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Bodog picks Canucks to face Capitals in 2012 Stanley Cup finals

Stanley Cup Fans

Vancouver Canucks fan Wen Hoang looks to capitalize on Stanley Cup frenzy by selling plastic cups before Game 7 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals between the Canucks and the Boston Bruins, in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Wednesday, June 15, 2011. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Geoff Howe)


With the 2011-12 season rapidly approaching, the hockey world approaches what is delightful to some and stomach-churning to others: season previews time. After a summer full of changes, pundits and hockey fans alike will attempt to forecast the future so that they can prove their brilliance (or ability to make lucky guesses, depending upon who you ask).

Bragging rights are great and all, but some hope to parlay their crystal ball skills into some cash. That’s where gambling venues/Web sites come in, but for the rest of us, gambling odds can provide an interesting take on public opinion.

They can tell us all sorts of things. Which teams are the obvious favorites? Are there some clubs who might be dark horse candidates? Perhaps most amusingly, which clubs do people have virtually zero confidence in?

Bodog is one of the leading sites for such speculation, so here’s a look at their odds for the 2011-12 champions - along with the expected conference winners. (This backs up Bodog’s early odds following the 2011 Stanley Cup finals in mid-June, while factoring in off-season moves. Thanks to Neil Greenberg for pointing out a correction.)

Let’s start with the coin toss for the Stanley Cup winner first.

Odds to win the 2012 Stanley Cup

Vancouver Canucks 7/1
Washington Capitals 7/1
Boston Bruins 10/1
Pittsburgh Penguins 10/1
Philadelphia Flyers 11/1
San Jose Sharks 11/1
Chicago Blackhawks 12/1
Detroit Red Wings 12/1
Los Angeles Kings 14/1
Tampa Bay Lightning 16/1
Buffalo Sabres 18/1
Anaheim Ducks 25/1
Montreal Canadiens 25/1
Nashville Predators 28/1
New Jersey Devils 30/1
New York Rangers 30/1
Phoenix Coyotes 35/1
St. Louis Blues 35/1
Calgary Flames 40/1
Dallas Stars 40/1
Carolina Hurricanes 45/1
Toronto Maple Leafs 50/1
Winnipeg Jets 60/1
Colorado Avalanche 65/1
Edmonton Oilers 65/1
Ottawa Senators 70/1
Columbus Blue Jackets 75/1
Florida Panthers 75/1
Minnesota Wild 75/1
New York Islanders 80/1

It’s interesting to see the Islanders in last place, but maybe that’s just a summer’s worth of optimism about that team talking. The Red Wings, Rangers and Devils are interesting choices for teams that are slightly underrated, while some might upset that the defending champion Boston Bruins came in third place.Moving on, here are the odds-on winners for the Western Conference.

Odds to win the 2012 NHL Western Conference

Vancouver Canucks 3/1
Detroit Red Wings 11/2
San Jose Sharks 11/2
Los Angeles Kings 6/1
Chicago Blackhawks 13/2
Anaheim Ducks 12/1
Nashville Predators 14/1
Phoenix Coyotes 18/1
Calgary Flames 20/1
Dallas Stars 20/1
St. Louis Blues 20/1
Colorado Avalanche 35/1
Columbus Blue Jackets 35/1
Edmonton Oilers 35/1
Minnesota Wild 35/1

The Avalanche and Wild seem like they have a better chance to win the conference than the Blue Jackets and Oilers, in my opinion. It’s interesting to see that the Kings are doing pretty well in both areas - does this mean that gamblers aren’t worried about Drew Doughty’s contract situation?Finally, here are the East odds.

Odds to win the 2012 NHL Eastern Conference

Washington Capitals 4/1
Pittsburgh Penguins 9/2
Philadelphia Flyers 5/1
Boston Bruins 11/2
Tampa Bay Lightning 8/1
Buffalo Sabres 10/1
Montreal Canadiens 14/1
New Jersey Devils 15/1
New York Rangers 16/1
Carolina Hurricanes 24/1
Toronto Maple Leafs 28/1
Winnipeg Jets 35/1
Florida Panthers 40/1
Ottawa Senators 40/1
New York Islanders 45/1

Strangely enough, the Bruins are ranked lower in the East odds (fourth) than they are to win the Stanley Cup (tied for third). The Panthers’ off-season moves haven’t impressed odds markers just yet, obviously.

What are your thoughts about these odds? Did any teams get snubbed? Which ones are overrated? Let us know how you feel in the comments.