Avalanche Sit Atop Stanley Cup Odds at Halfway Point of NHL Season

Jan 13, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Colorado Avalanche forward Ross Colton (20) congratulates
Jan 13, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Colorado Avalanche forward Ross Colton (20) congratulates / John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

As NHL teams approach the official halfway mark of their season, it's time to take a look at the latest standings and odds to win the 2024 Stanley Cup.

The Vancouver Canucks hold the top spot in the standings with 61 points and the Winnipeg Jets are right behind them with 60, but yet neither are in the top 10 on the odds list to win the Stanley Cup.

Let's take a look at the latest odds and then I'll break down why that might be.

2024 Stanley Cup Odds

Avalanche are set as Stanley Cup Favorite

The Colorado Avalanche are two points back from the NHL-leading Canucks, but are set as the sizable favorite to win the Cup at +750 odds. They won the Cup at the conclusion of the 2021-22 season but were upset in the opening round by the Seattle Kraken last year.

Now, they find themselves poised to make another Stanley Cup run and it's not just the fact they sport one of the best records in the NHL that make them contenders, but it's also the fact they just received great news surrounding the injury to their captain. Gabriel Landeskog.

Landeskog hasn't played since the Avalanche lifted the Stanley Cup on June 26, 2022, having missed a full season and a half so far with a serious knee issue, but reports have come out that he may be ready to return by the start of the playoffs. If he does, the Avs are going to be in a great spot for a deep playoff run.

Expect regression Canucks, Jets

You may be wondering why the top two teams on the NHL standings are outside of the top 10 on the odds list. A big reason is likely due to them playing a level of unsustainable hockey.

The Canucks lead the entire NHL in shooting percentage at 13.6%. The next closest team in that stat is the Dallas Stars at 12.06%. A shooting percentage of 13.6% is simply unsustainable for an entire NHL season and the rest of their metrics don't indicate that they'll be able to continue winning at this pace when their shooting inevitably cools off. For example, they're just 13th in expected goal percentage at 51.46%.

A similar thing can be said for the Winnipeg Jets, who are in a similar boat except instead of excelling at shooting, they excelling at goaltending. They have a team save percentage of 92.07%, the best in the NHL but over 0.5%. Much like the Canucks, they're just 10th in expected goal percentage at 51.7% so I don't expect their strong record to continue.

Both teams also rank in the top half of the NHL in the strength of schedule remaining, which won't help their case in holding on to the best records in hockey.

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Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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