NHL Playoffs 2019: Stanley Cup odds, predictions, best picks, teams to avoid from expert on 7-0 run

The Tampa Bay Lightning were stunned in the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs when the Columbus Blue Jackets swept them. Tampa Bay came into the 2019 NHL Playoffs as the 2-1 favorite to hoist the cup, but its sudden exit, along with the Pittsburgh Penguins being swept by the New York Islanders, shook up the 2019 Stanley Cup odds in a massive way. The Vegas Golden Knights, the 2018 Western Conference champions, are the new 2019 Stanley Cup favorites at 9-2 after opening at 10-1. The Islanders and Washington Capitals aren't too far behind at 6-1. With 11 teams getting 16-1 or lower to win it all, be sure to see the NHL playoff predictions from SportsLine hockey guru David Kelly before locking in your 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs picks.

Kelly, an esteemed NHL handicapper who returned almost $3,500 on his NHL picks last season, has been on some impressive NHL runs this season as well. He entered the playoffs on a 7-0 heater on all of his NHL picks and has also nailed 19 of his last 30 NHL picks against the spread overall. Anybody who has been following along is way, way up. 

Now, Kelly has examined the updated odds of every team winning the 2019 NHL Playoffs and locked in his top targets and teams to avoid like the plague. He's only sharing them over at SportsLine. 

We can tell you he's eyeing the Blue Jackets at 7-1, fresh off their historic sweep of the 62-win Lightning.

"After dispatching the Tampa Bay Lightning in four straight games, an upset of historical proportions, the Blue Jackets are in for a predictable letdown unless Coach John Tortorella can continue to hyper-motivate his squad," Kelly told SportsLine. "Can he? He did it against one of the best teams in modern regular season play, so how can we possibly count him out now?" Look for the Blue Jackets to continue rolling, proving their opening-round sweep wasn't a fluke.

One surprise: Kelly wants no part of the Nashville Predators, the two-time defending Central Division champs who entered the postseason on a white-hot 9-2-1 run and jumped out to a 2-1 series lead against the Dallas Stars

The Predators have plenty of postseason experience, winning at least one series in each of their last three trips to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. However, their stats aren't what you'd hope for from one of the top 2019 Stanley Cup contenders. 

That's especially true on the power play. The Predators finished the regular season ranked 31st on the power play, converting just 12.9 percent of opportunities. Those struggles have followed them into the postseason, where they're 0-of-7 with the man advantage through three games against Dallas. Even if they survive the Stars, bigger challenges await and Kelly doesn't see the Predators making a deep run without power-play production. They're a team to fade at 10-1. 

Kelly also loves a team with longer 2019 Stanley Cup odds than the Blue Jackets. Anyone who bets on this long shot could hit it big.

Who wins the Stanley Cup? And which long shot can go all the way? Check out the latest 2019 NHL Playoff odds to win below and then visit SportsLine to see who you should back to win the Stanley Cup, all from the Toronto-born analyst who has crushed his NHL picks.

Vegas Golden Knights 9-2
Washington Capitals 6-1
New York Islanders 6-1
Columbus Blue Jackets 7-1
Toronto Maple Leafs 8-1
Nashville Predators 10-1
Boston Bruins 12-1
St. Louis Blues 12-1
Calgary Flames 12-1
Winnipeg Jets 15-1
Colorado Avalanche 16-1
Carolina Hurricanes 40-1
Dallas Stars 40-1
San Jose Sharks 50-1

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