April is one of the more underrated parts of the sports calendar. We’ve had the Final Four in men’s and women’s college basketball along with the Masters, the Major League Baseball season is underway, and the NBA and NHL playoffs are about to begin.

In New York, excitement is high for both the NBA and NHL playoffs. The New York Knicks earned the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. In hockey, two NY teams made the postseason.

  • The New York Rangers are the top overall seed, having won the Presidents’ Trophy with 114 points on the season.
  • The New York Islanders overcame a midseason coaching change to finish third in the Metropolitan Division.

We’ll take a look at each teams’ series in a moment, but first, the Islanders and Rangers playoff odds for hoisting the Stanley Cup.

Islanders and Rangers Playoff Odds: Can Either Win the Cup?

It’s been 30 years since the Rangers broke their 54-year Stanley Cup drought. They also reached the Cup Final 10 years ago, so years ending in “4” have been good for the Blueshirts.

For the Islanders, the last Cup came in 1983, which was the last of four straight championships for the Isles.

Let’s see what NY sportsbooks have for the Islanders and Rangers playoff title odds.

New York Rangers+1000 (DraftKings)
New York Islanders+5500 (FanDuel)

The Islanders have the lowest odds of any of the 16 playoff teams, with the exception of Washington (+18000). That’s because the Isles are facing Carolina, who are the odds-on favorite to win the Cup (+650 at FanDuel). The Rangers, despite having the best record in the league this year, outperformed expectations and are not the clear-cut favorites going into the playoffs.

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Should You Bet on the Rangers to Win the Stanley Cup?

If you are wary of the Rangers’ odds to win the Stanley Cup, history shows you have a good reason to. We haven’t seen a Presidents’ Trophy winner win the Stanley Cup since the Chicago Blackhawks in 2013. Infamously, the 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning and last season’s Boston Bruins stand out. Both set records for points in a season and then bowed out in the first round of the playoffs. The Rangers last won the Presidents’ Trophy in 2015, when they lost a Game 7 at home in the Eastern Conference Final to Tampa Bay.

The Rangers are taking on a banged up Capitals team in the first round. But given that the Caps had to fight to get to this spot, they may be more playoff-ready and could surprise the Blueshirts in Game 1. Washington also has its core in place from their Stanley Cup title six years ago, including the always-dangerous Alex Ovechkin.

A few X-factors playing in the Rangers’ favor:

  • New York’s power play and penalty kill rank in the top-five in the NHL. Washington’s, on the other hand, are both in the middle of the pack.
  • Igor Shesterkin, who didn’t have his best season, has a 28-0 edge in playoff experience over Capitals goaltender Charlie Lindgren.
  • Rangers head coach Peter Laviolette manned the bench in Washington for the past three seasons.

Right now at DraftKings, +1000 represents solid value for the Rangers, who likely won’t have odds that long the rest of the postseason.

Can the Islanders knock off the Hurricanes?

While the Rangers earned the No. 1 seed, the top-four teams in the Eastern Conference were very close. Carolina had 111 points, Florida had 110, and Boston earned 109. The 3-seed Hurricanes host the New York Islanders, who put up 92 points on the season.

This is a rematch of a first-round series from a year ago, when it took an overtime goal by the Canes’ Paul Stastny to end the series in six games.

But the Islanders are playing their best hockey, currently on a 7-0-1 run in their last eight games (going into Wednesday’s meaningless regular-season finale). Defensively, the Isles have improved since the midseason coaching change. Under Patrick Roy, New York has allowed 2.83 goals per game, compared to 3.31 per game under former coach Lane Lambert.

Carolina’s goaltender, Frederik Andersen, has also been playing great hockey. Since returning from injury in March, Andersen is 9-0-1 with a .951 save percentage.

The Isles’ offense still hasn’t caught up to its defense, so in a series where goals could be at a premium, it does favor Carolina.

If you’re going to bet the Islanders, we suggest skipping over the series prices and focusing on the correct series result. At BetMGM, the Islanders to win the series stands at +260. But if you bet on the exact series result, you can earn much more. Assuming that it will take six or seven games to pull off an upset like this, you can get odds at +800 for a 4-2 Islanders series result and +850 for a Game 7 victory by the Isles. Even if you take both, this is far better value than taking NYI to win the series.

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