Check out our latest NHL picks for which team will win each first-round Stanley Cup playoff series.
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The 2021 NHL playoffs are up and running, and they've so far started with a bang. As of now, not one of the eight first-round series is fully determined. And that means we just have to drop our latest NHL Stanley Cup playoff series picks.
Let's check out the current odds for who will win each series, courtesy of the folks over at Bovada:
|Toronto Maple Leafs||-370||+285||Montreal Canadiens|
|Carolina Hurricanes||-650||+425||Nashville Predators|
|Pittsburgh Penguins||-130||+110||New York Islanders|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||-1000||+600||Florida Panthers|
|Edmonton Oilers||-175||+155||Winnipeg Jets|
|Vegas Golden Knights||-170||+150||Minnesota Wild|
|Colorado Avalanche||-1100||+650||St. Louis Blues|
|Boston Bruins||-180||+160||Washington Capitals|
These NHL prop odds are accurate as of May 19, so it's important that you check them before deciding on any wager. They will shift as more and more games are played.
NHL Playoff Series Picks
Of course, before we dive fully in, it's a good idea to take a look at the most up-to-date Stanley Cup winner-betting odds. These lines come via BetOnline and are also accurate as of May 19:
|Stanley Cup Pick|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+180|
|Vegas Golden Knights||+225|
|New York Islanders||+550|
Toronto Maple Leafs (-370) vs. Montreal Canadiens (+285)
Series Score: Tied 0-0
If you want to bet on the Toronto Maple Leafs, it's better to do so before the series starts—and definitely try to do it before Game 2. Their odds are only going to shift further toward favorite status.
Sure, the Maple Leafs have some flaws. They are good on both ends of the ice but not exactly elite. They can allow a few too many shots on goal, and their 90.5 save percentage is only a hair above average.
That doesn't scare us. The Montreal Canadiens have one of the least impressive offenses in the league and their goalie play has slumped in a big way of late. Don't be surprised if they go down in five here.
OSB Series Prediction: Maple Leafs (-370)
Carolina Hurricanes (-650) vs. Nashville Predators (+425)
Series Score: Hurricanes lead 2-0
This series doesn't currently warrant a deep dive. The Nashville Predators look flat-out beat.
Through two games, the Carolina Hurricanes have outscored them 8-2. Most recently, they shut them out in Game 2, 3-0, while basically walking into scores between the post. Both Nashville's offense and defense look cooked.
OSB Series Prediction: Hurricanes (-650)
Pittsburgh Penguins (-130) vs. New York Islanders (+110)
Series Score: 1-1
Go ahead and put the Pittsburgh Penguins on upset alert.
No, this isn't just because the New York Islanders took Game 1. They don't have the offensive experience to keep putting in four goals every night. They reminded us as much in Game 2, scoring just once.
But the defense is for real, and it has made life hell on the Penguins. New York is saving a league-best 92.1 percent of shots on goal and is the second-best squad when it comes to limiting power play opportunities for its opponent. We firmly believe they can eke out a first-round victory over Pittsburgh.
OSB Series Prediction: New York Islanders (+110)
Tampa Bay Lightning (-1000) vs. Florida Panthers (+600)
Series Score: Lightning lead 2-0
People who like setting money on fire are free to roll with the Florida Panthers. Everyone else should go with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
This series isn't a contest as far as we're concerned. Tampa Bay has Florida beat at both ends of the ice, and it shows. Incredible still, the Lightning haven't even peaked on defense yet. They have kept their distance and allowed the Panthers to unleash some extra shots on goal. That'll last for only so long.
OSB Series Prediction: Lightning (-1000)
Edmonton Oilers (-175) vs. Winnipeg Jets (+155)
Series Score: Jets lead 1-0
Oddsmakers aren't flinching after the Edmonton Oilers gave up Game 1. And guess what: We're with them.
Superstars become much more important in the postseason, and the Oilers have two of them, in Conor McDavid and Leo Draisaitl. What's more, the Winnipeg Jets are working off a fluke victory. They might have the firepower to hit three goals on a regular basis, but they don't have the defensive talent to keep limiting Edmonton to one score.
OSB Series Prediction: Oilers (-175)
Vegas Golden Knights (-170) vs. Minnesota Wild (+150)
Series Score: 1-1
It has become abundantly clear that people undervalued the Vegas Golden Knights headed into the postseason. Their numbers were impressive, but they enjoyed a below-average schedule. Many thought they were fool's gold.
So much for that.
Though the Golden Knights dropped Game 1 in a 1-0 shutout, they bounced back in Game 2 with a 3-1 victory. They uncorked more shots and put infinitely more pressure on the Minnesota Wild's defense. That is their default mode. And it should enable them to win this series.
OSB Series Prediction: Golden Knights (-170)
Colorado Avalanche (-1000) vs. St. Louis Blues (+650)
Series Score: Avalanche lead 2-0
Godspeed to the St. Louis Blues. They are going up against the league's best offense, which also happens to be accompanied by the NHL's third stingiest defense.
After scoring 10 goals through the first two games, the Colorado Avalanche has this baby in the bag. They remain the Stanley Cup favorite for a reason.
OSB Series Prediction: Avalanche (-1000)
Boston Bruins (-180) vs. Washington Capitals (+160)
Series Score: Bruins lead 2-1
This has so far been the toughest series to predict. Part of us wants to go with the Capitals, despite their deficit. They have the league's fourth-best offense and have yet to score more than three goals in a single game.
Still, that's sort of the point. The pressure Boston puts on Washington's puck-handlers is real, and with every game so far-reaching over time, it's clear the Bruins are better suited to come out on top.
OSB Series Prediction: Boston Bruins (-180)