- Sam Paolini, ESPN Insider
The Chicago Blackhawks look to cap one of the strongest regular-season performances in NHL history with a Stanley Cup punctuation mark, while the Boston Bruins have the entire "Boston Strong" nation behind them as they look to hoist the Cup for the second time in three seasons.
Heading into the playoffs the Blackhawks were the team to beat in the Western Conference and they showed their dominance early, dispatching the Minnesota Wild in five games. Chicago found itself down 3-1 against the Detroit Red Wings in Round 2 (sportsbooks had the Blackhawks at plus-310 to beat Detroit at that point in the series), but they showed their championship mettle by coming back and winning the series in seven games. Chicago finally punched its ticket to the Cup finals after beating a very good Los Angeles team in five games as a minus-140 series favorite. The Blackhawks have gone 12-5 in the postseason, providing backers with plus-5.10 units of profit on an individual game basis (betting one unit per game) and their games have gone under the total at a 7-5-5 clip.
The Bruins found their toughest test in the first round, needing seven games to get past a pesky Toronto Maple Leafs team, including an incredible Game 7 comeback. The Bruins then cruised to a 4-1 series win against the overmatched Rangers in Round 2 and swept Cup favorite Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference finals. Boston has gone 12-4 this postseason, netting their backers plus-7.20 units of profit while the over/under split sits at an equal 7-7-2.
What are the best bets for the Stanley Cup finals? Let's take a look.