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Stanley Cup 2022 expert picks and predictions: Will the Avalanche's home record be enough, or can the Maple Leafs cause at upset?

The home of expert Stanley Cup 2022 picks and predictions. Our handicappers will be providing picks for the biggest games of the NHL playoffs to help you find the best value hockey bets.

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NHL Tips

Expert NHL handicapper and writer

Jon is an expert NHL handicapper and has been successfully providing insightful hockey picks for years.

NHL Stanley Cup 2022 early picks and predictions

We’re just days away from the start of the NHL Stanley Cup 2022 playoffs, a tournament that many consider the best in professional sports. The NHL’s incredible parity — 14 different franchises have claimed the Cup over the past 22 years — means that anything’s possible when the postseason comes around, and this spring promises to be no different.

To help you with your Stanley Cup 2022 picks, we’ve broken down the top three favorites on the NHL Stanley Cup 2022 betting odds, identified three darkhorse contenders and suggested three teams that might be worth longshot wagers in your Stanley Cup 2022 predictions.

NHL Stanley Cup 2022 favorites

Colorado Avalanche (+350)

The Avalanche have already clinched top spot in the West, guaranteeing they’ll enjoy home-ice advantage throughout the conference playoffs. No team in the NHL has been more dominant at home this season than Colorado, which entered the week 31-4-3 at Ball Arena where it has outscored its opposition by nearly 1.7 goals per game. They’re also extremely well-balanced, entering the week with four players (Mikko Rantanen, Nathan MacKinnon, Nazem Kadri and Cale Makar) averaging more than a point per game, and they’ll get a boost when captain Gabriel Landeskog returns from knee surgery in early May.

Florida Panthers (+550)

When you have an offense like Florida’s league-leading attack, you’re never out of a game. Led by Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov, the Panthers have won five games this season in which they trailed by three or more goals, including a pair of comebacks from four-goal deficits. Florida isn’t showing any signs of slowing down as the playoffs approach, riding a 10-game winning streak into this week’s action. Even though the Panthers haven’t won a playoff series since going to the Stanley Cup Final in their third year of existence, they’re the clear team to beat in the East and will be one of the most popular Stanley Cup 2022 picks among NHL bettors.

Calgary Flames (+750)

Calgary entered the week as the only other team shorter than 10/1 on the NHL playoffs 2022 betting odds, and for good reason. The Flames have essentially locked up first place in the Pacific, meaning they’ll face a wild card team in the opening round and wouldn’t meet Colorado until the conference finals. Calgary’s also excellent at both ends of the ice, ranking third in goals against and sixth in goals for.

NHL Stanley Cup 2022 outsiders

Toronto Maple Leafs (+1000)

The Leafs have been a trendy Stanley Cup betting pick for years, but with Auston Matthews favored to win league MVP and three others averaging a point per game, this might finally be their season. Toronto has scored the second-most goals in the league and features a lethal power play that has converted nearly 28% of its opportunities on the campaign. Goaltending is a question mark but if the Leafs can get out of the first round for the first time since 2004, they’ll be a team nobody wants to face.

Carolina Hurricanes (+1000)

No team in the NHL has been better defensively this season than Carolina, and not just because the Canes have allowed the fewest goals in the league. The Hurricanes also own the NHL’s best penalty-killing unit and give up a league-low 29 shots per game, which could help them go far in the playoffs despite an unproven netminding tandem of Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta.

Tampa Bay Lightning (+1100)

Not only are the Lightning the Stanley Cup 2021 winners, they’re the two-time defending champions who also hoisted the Cup in the Bubble in 2020. That means they’ve had to play a lot of hockey over the last two years, so you might want to cut them some slack for what has been a mediocre regular season (by their lofty standards). With Andrei Vasilevskiy in net, Victor Hedman anchoring the blue line and Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos headlining a deep and talented forward corps, the Lightning can never be counted out.

NHL Stanley Cup 2022 longshots

Boston Bruins (+2000)

It’s not often that you find a team this solid at both ends of the ice ranked at 20/1 on the NHL Stanley Cup futures. But that’s where the Bruins sit on the NHL playoffs 2022 odds, largely because they’ll probably finish as a wild card and could have to face Carolina and Florida in the first two rounds. If veterans Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak can spark Boston’s underachieving attack (the Bruins rank second in shots per game but 15th in goals), the stingy Bruins will be an extremely tough out.

Pittsburgh Penguins (+2500)

Pittsburgh is back for its 16th straight playoff appearance — the longest current streak among teams in the major North American sports — and the core of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang have won three Stanley Cups during that time. The Pens may also be flying a bit under the radar after enduring injuries to Crosby and Malkin this season.

Vegas Golden Knights (+2800)

In their first four years of existence, the Knights have reached the semifinals or beyond in three of them. That’s a heck of a pedigree for a +2800 darkhorse, a price we’re only getting here because the Knights currently find themselves out of a playoff berth. With goaltender Robin Lehner and top forwards Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty back from injuries in time for the stretch drive, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise if Vegas finds a way into the NHL playoffs 2022 tournament and then goes on another lengthy run this spring.

Find the best Stanley Cup 2022 expert free picks

We've covered all bases with our Stanley Cup coverage this year. If you think you're ready to take the advice of our expert hockey handicapper, you can check out our free Stanley Cup picks.

