The New York Islanders continue to thrive in the underdog role, but they are now facing their biggest test of the season in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. New York will be facing the Tampa Bay Lightning, the defending Stanley Cup champions.
Tampa Bay is listed at -250 to win the series over the Islanders, while New York has odds set at +225. This would not be one of the biggest upsets of all time if New York advanced, but it would be a pretty big shock in the NHL.
When looking at betting on the correct score for the series, the odds for this series to finish in give games is listed at +360. That is the best odds listed for the correct number of games, and that isn’t giving the Islanders much of a chance.
New York began the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs by knocking off the Pittsburgh Penguins and then eliminated the Boston Bruins in six games. The Islanders have proven to be a real threat, but they are facing off against a team that has few weaknesses.
Vegas Are Big Favorites
The Vegas Golden Knights are now the new favorites to win the Stanley Cup after eliminating the Colorado Avalance in the previous round. Vegas has been one of the favorites since the season began, and the odds are now set at +125.
Tampa Bay is next on the list at +145, and the Islanders come in next at +600. Bettors that back the Islanders hope that New York can win just eight more games to cash in on a big wager.
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner
Another big betting market when it comes to the Stanley Cup Playoffs is a wager on which player will win the Conn Smythe Trophy. This award is given to the MVP of the entire playoffs, and it usually comes from the team that wins the Stanley Cup.
Marc-Andre Fleury is the clear favorite at this point in time, with odds set at +170 to win the award. The Vegas goaltender completely shut down the Colorado Avalanche and will be key for the Golden Knights as the playoffs continue.
Andrei Vasilevskiy (+195) and Semyon Varlamov (+650) are next on the list, and the top three players listed are all goaltenders.
NHL Gets Travel Permission
One of the biggest stories surrounding the Stanley Cup semifinals was the attempt by the NHL to gain a waiver to lift travel restrictions between the US and Canada. This not only affects the Montreal Canadiens coming to the US but would affect any team from the US looking to cross the border.
Canada continues to be hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and they still have a 14-day quarantine period in place for all non-essential travel. Even though the Stanley Cup Playoffs is a major sporting event, it still classifies as non-essential travel.
The league was able to be given a waiver by health officials in Canada, and this will allow teams to cross the border freely, without having to self-isolate or quarantine. The NHL does have some strict COVID-19 policies in place, and these will help limit the potential spread of the virus.