Just because the Philadelphia Flyers are not in the Stanley Cup Playoffs doesn’t mean you should avoid the hockey postseason. In fact, there’s a good chance the hockey playoffs are far more entertaining than the product the NBA puts on the floor from April to June. Six of the 16 playoff participants are listed between +650 and +850 to win the Stanley Cup and 10 teams recorded at least 100 points in the regular season.

The first round should be fun as hell to watch so here’s a blurb on each of the eight series and what to watch from a betting perspective. And if I can’t sell you on the Stanley Cup playoffs there’s always NJ online casino and PA online casino you can play.

Eastern Conference


There’s always one big upset in the first round. The New York Islanders have the right formula in place to knock off the current Stanley Cup favorite Carolina Hurricanes. The Isles won two regular-season meetings with the Canes and took them to overtime in a third contest. They enter the postseason with eight wins in their last nine games.

Of course, you could argue that the Isles spent so much energy just getting to the postseason that they will burn out fast against the Canes. That could happen, but it’s cooler to dream about the series upset at +280.


Washington is ahead of schedule on its turnaround and owns the highest odds to win the Stanley Cup of the 16 playoff teams. The New York Rangers should wipe the floor with the Caps, but don’t use a first-round series win as a reason to bet the Blueshirts to win the Stanley Cup. They have the Presidents’ Trophy curse hanging over them.

Maple Leafs-Bruins

Toronto is the perpetual postseason underachiever in the NHL. The Leafs made it a big deal just to get out of the first round for the first time in six tries last season. Boston is pissed off after losing in the first round to Florida last year and it could set up a rematch with the Panthers in the second round.

The big difference here is goaltending. Boston ranks third in the NHL in save percentage and it has two trustworthy goalies in Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman. Toronto owns the second-worst save percentage among playoff participants.

This might be the best “Just Bet the Stars” series with David Pastrnak and Auston Matthews shots on goal. Pastrnak had 24 shots on goal and Matthews had 20 SOGs in the four regular-season meetings.


The Lightning have the worst save percentage among the 16 playoff participants. The window might be closed on winning a third title in five years, especially because Florida has far better goaltending and got to the Stanley Cup Final and lost in 2023.

Florida won the season series 3-1. I would look at the series spread prop of Panthers -1.5 at +110 because of all the edges the Panthers possess.

Western Conference


A lot of people will bill this series as the best in the first round because the Los Angeles Kings and Edmonton Oilers played in each of the last two postseasons. Edmonton won both times, but then faded out in the following rounds. If the Oilers win in six or seven games, they will be worn down and probably will not win the Cup regardless of if they have Connor McDavid.

Kings-Oilers could be the best series for Same Game Parlays with some combination of Kevin Fiala, Adrian Kempe, Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman shots on goal.

McDavid, Draisaitl and Kempe all had 25+ SOGs in last year’s playoff series, Hyman had 3 or more SOGs in three of four games against LA and Edmonton was only one of two teams Fiala had multiple 5+ SOG games against in the regular season.


Winnipeg’s only shot is if Connor Hellebuyck gets hot in net, which is very possible. Nathan MacKinnon had 140 regular-season points. DraftKings is offering him to have the most points in the series at +120. He’s also +200 to score the most goals. Both of those props are worth a decent investment if you think the Avs cruise.

Golden Knights-Stars

I would rank this 1A to Kings-Oilers on the list of must-watch series. Vegas is the reigning Stanley Cup champion, while Dallas has arguably the deepest roster in the NHL. This is the only matchup of teams in the top eight in Stanley Cup futures odds in the first round. Vegas won all three regular-season meetings, but two of those games went into overtime.

I would look into the over on series distance in this matchup. It probably goes at least six.


Nashville-Vancouver is the only first-round matchup of teams in the bottom half of the Stanley Cup futures odds board. That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement to watch the series.

Vancouver won all three regular-season meetings by a combined score of 13-6. So with the way hockey playoffs go, this is will end up as the most entertaining series because no one expected it.