Though we don't know when and where the games will take place, the NHL has a plan for resuming its season after it was halted by the coronavirus pandemic. The league has agreed to cancel the remainder of the regular season and jump straight into the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, opting for a 24-team format that will include round-robin play among the top four seeds in each conference.
The eight additional teams give the Chicago Blackhawks, Montreal Canadiens, Arizona Coyotes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Minnesota Wild, Florida Panthers, Winnipeg Jets and New York Rangers new life in what could be one the most unpredictable playoff tournaments in major American sports. However, of those eight teams, none is listed at +5000 or better in the 2020 Stanley Cup odds. The Boston Bruins are still atop the 2020 NHL odds board as +550 favorites. Before you make your 2020 Stanley Cup picks, be sure to check out the 2020 NHL Playoff predictions from the proven computer model at SportsLine.
This model simulates every NHL game 10,000 times, taking into account factors like current form, individual matchups, injuries and short- and long-term trends. The model seeks the best values on the money line, puck line and total.
Now, the model has examined all 24 teams that will participate in the 2020 Stanley Cup bracket and identified the best and worst values based on the current NHL odds. So before you make your NHL picks for the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoff bracket, be sure to see the 2020 Stanley Cup best bets at SportsLine.
Top 2020 Stanley Cup predictions
The model says that the Tampa Bay Lightning are a strong value at +650, predicting that the Lightning win the Stanley Cup in 17.9 percent of its simulations. The Lightning have been arguably the most dominant regular-season team of the past three campaigns, and they're eager to avenge a first-round playoff loss after registering an NHL record 128 points in 2018-19.
The Lightning have had two separate winning streaks of 10 games or more during the 2019-20 season, so they are capable of getting hot, while their forward line is the deepest in the National Hockey League. Tampa Bay had \11 players register 30 points during the regular season (eight forwards), including defending Hart Trophy winner Nikita Kucherov (85), two-time Maurice Richard Trophy winner Steven Stamkos (66) and 23-year-old rising star Brayden Point (64).
Another surprise: SportsLine's model is fading the St. Louis Blues at +800 in the latest 2020 NHL odds. The Blues are the defending champions and lead the Central division with 94 points entering the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but they rank just 13th in the NHL in 5v5 Corsi percentage (50.79) and are 17th in expected goals for percentage (49.92).
Star winger Vladimir Tarasenko should be back in the Blues' lineup when the 2020 NHL Playoffs begin, but he hasn't played since October because of a shoulder injury. The Blues give up more high-danger chances than they create (48.63 high-danger chances percentage).
How to make 2020 Stanley Cup picks
The model also has found better values, including one that's a major long shot. You can only get these picks at SportsLine.
So who wins the Stanley Cup 2020? And what long shot could stun the hockey world? Visit SportsLine now to see which teams to jump on to win the 2020 Stanley Cup, all from the advanced model that has crushed its NHL picks over the years, and find out.
2020 Stanley Cup odds (via William Hill)
Boston Bruins +550
Vegas Golden Knights +600
Tampa Bay Lightning +650
Washington Capitals +800
St. Louis Blues +800
Colorado Avalanche +850
Philadelphia Flyers +1200
Dallas Stars +1500
Pittsburgh Penguins +1500
Nashville Predators +2500
Edmonton Oilers +2500
Toronto Maple Leafs +2500
Calgary Flames +3000
New York Rangers +5000
Winnipeg Jets +5000
Vancouver Canucks +5000
Arizona Coyotes +5000
Carolina Hurricanes +5000
Columbus Blue Jackets +6000
Florida Panthers +6000
New York Islanders +6000
Minnesota Wild +6000
Montreal Canadiens +10000
Chicago Blackhawks +10000