Bruins, Penguins Heavy Favorites To Win

Published on April 15th, 2014 9:48 pm EST

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The NHL playoffs officially get underway on Wednesday when the Canadiens and Lightning do battle in Tampa Bay.

Of the 16 teams who will be participating in the first round of the playoffs, the Boston Bruins are the biggest favorites to win. They are currently listed at 1.36 to beat the Red Wings, while the Wings are 3.40 to win. This isn't a surprise given the Bruins' playoff experience and pounding style. The general consensus is that the Wings will crumble under the relentless Bruins' attack.

Of the eight first round playoff series, the battle between the Blackhawks and Blues is expected to be the closest. As a matter of fact, this series is a virtual coin flip in the eyes of the Las Vegas bookies, as both teams are listed at 1.91 to win. The Blues went into a freefall at the end of the season, while the Blackhawks have two Stanley Cup victories over the past five years.

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Here are the full first round betting odds:

Montreal, 1.95
Tampa Bay Lightning, 1.87

Columbus, 2.90
Pittsburgh, 1.43

Dallas, 2.60
Anaheim, 1.53

Philadelphia, 2.25
New York, 1.69

Chicago, 1.91
St. Louis, 1.91

Minnesota, 2.10
Colorado, 1.77

Los Angeles, 2.25
San Jose Sharks, 1.69

Detroit, 3.40
Boston, 1.36

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A few observations:

-Pittsburgh is the favorite to beat Columbus but there is some major nervousness about Pittsburgh's goaltending amongst Penguins' fans

-despite having a phenomenal regular season, oddsmakers really aren't buying the Avalanche as an elite club

-betting against the Kings is very tough in the post-season. They are BUILT for the playoffs

-Detroit essentially has no chance against Boston

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The postseason officially kicks off on Wednesday - I can't wait!

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