NHL Stanley Cup Odds: Avalanche Favored to Win Their Second Cup in Three Years

Nicholas Vazquez
Nicholas Vazquez@nickvaz
NHL Stanley Cup Odds: Avalanche Favored to Win Their Second Cup in Three Years

With training camp about to begin, most of the dust has settled ahead of the 2023-24 NHL season. Now we can really dig into the Stanley Cup odds from FanDuel Sportsbook.

Here are the top five favorites, per the odds, with a breakdown of each of the five teams.

Colorado Avalanche+850
Carolina Hurricanes +950
New Jersey Devils+1100
Toronto Maple Leafs+1100
Edmonton Oilers+1100

Colorado Avalanche (+850)

The Colorado Avalanche won the cup in the 2021-22 season and kept together a young core that had the potential to win another. They did have to make some moves, losing a few players, and they had some unfortunate luck in the 2022-23 season.

They effectively replaced Darcy Kuemper as the starting goalie with Alexandar Georgiev. The team had a higher overall save percentage in 2022-23 (91.22%) than in 2021-22 (91.17%).

They lost some key forwards -- such as Nazem Kadri -- and saw their offense take a bit of a hit. They went from scoring 308 goals in the cup-winning season to 274 the next year. This has a lot to do with injuries they suffered throughout the season, including one to captain Gabriel Landeskog that had him out for the entire season.

The team overall was perhaps not as strong as the championship team but still managed to win the Central Division. They finished with 109 points but lost in the first round of the playoffs in an upset against the Seattle Kraken.

They decided to make some moves to boost their depth scoring in the offseason, bringing in new acquisitions of Ryan Johansen, Jonathan Drouin, Ross Colton and Miles Wood.

With that depth and the elite talent of Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar and Mikko Rantanen, the Avs continue to be a wagon. It's totally justified that they are the favorites to win the cup again in 2024, especially considering they may play in the weakest division in the NHL.

If you like the Avs, this is a bet you can make now, because if they win the division like they are expected to, their odds will likely be shorter than +850 come playoff time.

Carolina Hurricanes (+950)

The Carolina Hurricanes have gone from lovable underdogs to serious contenders in the past few seasons.

The 'Canes reached the conference finals in 2023 for the second time in five years. However, they weren't able to win a game in either appearance. This arguably wasn't the strongest iteration of the team, so we could possibly expect them to be even better next season.

Carolina had injuries to Andrei Svechnikov and Max Pacioretty that severely hurt their goal-scoring in the playoffs. They'll get Svech back at some point this season and did their best to replace what Pacioretty would have brought to the lineup.

The team added Michael Bunting, who was arguably the best free agent forward available. He'll fill in the spot that Pacioretty was supposed to occupy.

The calling card of Carolina in recent seasons has been a strong possession game. They once again were the best team in shot attempt percentage and expected goal (xG) percentage, according to Natural Stat Trick.

This style of play has gotten Carolina to the second and third rounds of the playoffs, but they've failed to make any impact beyond the second round. They are a high-floor team that has yet to reach its ceiling.

Their odds of +950 suggest that they will be once again a team that's tough for others to play against. With no clear top squad in the Eastern Conference, this could be the year the Canes finally break through and have a chance to play for the Stanley Cup.

New Jersey Devils (+1100)

The New Jersey Devils were the surprise team in the NHL last season. Unlike a lot of teams that get this label, the Devils' emergence didn't appear to be driven by randomness and luck.

We knew the Devils had talent on their roster, with recent first overall picks Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier playing down the middle. The signing of Dougie Hamilton in 2021 gave them one of the best defensemen in hockey.

However, it was a bit shocking how much of a jump they took last year, even with their talent. They were the second-best team in the league in xG percentage (behind only Carolina).

They got solid goaltending from Vitek Vanecek and Akira Schmid, something that was definitely not expected heading into the season. They had the 11th-best team save percentage in the league. With how fickle goaltending is, they may not be able to repeat this, and this is probably their biggest question mark going into the season.

They've added two solid scoring wingers in this calendar year. Timo Meier netted 40 goals between his time with the Devils and San Jose Sharks. This summer, they traded for Tyler Toffoli, another winger who could possibly score 30 goals for them.

