Each team in the Stanley Cup Final has taken a win at home and a win on the road. The Blues and Bruins will head back to Boston for the start of what is essentially a three-game series. Game 5 is on Thursday, but let’s take a look at the updated Stanley Cup odds from the DraftKings Sportsbook:
Stanley Cup Final Odds
— To Win Game 5: Blues (+138), Bruins (-162)
— To Win Series: Blues (+118), Bruins (-139)
Note: All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook
From a neutral perspective, this is shaping up to be an excitingly even series. Both teams have traded wins throughout the first four games. There is visible hatred between the two sides. And best of all, we know we’ll at least get to watch two more games of hard-hitting, nail-biting playoff hockey.
From that same perspective, such an even series makes for a difficult betting decision. Let’s dive deeper into each team.
St. Louis Blues
Even though the Blues are fresh off of a home win that tied up the series, their odds to win the Stanley Cup are slightly worse than the Bruins. Games 5 and 7 will take place in Boston, which definitely plays into the odds. But with eight of its 14 Stanley Cup Playoff wins coming on the road, St. Louis has proven that the venue doesn’t matter to it. The Blues have also found a burst of energy from forward Zach Sanford, who got called in for Game 3 due to a suspension to Oskar Sundqvist and registered an assist from the fourth line. Sanford jumped up to the second line for Game 4 and got an assist on the first goal, ending up +2 in the game.
The key to victory for the Blues is to stick to five-on-five hockey. The Bruins’ power play unit has scored on 37.5% of its opportunities, accounting for six of the team’s 15 goals scored. As a whole, the Blues’ special teams has been very ineffective, scoring just one power play goal all series long and even giving up a shorthanded goal to the Bruins. St. Louis will find much more success at even strength hockey, where it can comfortably lay hits. And yes, the Blues have out-hit the Bruins in every game.
As long as the Bruins win their games in Boston, they will be Stanley Cup champions. Much easier said than done, especially against this Blues team. The Game 4 loss had a little extra pain to it, losing veteran defenseman and captain Zdeno Chara after he took a puck to the face in the second period. In Boston’s two losses this series, it has lost a defenseman (Matt Grzelcyk in Game 2) and been forced to play the rest of the game with five. It’s unclear whether or not Big Z will be available for Game 5. If he’s unable to go, the Bruins will have to turn to a reserve pool of four players who total two games of playoff experience.
The Bruins key to victory: control the puck. In each game that Boston has won the faceoff battle, it got the victory. The Bruins are losing the shot battle in the series by 33, and while they’ve blocked almost twice as many shots as the Blues, they’ll want to limit the need to block shots since it always invites the possibility of injury (Chara in Game 4.) St. Louis clearly wants to be the aggressor, so it’s imperative for Boston to counter that with puck possession.
The Stanley Cup Final is one of the hardest major sport finals to predict, which makes it that much more enjoyable (and stressful) from a fan’s point-of-view. Will Boston continue its sports dominance? Or will St. Louis raise its first ever Stanley Cup? The puck drops in Game 5 on Thursday night.
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Odds and lines subject to change. See website for actual odds.
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