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Stanley Cup predictions, odds: Why this sleeper could make a title run



All season long, Dallas was a trendy Stanley Cup pick.

A deep team with plenty of offensive firepower and a great starting goaltender, it was hard to poke any holes in the Stars going into the campaign and it became harder as we got into the stretch run.

Dallas was fighting for a Presidents’ Trophy, it made a savvy move by acquiring Chris Tanev to bolster an already-strong defense corps and youngsters Logan Stankoven and Wyatt Johnston were emerging as potential top-line talents.

The only question mark surrounding the Stars was whether goaltender Jake Oettinger would find his A-game. 

And even that was a secondary concern since the Stars won the Central Division and finished first in the Western Conference despite pedestrian numbers from their No. 1 goaltender.

Simply put, Dallas was deserving of its status as the favorite to come out of the West. 

The problem is that parity reigns supreme in the NHL, perhaps in this season more than any other, so even if you are the rightful favorite, it doesn’t mean you are just going to waltz through the playoffs.

Dallas has found that out the hard way in Round 1. 

It should be noted that the Stars did catch a terribly unlucky draw for a No. 1 seed.

There are no weak links in the Western Conference like there are in the East, so it was always going to be a rumble for Dallas in the first round, but getting the Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights is a tough turn of events.

Especially since the Knights are now fully healthy with a lineup that features Mark Stone, Tomas Hertl, Noah Hanifin and Jack Eichel playing together for the first time. 

So while this technically was the No. 1 vs. No. 8 matchup, on paper you’d say these two teams are evenly matched and the betting odds were not that far off that sentiment before Game 1. 

That does make the task at hand — coming back from an 0-2 deficit — daunting, but it’s absolutely within Dallas’ capabilities to do that.

Logan Stankoven #11 of the Dallas Stars shoots the puck during the first period against the Vegas Golden Knights in Game Two of the First Round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the American Airlines Center on April 24, 2024 in Dallas, Texas. Getty Images

The Stars were one of the best teams in the NHL this season.

That hasn’t changed because they lost a couple of hard-fought games to another serious contender. 

At the time of writing, Dallas is sitting at -102 to win Game 3 and +350 to come back and win the series.

But instead of focusing on those odds, bettors who think the Stars can come back and advance to Round 2 should bypass those numbers and take a punt on Dallas to win the Stanley Cup at 25/1 at DraftKings, which is the longest price we’ve seen on the Stars to win the Stanley Cup all season. 

It may seem counterintuitive to suggest that now is the best time to bet on the Stars to hoist the Cup given that they’re two losses away from being eliminated (and it will take a considerable effort for them just to get through Round 1), but these odds will be slashed aggressively if Dallas wins Game 3.

Betting on the NHL?

They’ll be right back at the top of the betting board if they find a way to knot this series up at any time. 

The downside to this bet is obvious. A loss on Saturday night all but ends the sweat.

But the upside is not just that you could get the Western Conference favorite at four-times the price they were a week ago, but also that you’d get them in good form (they’d have to play well to come back) and brimming with confidence after a monumental comeback. 

As with any other 25/1 punt, the overwhelming likelihood is that this bet loses.

But you rarely get the opportunity to get these kinds of odds on a team with this kind of upside. It’s absolutely worth the gamble. 

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