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Maple Leafs Remain Atop Stanley Cup Odds

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An injury to star center Auston Matthews combined with a shaky 3-4-0 run has contributed to Toronto’s fall from the top of the NHL standings. But the early-season adversity has not dampened the Maple Leafs’ position on the 2018 Stanley Cup odds, where they continue to lead the way as strengthened +600 favorites.

Toronto opened the campaign on a torrid pace, scoring more than 4.7 goals per game while posting wins in six of its first seven outings. However, the Maple Leafs have struggled to generate consistent offense of late, scoring just six times over their past five home outings ahead of Tuesday night’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights at Scotiabank Arena.

The Maple Leafs are without top goal scorer Matthews for an estimated four weeks as he recovers from a shoulder injury, but sit ahead of the +750 Stanley Cup odds they sported just two weeks ago.

The Tampa Bay Lightning continue to sit second to Toronto, climbing from +800 to +700 on the Stanley Cup betting odds, followed by the Nashville Predators, who have improved slightly from +900 to +850.

The Lightning and Predators sit neck-and-neck atop the NHL standings following strong starts. Tampa Bay has built its success on steady road performances, posting just one regulation loss in seven away dates, including a 3-1-1 record on a recent five-game Western swing that marks their longest road trip of the season.

The Predators enter the week with a sparkling 11-3-0 record, fueled by a current three-game win streak during which they have surrendered just two total goals. Owners of the NHL’s best regular-season record last season, the Predators have also solidified their position as favorites to repeat as Central Division champions, climbing to +125 on those NHL futures after opening the campaign as +150 chalk.

 

Hurricanes Make Gains on Stanley Cup Odds

While the favorites have held steady at the top of the NHL Stanley Cup odds, early-season surprises have shaken things up further down the odds board.

Pegged as a distant +10000 bet on opening night, a hot start has vaulted the new-look Carolina Hurricanes to a respectable +3500 Stanley Cup bet. Defenseman Dougie Hamilton and forward Micheal Ferland have had an immediate impact since being acquired in a deal with Calgary during the offseason.

In addition, Andrei Svechnikov has enjoyed a steady debut after being selected second overall by Carolina at the 2018 NHL Draft. The 18-year-old Russian made his first appearance on the Hurricanes’ second line in the club’s 3-0 loss in Vegas on Saturday, and is listed as a  +700 bet to claim Calder Trophy honors.

The Montreal Canadiens have also made a leap on the Stanley Cup odds, vaulting from +10000 to +3300 following a surprising start. Out west, Mikko Rantanen and Nathan McKinnon have combined for a league-leading 45 points during Colorado’s 7-4-3 start, lifting the Avalanche from +4000 to +2500.

Conversely, the Los Angeles Kings’ 4-8-1 record leaves them buried in the Western Conference basement, and has dumped them to a distant +6000 bet, well back of their season-opening position at +2600. The St. Louis Blues have also seen their Stanley Cup betting odds dip following a disappointing 4-5-3 start, tumbling from +2000 to +4000.

 

*Odds as of November 6, 2018

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