The National Hockey League is the most parity-filled of the four major United States’ sports leagues. So it’s no wonder that among the eight first round playoffs series, half appear destined for upset winners. Check out the four first round 2022 Stanley Cup Playoff series where the dogs could bite their way into the second round.
2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs Series Underdogs Worth a Wager
READ MORE: 2022 Stanley Cup Odds Update (May)
Washington Capitals vs. Florida Panthers
- 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs Series Odds: Washington Capitals +260 / lorida Panthers -350
We might as well start off with the biggest upset pick of the entire NHL Playoffs. The Florida Panthers ended pro hockey’s regular season with the most points of any team. The Panthers had 122 points. D.C. had to work their tails off to notch a playoff spot.
But now that they’ve made it, we should expect Evgeni Malkin and Alex Ovechkin to show up big time. Not only that, but Washington lost 2 matches to Florida by a single goal. In one of the matches, D.C. fell in overtime. So over the span of 7 games, Washington will have a real shot.
2022 Stanley Cup Series Pick: Washington Capitals
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
- 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs Series Odds: Tampa Bay Lightning +100 / Toronto Maple Leafs -120
Toronto offers lower odds than they should. The odds in this series should be -110 on both sides. Not only that, but Tampa realizes what they must do to win a third Stanley Cup. Heck, the Lightning knew before the seasons started what they had to do, which is get into the playoffs without suffering major injuries. Tampa is as loaded this season as they were last season. Again, Toronto fails to move past the first round.
2022 Stanley Cup Series Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning
Edmonton Oilers vs. Los Angeles Kings
- 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs Series Odds: Edmonton Oilers -250 / Los Angeles Kings +200
Everybody loves the Oilers to dominate the Kings. On paper, it makes sense. But Los Angeles played very well in April to knock out one of the preseason favorites, the Vegas Golden Knights.
Not only that, Edmonton’s domination over the the Kings happened early in the season. In the last couple of head-to-head matchups, the Kings fell to the Oilers via a 3-4 score in a shootout on March 30 and L.A. lost to Edmonton 2-3 in a match on April 7. The April 7 contest happened before Los Angeles picked up their play. The Kings finished the regular season going 5-2 straight up in their last 7.
2022 Stanley Cup Series Pick: Los Angeles Kings
St. Louis Blues vs. Minnesota Wild
- 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs Series Odds: St. Louis Blues +135 vs. Minnesota Wild -165
The Wild finished just 4 points ahead of the St. Louis Blues. So it’s interesting that Minnesota is such a big favorite over St. Louis. On April 16, in the final head-to-head, St. Louis bested Minnesota 6-5 in overtime. Then in the second to last face-off between these two, St. Louis beat Minnesota 4-3 in OT.
The second to last head-to-head happened on April 8. In the head-to-head before that, on January 1, St. Louis won again, this time by a 6-4 score. So the Blues have won the last 3 SU and for some reason, they’re the dog in a 7-game series? Doesn’t make sense to use, either.
2022 Stanley Cup Series Pick: St. Louis Blues