Four teams are alive in the race to reach the 2014 Stanley Cup Finals, and there is no clear-cut favorite to win the title.
The Chicago Blackhawks have the best championship betting odds at +180, but they are no guarantee to survive the Western Conference finals. After two games in their series with the Los Angeles Kings, the defending champs have lost home-ice advantage. L.A. stole Game Two in Chicago, tying up the series at 1-1.
Like the Blackhawks, the Kings have plenty of championship experience on their roster. In 2012, Jonathan Quick was awarded the Conn Smyth Trophy, after leading Los Angeles to their first championship in franchise history. Now, they’re headed back home on Saturday with a chance to take the lead in the series. Their odds stand at +250.
The New York Rangers’ odds are sandwiched between the Blackhawks and Kings. At +200, there’s a good chance they’ll win their first Stanley Cup in 20 years. They have a 2-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference finals over the Montreal Canadiens.
Prior to Game Three, it looked like the Rangers might sweep the higher-seeded Canadiens. They took both contests in Montreal, and arrived at Madison Square Garden on a five-game winning streak.
Despite the Canadiens’ latest victory, they’re considered longshots to win it all. Their odds have been set at +650, after an overtime win in New York. Montreal is without injured goalie Carey Price for the remainder of the series, and now the Rangers will be forced to replace their second-leading scorer. Derek Stepan is out indefinitely with a broken jaw. The injury resulted from a late hit by Brandon Prust, who’s likely to be hit with a suspension.
Before the start of the 2014 NHL playoffs, these were not expected to be the final four remaining teams Chicago had the fourth-best championship odds, and L.A. ranked seventh overall. Three other teams in the East had better odds than New York and Montreal. Both entered the postseason at 20/1 to win the Stanley Cup.
All betting odds are provided by Bovada.lv.