Caps are Stanley Cup favorites
The Caps won the Presidents' Trophy rather handily, and play in the NHL's weaker conference, so it stands to figure that they should be the
odds-on slight favorites to win the Stanley Cup. A poll of 272 players by Sports Illustrated came to that conclusion; 31 percent picked the Caps to win it all, better than Chicago's 27 percent. (The Penguins, at 14 percent, were the second-most popular pick in the East, and fourth overall, after the Sharks.)
Still, I'll take oddsmakers over players, and they, too, like the Caps. Bodog.com sent along its Stanley Cup odds, and there they were, right on top.
Washington Capitals: 7-2
Chicago Blackhawks: 9-2
San Jose Sharks: 11-2
Pittsburgh Penguins: 6-1
Vancouver Canucks: 15-2
Detroit Red Wings: 8-1
New Jersey Devils: 12-1
Buffalo Sabres: 20-1
It got even crazier in the Eastern Conference, where the Caps were listed at 10-11 odds to get out of their bracket. I mean, 10-11? You have to bet more than you can win? On the Caps going to the Stanley Cup Finals?
The four most likely Finals matchups, according to Bodog, all involve the Caps: vs. Chicago (9-2), San Jose (11-2), Vancouver (17-2) and Detroit (9-1).
And the most likely result in Washington's first-round series, according to Bodog, is Caps in five games (9-4), followed by Caps in six (5-2) and Caps in a sweep (7-2).
Alex Ovechkin's over-under for first-round points, 7.5, was also the highest in the NHL.
In case this is all too much good news for you to bear, and you want to go back to reveling in the hate, the above video might help. I'm trying.
(Also, Boston was Bodog's most likely choice for a first-round upset in the Eastern Conference, which would have bearing on the Caps' second-round opponent.)
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