Maple Leafs listed as … say what??? … Stanley Cup favourites
Toronto Maple Leafs are favoured to win the Stanley Cup.
Yes, you read that correctly. Betting sites Bodog and Bet365 currently have the Toronto Maple Leafs listed as the Stanley Cup favourites.
The phrases “Toronto Maple Leafs” and “Stanley Cup favourites” probably haven’t been mentioned together since there were only six teams in the league, which, of course, is when the franchise won its most recent Stanley Cup.
On Bodog, the Maple Leafs are currently listed at 8-1 odds to hoist the Cup come June, followed by the Tampa Bay Lightning at 9-1 and the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins, Chicago Blackhawks and Edmonton Oilers at 12-1.
Bet365 lists the Maple Leafs, Penguins and Lightning as co-favourites at 9-1.
The Leafs opened the season at 14-1 odds on Bodog (the Oilers and Penguins were the pre-season picks at 8-1), but the team’s 6-1 start — led by sophomore sensation Auston Matthews — has some bettors thinking the franchise’s 50-year championship drought might come to an end.
And the oddsmakers have reacted by making them less of a longshot.
Through seven games, Matthews has been on fire with six goals and 10 points. Going into Friday’s games, the Maple Leafs lead the league in goals scored with 34, an average of nearly five per game.
Their wins include a 2-0 shutout of reigning Presidents Trophy winners, the Washington Capitals, and a 4-3 overtime victory over the Montreal Canadiens that snapped a streak of 14 consecutive losses to their oldest rivals.
But don’t expect Leafs coach Mike Babcock to lay down any dough on his team, even if it wasn’t against the rules.
As Babcock was quoted in the Toronto Star on Friday: “All that stuff is fluff.”