The Pittsburgh Penguins finished off the Nashville Predators in six games to win their second consecutive Stanley Cup title and the oddsmakers are predicting they will do it again next season.
The Penguins needed just five games to knock off the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round of the playoffs this spring, but then had a couple of brutally tough seven-game series against the Washington Capitals and the Ottawa Senators to reach the Stanley Cup final.
Pittsburgh took care of the Predators in the first two games at home by scores of 5-3 and 4-1 to move to clear championship favorites on the betting futures. The Predators, though, staged a comeback when the series shifted to Nashville, winning Games 3 and 4 by a combined 9-2.
It was all Pittsburgh from there, as they won Game 5 at home in a 6-0 romp and then blanked the Predators 2-0 in Nashville in Game 6 to secure their second straight Stanley Cup.
Bovada Sportsbook came out with odds to win the 2018 Stanley Cup the next day and the Penguins are pegged as the clear +750 betting favorites, as all their core players will be back with the team for next season – captain Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel, goaltender Matt Murray, and defenseman Kris Letang, who missed the team’s Cup run this year with a serious neck injury.
Next on the 2018 Stanley Cup futures board are a pair of NHL Western Conference clubs, with the Chicago Blackhawks and the Edmonton Oilers both at +1200. Chicago was a Stanley Cup favorite heading into this year’s playoffs but suffered a shocking sweep at the hands of the Predators in the first round. Edmonton, finally back in the playoffs behind league scoring champion Connor McDavid, lost in seven games to the Anaheim Ducks in the second round.
The Ducks, Predators, Capitals, and Tampa Bay Lightning are all holding down a line of +1400 to win the 2018 Stanley Cup, with Tampa Bay looking to rebound after missing the playoffs this season. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens lead a group of five teams at +1600 that includes the Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, and New York Rangers.
The Los Angeles Kings (+1800), Blue Jackets (+2000), and San Jose Sharks (+2200) then round out the top half of the 2018 Stanley Cup odds, with the rest of the league set at +2800 or lower on that futures list. That includes the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, who are listed as the longshot at +10000 as they prepare for their first season in the league this fall.