Stanley Cup odds: Vegas Golden Knights are right behind the Lightning as favorites

Vegas loves itself some Vegas.

The newest Bovada odds for NHL teams to win the 2017-18 Stanley Cup Final have been released, and right behind the Tampa Bay Lightning -- this season's consensus favorites -- is a team that literally did not exist a year ago.

The Vegas Golden Knights.

That's right. The league's newest franchise has been making history all year thanks to an immediate surge into the spotlight. It became the first expansion team to start 5-1 in 100 years. It survived injuries to four different goalies. It set a new record for an inaugural-season winning streak. It utilized a favorable offseason draft process and even more on-ice balance to catch the Pacific by surprise.

And now, with the Golden Knights entering the new year among the NHL's hottest contenders, odds-makers have them as potential championship material. Outside of the Lightning, whose 28-8-2 record and plus-51 goal differential blows the rest of the league out of the water, no one has better odds of winning the Cup than Vegas (15/2), per Bovada.

And it's not as if the Golden Knights have always been favored because of their presence on The Strip. Just a month ago, the team was still vying for Western Conference supremacy and yet ranked behind at least eight other teams in terms of Stanley Cup odds.

Entering January, the tables have turned. Here's a rundown of some of the top teams in Bovada's latest 2017-18 Stanley Cup odds:

Tampa Bay Lightning: 8/1
Vegas Golden Knights: 15/2
Toronto Maple Leafs: 12/1
Nashville Predators: 14/1
St. Louis Blues: 14/1
Winnipeg Jets: 14/1
Los Angeles Kings: 16/1
Columbus Blue Jackets: 18/1
New Jersey Devils: 18/1
Pittsburgh Penguins: 18/1
Washington Capitals: 18/1

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