On Tuesday night (May 17, 2011) Boston Bruins will host the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 2 of this series. Tampa Bay got out to a hot start in the opening game, winning pretty convincingly. The Vancouver Canucks, on the other hand, had to win a grind-it-out style of game against the San Jose Sharks in the opening game of their series. What did we learn from each series? For the most part we learned the books have been able to adjust their numbers to eqaute for the Game 1 winners.
Let's compare some numbers
On Friday, we saw the Canucks were the odds on favorite to win the Stanley Cup, sitting at a +160 across most of Pregame's trusted sportsbooks. Vancouver is still the odds-on favorite to win the whole thing, but after a Game 1 victory over San Jose, they've lost a lot of their value, now sitting at just +110. We have the same thing going on with Tampa Bay. The Lightning opened up on Friday as +300 (3/1) and the worst odds of any of the NHL teams left to win the Cup. Well the oddsmakers must not believe this team is real, because they've only slid down to just +275 (2.75/1). It seems like they are still a team that has a lot of value left, especially being up by a game already in their conference finals. I really expected that number to be much closer to 2.5 or 2.0, to be honest.
On the other end of this spectrum, both the Bruins and the Sharks were +250 odds to win the Cup before Game 1 of their respective series. They have since fallen to +450 on both lines, presumably because each lost and are now facing an uphill battle in their conference finals. Pretty fair prices, again. But let's make sure we realize these are odds to win the Stanley Cup, not just make it there.
Official odds to win Stanley Cup
Tampa Bay +275
San Jose +450
When the series prices came out, Tampa Bay was given a little love, sitting at +115 to win while Boston was a cool -135. I thought both were pretty fair prices but we now see the prices are moving in the Lightning's favor. A couple of Pregame's trusted books have the Lightning at -170 to win the series right now while Boston is sitting at +150. Fair on both fronts, as far as I'm concerned. Obviously winning the first game of a series on the road is big, but is it worth -190? Essentially that's how far the Lightning went from Game 1 to Game 2, opening at +115 and now sitting at -170. Value lost? I think so.
What's it tell us?
I think the biggest thing we can take from all of this information is that the books are adjusting for Vancouver. It's obvious they are the people's choice to win the whole thing and for the most part, they might be the team the sharps are lining up behind as well. As far as I know, the Canucks are the best team in hockey. It surely seems the oddmakers are thinking the same thing. However, I still think there is some value getting more than EVEN MONEY back on Vancouver to win the Cup. If you're interested in betting it at the number it's currently at, I'd suggest hitting it up now. After they take a 2-0 lead on San Jose whatever is left of the value will pretty much be gone completely.
Comment below: What are your thoughts on the Stanley Cup champions? Which team are you taking?
I still think any positive return at all on Vancouver to win is the smart bet here.