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by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post

A few teams are starting to stand out as Stanley Cup favourites on the NHL betting futures with the regular season just past the quarter-pole.

The Washington Capitals are at +850 with the Tampa Bay Lightning at +950 on the Stanley Cup odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The top of the board also includes the Boston Bruins (+1000), defending champion St. Louis Blues (+1200), Colorado Avalanche (+1400), New York Islanders (+1400), Toronto Maple Leafs (+1400), Edmonton Oilers (+1500), Vegas Golden Knights (+1500) and Carolina Hurricanes (+1800).

The Winnipeg Jets trail the top favourites on the board at +2500 odds to win the Stanley Cup.

The Capitals, led by Alex Ovechkin, are off to by far the stronger start of the top two favourites at sports betting sites as the Lightning are languishing in the packed Atlantic Division. It is worth noting that three of the league’s last four champions, including the Capitals in 2018, have come out of the Metropolitan Division and that might play in favour of a team that has won before. As the third favourite, the Bruins boast the quality in offence, defence and goaltending that should make them a strong contender come springtime.

Only one team in the last 20 seasons, the 2016 and 2017 Pittsburgh Penguins, has successfully repeated as champions. The Blues have started the season well in front of goalie Jordan Binnington but it might be hard to imagine them getting the breaks necessary to win it all again.

Toronto is off to a horrendous start with only two regulation-time wins in its last 16 games and it might be best to fade such an early straggler, particularly one that is struggling defensively. There is likely more value to be had with the Avalanche on those NHL odds, although they face questions about their depth. Likewise, the Islanders have concerns with their high-end scoring, but are also an intriguing dark horse. Both of those teams have retained the cap space to add talent later in the season.

Edmonton has the star power of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, but it’s worth noting that depth is usually what comes to the fore in the postseason. Vegas may have that quality in greater abundance, along with the money goaltending of Marc-Andre Fleury and the playoff pedigree from making a Stanley Cup final run as a first-year team in 2018.

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