NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning and Vegas Golden Knights still betting odds favorites

By Field Level Media
stanley cup favorites
May 26, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) , defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (98) and teammates celebrate as they beat the Florida Panthers during game six of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Vegas Golden Knights and Tampa Bay Lightning are engaged in tight conference semifinals, but they remain the favorites to square off for the Stanley Cup.

Both teams still own home-ice advantage in their current series.

The Lightning will host the New York Islanders in Game 5 on Monday night. Tampa Bay is the 1.5-goal favorite in Game 5 at DraftKings and BetMGM, along with being the -230 favorite at DraftKings to win the series against New York (+185).

The best-of-seven series is tied 2-2.

The Montreal Canadiens are event bigger underdogs at +235 in their series against Las Vegas. The Golden Knights (-305) will host the Game 5 on Tuesday, with Las Vegas also a 1.5-goal favorite at both sportsbooks.

NHL Bets: Golden Knights and Lightning remain betting favorites

nhl playoffs betting odds
Jun 8, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Vegas Golden Knights right wing Mark Stone (61) celebrates his game winning goal with left wing Max Pacioretty (67) in overtime against the Colorado Avalanche in game five of the second round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Either the Golden Knights or Lightning winning the Stanley Cup in a Finals series against each other remain the two Exact Outcome bets with the shortest odds, with each outcome being offered at +260 by BetMGM. The longest odds belong to the Canadiens beating the Islanders in the Finals at +2500.

Las Vegas remains the slight outright Stanley Cup winner favorite at +145 at BetMGM and DraftKings and +140 at PointsBet. The Lightning have the second-shortest odds at all three books (+1500 at DraftKings and +170 at the other two).

The Islanders are +450 at PointsBet, +475 at BetMGM and +500 at DraftKings, while the Canadiens are the +800 longshots at PointsBet and +900 at BetMGM and DraftKings.

Odds can change dramatically

All of those odds will shift dramatically if New York is able to wrest control of its series against the defending champions on Monday. The Islanders evened the series by scoring three goals in the second period on Saturday in Game 4 and holding on for a 3-2 win.

The Lightning have a better road record (6-2) than home mark (4-3) in the playoffs, but that doesn’t diminish their confidence heading into this crucial clash. Besides, their disappointing second period on Saturday provides some extra motivation.

“It was red rotten, that second period,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “These guys have given it their all for whatever it’s been now, a month and change, and sometimes you lay an egg. We laid one in the second period. It was unfortunate because you don’t play well sometimes, the breaks don’t go your way.”

The Islanders have outscored opponents 23-10 in the second period during the playoffs.

“Our game was good,” New York coach Barry Trotz said. “I know that we probably had more chances when I look at the game. … Our 60-minute game was pretty decent other than the seven or eight minutes where they surged on us, and we had a surge earlier. This is what we expected, 2-2 going back (to Tampa). It’s a best-of-three now.”

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–Field Level Media