We picked the Bolts to win the Cup last summer and they cruised to a win after going 16-6 in the playoffs. Although there were upsets during the Qualifying Round, the First round of playoffs only features 2 upsets out of 8 series. With these divisions aligned with familiarity and rankings based on divisional play, I expect upsets to be difficult.

Let’s take a look at each division and pick an eventual cup winner as well.

“with the Bolts raising the cup.”

Last Year’s Playoff Preview


Hunger, better goaltending and special teams leads me to think this division will have at least one if not two upsets. NYI to win series +130; BOS to win series (ranked 3), -160 odds to win series


CAR was 6-2 vs. NAS regular season and has all the key elements to make a deeper run this time around. If you can find CAR -1.5 games series bets around -130; still worth it. I peg it closer to -175/-180 situationally.
TAM vs. FLA is going to be interesting. Here I still give it to the defending champs. Goaltending experience will be the difference and defensive depth. Kucherov should be back!


Which Binnington will show up here? Regardless, I think the Avs are going to take the series easily. Minny has Vegas’ number in terms of competitive games and even regular season wins. I think it’s more like MIN +155/+160; so at +215, I’m game. Avs will do their thing.


I’m trying not to get too excited about upsets because of my opening premise, however I’m not too thrilled about TOR and EDM as heavy favourites, odds/betting wise. They should win, but the Jets have picked up their confidence. Toronto’s defense is not great and this is going to be playoff hockey. I’m going to pick TOR and WPG to advance.

Opening View Post First Round

EC looks like NYI vs BOS and CAR vs. TAM
WC looks like COL vs MIN? and TOR vs. WPG

Stay tuned as we revisit this after the first round. My Stanley Cup pick is going to be the Bolts again. They won’t cruise 16-6 again, but I don’t think any of these teams will cruise through this year. I like Tampa; especially at +750 to win the Cup!

NHL Playoffs Picks – Round 1
1.5u CAR -1.5 games to win series -130
1u NYI +130
1u BOS+COL -103
0.5u MIN +215

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