The teams are preparing for the stretch run of the 2019 NHL season.
That means it’s time to take a look at some of the possible matchups we could see come the Stanley Cup Finals, as well as which of those teams are worth considering making a value play on before
their lines become too popular.
For this post, all odds were provided by Bovada.lv.
Bovada.lv is one of the selected trusted betting sites we promote that can provide you with up to date odds on which team will
win the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals.
Never forget to shop your lines to ensure you get the best value available.
Odds to Win the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals
Tampa Bay Lightning+220
San Jose Sharks+1000
Toronto Maple Leafs+1000
Vegas Golden Knights+1400
New York Islanders+1800
Columbus Blue Jackets+2200
St. Louis Blues+2500
Odds provided by Bovada.lv and up to date as of 03/08/19
Potential 2019 Stanley Cup Final Matchups
With most NHL fans seeing the Tampa Bay Lightning as the Golden State Warriors of the NHL, let’s dive deeper into some potential Stanley Cup Finals matchups for the current NHL points leader.
Even though the Tampa Bay Lightning seem to have a stranglehold on the Eastern Conference, anything can happen in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
That being said, I would like to take a look at a couple potential matchups that don’t include the Tampa Bay Lightning. Since they’re realistically at just a hair over a two-to-one favorite right
now to win the Stanley Cup Finals, chances are there is better value amongst other contenders to win it all.
Along the way of previewing potential Stanley Cup Finals matchups, I will also point out some value that I am sure we all have missed on with some teams as well as other teams that still
currently hold the type of value worthy of an investment.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Nashville Predators
It’s hard to ignore the type of success that the Tampa Bay Lightning have had this season.
So, for this preview, I’m going to give the Lightning the respect they deserve at this point in the season and include Tampa in a couple of the matchups as possible Stanley Cup Finals previews.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have the type of roster that could win it all.
One of the strengths that I feel Tampa has is depth. Teams cannot have enough of it come playoff time.
For Tampa Bay, I specifically like the depth they have in players that are able to take over a game and lead them in points on any given night. With right winger Nikita Kucherov leading the way
for the team in terms of points, he gets plenty of production help from centers Brayden Point and the vet Steven Stamkos.
The other area of strength that I think Tampa Bay has the edge in the league on is the goaltending position. The goalie tandem of starter Andrei Vasilevskiy and backup Louis Domingue is arguably
the strongest in the league. The pair have a goal allowed average under 3 goals a game for this season.
When rest days are few and far between in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, having depth is vital when attempting to make a deep run into the playoffs and eventually winning it all.
After taking a look at the current odds to win the Stanley Cup Finals, I like the value that Nashville provides. At +1200, they’re the team that I have decided to match up first against the
league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning.
Nashville has come up short in the Stanley Cup Playoffs but has the experience that allows a team to break through during the playoffs.
The Predators have that roster full of vets that is always capable of putting together a run late in the season.
In my previous Stanley Cup Finals preview, I noted that I like building my Stanley Cup Playoffs roster with a strong defense.
Well, Nashville has exactly that. Defenseman P.K. Subban is arguably their best player, and between him and veteran goaltender Pekka Rinne, the Nashville Predators have the defensive leadership I
think it takes for a team to make a run at lifting the Stanley Cup.
Nashville made it to the 2016-17 Stanley Cup Finals, eventually losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games. It can be hard for any team to have the stamina to get back to the Stanley Cup
Finals after having such a deep playoff run, especially for the losing side. I believe Nashville fell into this trap last season, and it proved true as they were unable to make as deep of a run
as they had in 2016-17.
Now a season removed, I feel that at this price, this is going to be the matchup that I would rank as most likely to happen. It also provides the best value with Nashville’s current odds sitting
at 12 to 1.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Winnipeg Jets
With how dominant Tampa Bay has been this regular season, they deserve to be in another potential Stanley Cup Finals matchup, this time versus the Winnipeg Jets.
Since I have already gone into some of the reasons that I feel Tampa Bay is deserving of being included in more than one matchup, I will keep my focus on why the Winnipeg Jets have what it takes
to represent the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Similar to the Nashville Predators, the Winnipeg Jets have a roster full of experience coming off of back-to-back seasons deep in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
I like that the Winnipeg offensive points come from a combination of youth and experience with 25-year-old center Mark Scheifele and 32-year-old veteran right winger Blake Wheeler.
I’m sure it’s because I have seen so many teams break down defensively in the Stanley Cup Playoffs to never overlook the importance of having leadership on the defensive line and between the
posts. The Winnipeg Jets, similar to the Nashville Predators, fulfill this requirement.
Defenseman Dustin Byfuglien is the leader on the ice, and with competitive goalie Connor Hellebuyck capable of keeping his team in the game, the Jets have built the type of roster that I think is
key to making a run at the Stanley Cup.
