond the Panthers due to their odds compared to others.

Looking for more NHL betting opportunities? Check out all of the NHL odds at FanDuel Sportsbook.

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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.