The Colorado Avalanche have barely buffed out the dent they put in the Stanley Cup, and people are already looking at who is going to hoist the trophy next season. The odds to win the Cup in 2022-23 have been released, and this betting guide will look at some of the best value plays – even if it seems ridiculously early.
The Favorite: Colorado Avalanche (+450)
Unsurprisingly, the Colorado Avalanche have the best odds out of the gate to lift the Cup again. They dominated the playoffs, going 16-4 and never dropping back-to-back games. They also lost just one game on the road. Last season’s playoffs are all in the rearview mirror, but there are a lot of reasons to like this pick.
Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche lifts the Stanley Cup (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Three of the top scorers – Mikko Rantanen, Nathan MacKinnon, and Conn Smythe Trophy winner Cale Makar – all return for the Avs, as does longtime captain Gabriel Landeskog. The defensive corps also returns Devon Toews, Samuel Girard, and Bo Byram. Pending free agents are Nazem Kadri, Darcy Kuemper, Valeri Nichushkin, and Andre Burakovsky. This number will probably get better in the season, but it’s still not a bad value for the champs to repeat (+450).
The Sleeper: New York Rangers (+2000)
The New York Rangers made a splash with a really good regular season, and then followed it up with a trip to the Eastern Conference Final. They’re a great, young group that returns every single core piece – former Norris Trophy winner Adam Fox, Vezina Trophy winner Igor Shesterkin, and offensive stars Chris Kreider, Artemi Panarin, and Mika Zibanejad, to name a few.
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The only unrestricted free agents for New York are Ryan Strome and Andrew Copp, who was really good for the Rangers in the postseason after coming to New York at the trade deadline. These guys have everything in place and were close to getting to the Stanley Cup Final this year. These are monster odds (+2000) for them to win it all and are worth a look since they will almost certainly drop if they get off to a hot start.
The Best Value: Toronto Maple Leafs (+850)
Some might snicker at this pick, and this is the point of the program where you insert “first-round exit” jokes. However, the Maple Leafs aren’t that far away. They were one win away from knocking out the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round, and look how far the Bolts got. Of course, the elephant in the room is goaltending, as starter Jack Campbell is an unrestricted free agent, but all of the other pieces remain intact.
Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
Hart Trophy winner Auston Matthews returns with the likes of Jonathan Tavares, Mitch Marner, and Morgan Rielly, and that’s a core group any team would take. The Maple Leafs haven’t won a playoff series since 2004, but that streak is going to come to a crashing halt in the near future with this group. When Toronto finally breaks through, they could go on a tear just like the Avalanche did in winning their first Cup in 21 years. This is a pretty good early value (+850) for a team that might be on the brink.
Odds via BetMGM
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