2020-21 NHL preview: Stanley Cup odds, picks and predictions
We assess the odds and make our predictions for the 2020-21 Stanley Cup, with the new NHL season set to start on Wednesday.
Check out the Betway Insider's NHL picks and predictions page for tips throughout the 2020-21 NHL season.
Stanley Cup odds:
The Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights head into the 2020-21 NHL season as joint favourites to lift the Stanley Cup in July.
Colorado emerged as early favourites following the conclusion of the 2019-20 season, in which they were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs, and have maintained that billing throughout the offseason.
The Golden Knights made the Western Conference Finals last year, losing out to the Dallas Stars, but they are in a good position to win their first Stanley Cup in 2021.
Defending champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning , come in as third favourites to win back-to-back Stanley Cups.
The Lightning beat the Stars 4-2 in the 2020 Finals to win just their second NHL title.
Also among the favourites are the Toronto Maple Leafs , who are building an exciting team around Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner.
The ever-consistent Boston Bruins , seeking a fifth straight postseason appearance, come into 2020-21 as fifth favourites.
Stanley Cup picks:
There is a reason why the Colorado Avalanche were immediately installed as favourites ahead of the new NHL season.
This team is set to compete deep into the postseason for years to come, with a young core of serious talent supported by enough experienced heads to hold everything together.
Their defense ended last season with the eighth-best record and fifth-best GAA, and will be bolstered by the NHL debut of Bowen Byram, selected fourth overall in the 2019 Draft.
Their offense registered the fifth highest goals tally in 2019-20, with Nathan MacKinnon finishing on 93 points – also the fifth-best record in the NHL.
The arrival of Brandon Saad from Chicago in the offseason will add another 20 goals or so to their output.
Also on Colorado’s side is the one-off divisional realignment for the 2020-21 season, which has seen them taken out of a tough Central Division and put into the new West Division.
The Avalanche should coast into the postseason alongside the Golden Knights and the St. Louis Blues, and will find themselves seeded highly if they make the Semifinals.
If you are looking for an outside shot to back, then the New York Rangers look an interesting prospect at .
The Rangers have mounted a lightning-quick rebuild, highlighted by the acquisitions of Kaapo Kakko and Alexis Lafreniere – second and first picks in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
Leading scorer Artemi Panarin is one of the NHL’s elite forwards, while Mika Zibanejad will again provide a regular source of goals from center.
They face a tough schedule in the East Division, but will be tough series matchup for anyone should they make the playoffs.
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