NHL odds: Blackhawks still Stanley Cup favorites as season nears

Chris Peters, Hockey Writer
CBS Sports

With NHL training camps opening up in about two weeks, the offseason is quickly drawing to a close. That means updated betting odds heading into the season. Though there have been some changes along the way, the Chicago Blackhawks remain the favorites to win the 2015 Stanley Cup according to the oddsmakers at Bovada.LV.

The Blackhawks added veteran center Brad Richards in the offseason, but also still have to clear some cap space before they can enter the 2014-15 campaign. The Los Angeles Kings meanwhile have maintained the No. 2 spot with largely the same roster from their Stanley Cup run in 2014.

Here’s a look at how things have changed since the odds were updated after the initial wave of free agency to now.

All odds via Bovada.LV:                                      

Chicago Blackhawks - 13/2*
Los Angeles Kings - 9/1
Boston Bruins - 10/1
Anaheim Ducks - 12/1
Pittsburgh Penguins - 12/1
St. Louis Blues - 12/1
San Jose Sharks - 14/1
Minnesota Wild - 16/1*
New York Rangers - 16/1
Tampa Bay Lightning - 16/1*
Colorado Avalanche - 18/1
Montreal Canadiens - 18/1*
Dallas Stars - 20/1^
Detroit Red Wings - 22/1
Philadelphia Flyers - 28/1
Columbus Blue Jackets - 33/1
Toronto Maple Leafs - 40/1^
Vancouver Canucks - 40/1^
Washington Capitals - 40/1
Edmonton Oilers - 50/1
New Jersey Devils - 50/1
Carolina Hurricanes - 66/1
New York Islanders - 66/1^
Ottawa Senators - 66/1^
Arizona Coyotes - 66/1^
Winnipeg Jets - 66/1^
Buffalo Sabres - 75/1
Calgary Flames - 75/1
Florida Panthers - 75/1
Nashville Predators - 75/1^

* - Odds shorter, ^ - Odds Longer

Some interesting notes form the updated odds:

- The Minnesota Wild’s improvement isn’t necessarily a surprise, but there hasn’t been much change in their roster since they added Thomas Vanek as an unrestricted free agent before the last time the odds came out. Seeing the Tampa Bay Lightning see some improvement in their odds is also warranted. They could be one of the best team’s in the East next year with a healthy Steven Stamkos and some big-time free agent additions.

- It can be argued that the Nashville Predators improved their roster in the offseason with some veteran centers added to the roster, particularly in July, but they now sit at the bottom with the Florida Panthers, Calgary Flames and Buffalo Sabres at 75/1.

- It was also interesting to see the Dallas Stars’ odds get a touch longer as well. They are one of the most improved teams in the league coming out of the offseason, or so it would appear. Perhaps Vegas was scared by the lack of movement on the defense.

- The Montreal Canadiens settling the P.K. Subban contract situation amicably may have given oddsmakers a little more confidence in the Habs for next season.

It’s always interesting to see what Las Vegas says about the NHL teams at this late stage of the offseason. It also is a good indication that real hockey is near.

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