2012 Stanley Cup Final Odds and Preview: Los Angeles vs New Jersey
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
by Bovada Sportsbook
With the regular season and three grueling rounds of playoff hockey in the books, two teams have prevailed to meet in the Stanley Cup final; the Los Angeles Kings out of the Western Conference and the New Jersey Devils out of the Eastern Conference. Which team will win the greatest trophy in professional sports? Here is a look at the Stanley Cup final matchup.
Los Angeles steamrolled opponents to get to this point
With the acquisition of Mike Richards, the Los Angeles Kings entered the regular season as a Stanley Cup contender. But after struggling through most of the year with the league’s worst offense, many wrote the Kings off despite their outstanding defense and goaltending. A trade for Jeff Carter at the deadline woke up the offense, and the Kings have been on a roll ever since.
The Kings earned a playoff berth as the Western Conference’s eighth seed with a 9-2-3 record down the stretch, and carried that momentum into an incredible playoff run. Los Angeles ousted the defending Western Conference champion Vancouver Canucks in just five games, swept the 2-seed St. Louis Blues, and then took care of the division-rival Phoenix Coyotes in just five games.
Los Angeles is a stunning 12-2 straight up in the playoffs and an NHL-record 8-0 on the NHL moneyline on the road this postseason. Including the last 14 games of the regular season, the Kings are 21-4-3 in their last 28 games.
Suddenly clicking offensively averaging 2.93 goals per game, the Kings are led by Dustin Brown (7 goals, 9 assists) and Anze Kopitar (6 goal, 9 assists) on offense. The defense, led by star defenseman Drew Doughty and goaltender Jonathan Quick, has remained stellar as well, allowing just 1.57 goals per game; the lowest total this postseason.
New Jersey just fine with playing the role of underdog
Despite finishing the regular season with a very respectful 48-28-6 record and 102 points, New Jersey was largely overshadowed in the East by teams like the Rangers, Boston, and Pittsburgh heading into the playoffs.
After taking care of Florida in seven games, New Jersey was considered the underdog against Philadelphia, but bested the Flyers in just five games. And then going up against the heavily favored top-seeded New York Rangers, the Devils once again rose to the task and won the series in six games, bringing their postseason record to 12-6 on the NHL moneyline. Los Angeles will be the best team New Jersey has faced, but the Devils have risen to every other challenge to this point.
Led by Ilya Kovalchuk (7 goals, 11 assists) and Zach Parise (7 goals, 7 assists), the Devils have an explosive offense that can get out to a big lead early, as we saw in both Game 5 and Game 6 in the last round against the Rangers. They also have one of the greatest goaltenders in the history of the game, Martin Brodeur, who has three Stanley Cup rings to his name already.
Like the Kings, New Jersey is a well-balanced team that is always a threat to score.
Looking at the betting odds for the Cup final
Los Angeles is currently the favorite to win the series at Bovada Sportsbook, sitting at -170, while New Jersey is going off at +150. Game 1’s odds are a virtual coin flip, with Los Angeles a favorite of -120 to New Jersey's -110. The total is set at 4.5 goals, with the OVER at -125 and the UNDER at -105.
The key to this series may be the games in New Jersey. The Devils are 6-2 at home this postseason, while the Kings are 8-0 on the road. Something has to give here in the final.
Game 1 gets underway in New Jersey on Wednesday night. Get lines on this game and every contest throughout the series at Bovada.
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