New Jersey is a young team with a deep prospect pool, so it's easy to see them taking another step and being true cup contenders.

Toronto Maple Leafs (+1100)

It's been kind of a wild offseason for the Toronto Maple Leafs. A lot of the turnover hasn't been on the ice, for better or worse.

The Leafs finally got over the hump of the first round of the playoffs, only to be unceremoniously dumped out in the second round in five games. Despite passing that hurdle, it didn't seem like a satisfying result for the fans or the organization.

This offseason started with Kyle Dubas not returning as general manager. He indicated that he wanted to take some time and then ultimately decided he'd like to return, but the hesitation caused Brendan Shanahan to want to go in a different direction.

The team hired Brad Treliving as GM to replace Dubas. He had a mixed track record during his time as GM of the Calgary Flames. His first moves as GM of the Leafs seem to have a clear theme.

The signings this summer for Toronto included Max Domi, Tyler Bertuzzi and Ryan Reaves. These are all players who are hard-nosed and have a bit of grit to their game. Whether you believe that this will help Toronto or not, it's clearly what they were seeking.

Bertuzzi and Domi add more to the Leafs than just the toughness. They also can play in top-six forward roles and give the team a bit more depth. Toronto was ninth in goals last season and should have the potential to push into the top five with their talent.

The thesis behind Toronto being a Stanley Cup contender is still driven by their four star forwards. Those are, of course, Auston Matthews, Mitchell Marner, William Nylander and John Tavares. While these players were crucial in the first-round series win, they came under criticism for their lack of production in Round 2. The cliche that your best players need to be your best players rang true.

The elephant in the room for Toronto and their success this season is goaltending. They will go with Ilya Samsonov as the starter, and then we are likely to see a training camp battle between Martin Jones and Joseph Woll for the backup.

Samsonov was surprisingly good last season but doesn't have a track record of being elite. The Leafs have to hope he doesn't revert back to his 2021-22 form, when he allowed 11.1 more goals than expected.

The Atlantic Division is tough, but with the Boston Bruins and perhaps the Tampa Bay Lightning taking a step back, the Leafs could top the division this year. That would give them an easier path to winning the cup for the first time since 1967.

Edmonton Oilers (+1100)

Boasting two of the best players in the world makes the Edmonton Oilers an attention-grabber. They will feel like they missed an opportunity last season, when they had a legitimate chance to win the cup.

Edmonton went into the playoffs red hot, were able to dispatch the Los Angeles Kings in six games, and then were tied 2-2 with the Vegas Golden Knights. Vegas was down to their backup goaltender, but that didn't matter, as the Knights won the next two games and eliminated the Oilers.

We saw another historic season from Connor McDavid, as he won the scoring title for the third straight campaign. His 65 goals were the most anyone has scored since the 1995-96 season.

The Oilers weren't just the McDavid and Leon Draisaitl show last season. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a career-high 104 points. Zach Hyman scored 36 goals, also a career high.

We know this team can score -- the big questions have always been about defense and goaltending. The contract they gave Jack Campbell is looking like an albatross after his performance in net. Luckily, Stuart Skinner stepped up and saved 18.4 goals above expected last season.

Edmonton made a shrewd trade last season, moving Tyson Barrie in a deal to acquire Mattias Ekholm. Barrie still had his use, but Ekholm was much more important on the defensive side of the puck. Ekholm, Darnell Nurse, Evan Bouchard and Cody Ceci form adequate top-two defensive pairings.

The Oilers had the best power play we've ever seen, clocking in at a 32.4% success rate. That went up to a stunning 46.2% in 12 playoff games. The problem they had was they were fairly average at five-on-five in the playoffs, getting out-scored 26-24 in the split.

If Edmonton performs better at five-on-five in addition to getting a similar level of goaltending and power-play production, there's no reason why the Oilers can't be cup contenders. The Western Conference is likely to be the weaker conference once again this season, and it could be wide open for McDavid and company to make a run.

In any sport, it's always compelling to think that the best player in the world will eventually win a championship, and McDavid has one of his stronger supporting casts going into 2023-24. The odds of +1100 are certainly enticing.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.