Stanley Cup winners 1981 - 2022

2022Colorado Avalanche
2021Tampa Bay Lightning
2020Tampa Bay Lightning
2019St. Louis Blues
2018Washington Capitals
2017Pittsburgh Penguins
2016Pittsburgh Penguins
2015Chicago Blackhawks
2014Los Angeles Kings
2013Chicago Blackhawks
2012Los Angeles Kings
2011Boston Bruins
2010Chicago Blackhawks
2009Pittsburgh Penguins
2008Detroit Red Wings
2007Anaheim Ducks
2006Carolina Hurricanes
2005Season canceled due to the 2004–05 NHL lockout
2004Tampa Bay Lightning
2003New Jersey Devils
2002Detroit Red Wings
2001Colorado Avalanche
2000New Jersey Devils
1999Dallas Stars
1998Detroit Red Wings
1997Detroit Red Wings
1996Colorado Avalanche
1995New Jersey Devils
1994New York Rangers
1993Montreal Canadiens
1992Pittsburgh Penguins
1991Pittsburgh Penguins
1990Edmonton Oilers
1989Calgary Flames
1988Edmonton Oilers
1987Edmonton Oilers
1986Montreal Canadiens
1985Edmonton Oilers
1984Edmonton Oilers
1983New York Islanders
1982New York Islanders
1981New York Islanders

Looking for today's best expert NHL picks?

Our NHL expert picks today will help you make the best decisions when betting on the NHL regular season and when making Stanley Cup picks and predictions. All of our hockey handicappers have years of experience and their NHL picks and predictions for tonight are based on priceless industry knowledge gathered through researching and selecting expert NHL picks in all of the biggest hockey games throughout the season. When selecting their NHL picks, our handicappers consider form, the location of the game, historic results between both teams and the value of each preferred bet to make sure your NHL predictions have the best chance of winning.

Free expert NHL moneyline picks

We've got the best NHL moneyline picks today to ensure you get the most value out of your bet. Our handicappers have honed their skills at NHL moneyline betting over the years by picking winners in the biggest hockey games of the season. When making your NHL moneyline picks, make sure you follow the advice of our experts.

Free expert NHL picks against the spread for today’s games

Making successful NHL picks against the spread is one of the most satisfying ways to win a bet. Winning NHL point spread bets involves picking a team to win the hockey game after starting with a goal deficit or goal advantage. Our experienced handicappers use years of experience to make NHL expert picks against the spread for tonight's games.

Darcy Kuemper (35) makes a save on Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Alex Killorn (17)

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper makes a save on Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Alex Killorn. - © Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Free NHL over/under picks – NHL totals picks

Betting on NHL over/under picks predictions could not be easier. With an NHL over/under bet, you are not picking one team to score a certain number of goals or to win, you are picking whether both teams will score more or less goals combined than a given number - that's the beauty of hockey over/under predictions. The over/under is normally set between 5 and 8 goals in the NHL, and almost always splits a whole number. Our handicappers use years of experience to make their expert NHL over/under picks.

Puck line betting explained

Spread betting in hockey is similar to betting the spread in other sports but is commonly referred to as the “puck line”.

The favorite in each game must win by a certain number of goals, set by a sportsbook, for your wager to win. This is indicated with a minus sign, followed by the number of goals. So if a team is -1.5, for example, they must win by two or more goals for you to win your bet. The underdog must avoid losing by two or more goals for your wager to win. This is indicated with a plus sign (+1.5).

While spreads can vary wildly in sports like football or basketball, the puck line in hockey is usually set at 1.5 for every game, with rare exceptions.

Grand Salami NHL betting

A Grand Salami gets its nickname from baseball but is another type of wager that you can make when hockey betting online. This involves betting on the over or under of total goals scored on a particular day in the NHL. It’s just like betting a total, only with a higher number involved. Unlike a parlay, you don’t need the total to hit in every specific game, just altogether, so you’re never out of it until the very end.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) in action at the Canadian Tire Centre Ⓒ Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) moves him off the crease in the third period at the Canadian Tire Centre. Pic: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

NHL prop betting

Prop betting refers to hockey odds that don’t involve the outcome of the game. Instead, prop bets are a way to increase your bankroll by wagering on the performance of certain players or which team will score the most goals in a particular period, for example.

NHL first period betting

A first period bet is exactly how it sounds. This involves hockey odds on everything from the number of goals in the first period to which team will be leading after one period of play. You can even bet on a tie, if you choose.

Free expert parlay hockey picks today

Looking for some free NHL parlay picks today? Our handicappers use years of betting experience to predict the winners of the biggest and best hockey games. For their NHL picks and parlays, they will study recent form and use their knowledge to make their choice.

Interested in more free advice besides NHL Picks?

We also specialise in expert picks and predictions in baseball , basketball and football picks. Our handicappers use years of experience to make the most informed decisions so you don't have to.

NHL standings

  • Division
  • Atlantic
  • Metropolitan
  • All Divisions
Atlantic GP W L Otl Sol Pts G GA Home Away Ats OU
1 Boston Boston 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0 0-0 0-0
2 Buffalo Buffalo 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0 0-0 0-0
3 Detroit Detroit 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0 0-0 0-0
4 Florida Florida 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0 0-0 0-0
5 Montreal Montreal 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0 0-0 0-0
6 Ottawa Ottawa 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0 0-0 0-0
7 Tampa Bay Tampa Bay 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0 0-0 0-0
8 Toronto Toronto 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0 0-0 0-0

Last updated: Jul 18, 1:47 PM UTC

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