They have a combination of youth and veteran experience on offense sprinkled in with a focus on defense. This is the recipe I like rosters to have to make a run at winning it all. It takes the
right combination to make it all come together and lead to a world title, just like a recipe can lead to a world-class dish.
Washington Capitals vs. Calgary Flames
Next up, let’s step away from the ever-so-popular Tampa Bay Lightning winning the Eastern Conference and see which team to keep an eye on just in case Tampa Bay is unable to continue their
regular-season success into the playoffs.
Anything can happen in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, including the defending champion being able to go back-to-back. We need only to look at the 2016 and 2017 Pittsburgh Penguins to see that there
can be a repeat champion in the NHL.
With Alex Ovechkin leading the way for the Capitals, it’s definitely a possibility for the defending champs to make another run at partying with Sir Stanley.
Add Braden Holtby to the mix, and Washington has the goalie that has already experienced what it takes to make a run at a championship in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Holtby made some impressive
saves during last year’s championship run. No matter how he is playing coming into this year’s playoffs, he’s shown he has the ability to put it all together at the right time and lead his team
back to the Stanley Cup Finals.
I think I forgot to mention one little thing. The defending champs are currently sitting at +1600. That’s 16 to 1 on a team that already knows what it takes to win it all and has clearly shown
already this season that they are taking defending their title seriously.
Now for their opponent.
In this Stanley Cup Finals matchup, I put the defending champs up against the surprise team of the 2018-19 NHL season, and that’s the Calgary Flames.
Last season, the Calgary Flames missed the playoffs and were at the bottom of the Western Conference. But after spending some money in the offseason, specifically on LW James Neal, it was clear
that the Calgary organization wasn’t going to accept another last-place finish and missed playoff appearance.
With Calgary players like Johnny Gaudreau and Mark Giordano having the best seasons of their careers, it has been the depth scoring and timely defense that has led the Calgary Flames to the lead
in the Western Conference.
Looking at potential early playoff-round matchups, it may be harder for the Flames early in the playoffs versus either the San Jose Sharks or Vegas Golden Knights, then later if they can build
some momentum heading into the later playoff rounds.
Regardless of the outcome, it has been a great turnaround for the Flames. I personally would like to see them at a better number than +950, but the public has caught on to the type of season they
At the same time, that number tells me that the Las Vegas sportsbooks are taking the Flames very seriously, as the Flames are currently the third-favorites to win the Stanley Cup Finals.
At the time of that article, the San Jose Sharks were my dark horse at +2000. Now, after the type of winning streak that can catapult a team up the standings and towards the top of the betting
favorites, the San Jose Sharks are all the way down to +1000.
Even with the line no longer holding the type of value we would prefer, the Sharks can’t be ignored as a possible Western Conference winner.
The biggest obstacle for the Sharks may be themselves in the sense that they have had a difficult time staying healthy this season, with All-Star defensemen Erik Karlsson the latest player to go
down with an injury.
The current update on Karlsson is week to week with a groin injury. It’s not as bad as we initially thought when everyone saw the replay. If the Sharks can stay healthy, they have positioned
themselves to steal the West from the Calgary Flames.
As well as getting healthy, the Sharks have the roster build to get it done in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Karlsson and Brent Burns lead the way for the Sharks on defense as centers Joe Pavelski
and Tomas Hertl lead the team on the offensive end with goal scoring.
Also, since my previous article, the Sharks have been the team that has made the biggest turnaround and climbed the Western Conference standings.
Finally, the Boston Bruins at +900 are the last team to make the initial list of teams to consider winning the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The more difficult part for the Boston Bruins is going to be
getting out of the Eastern Conference side of the playoff bracket.
With teams like the Tampa Bay Lightning and defending champions Washington Capitals, the Boston Bruins will need to play their best hockey to make it past the likes of the Lightning and the
Fortunately for Bruins fans, Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak lead one of the best offensive teams in the league. And being from what seems to be the current title town in
Boston, the Bruins are perfectly familiar with what it takes to win it all and take Sir Stanley back to Boston.
As for now, these seven teams are going to make up the initial group of teams that are worth considering for a futures pick.
Current Predictions and Recap
My current prediction for teams to meet in the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals is Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Nashville Predators
My current prediction for the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals winner is Nashville Predators
It’s not hard to see why the Tampa Bay Lightning are the favorites to bring the Stanley Cup to Tampa Bay. The Lightning have been the best team all regular season and have positioned themselves
with home ice through the playoffs to ensure that they give themselves the best show at winning it all.
Unfortunately for bettors, at only a +220 price, it’s hard to see the value in such a low line for a futures bet. Fortunately for you as a reader, though, I have done the heavy lifting and
separated six other teams from the pack to join the Tampa Bay Lightning with contender status.
The Nashville Predators at +1200 and the defending champion Washington Capitals at +1600 provide the best current value to win the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals.
Prices will change as we reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but look for updates on our gambling blog for which teams I will be leaning towards
investing in to see party with the Stanley Cup come the summer.