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Sports book gives poor Stanley Cup odds for Coyotes, is bullish on Leafs

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

An online Canadian sports betting oddsmaker gave favorable Stanley Cup odds for the recently-improved Toronto Maple Leafs, but gave little credit to the Arizona Coyotes for their work done this offseason.

According to the sports book Bovada, the betting odds for the NHL’s 2019 Stanley Cup champion were best for the Leafs, who recently acquired top free agent and former New York Islanders center John Tavares to go with young superstar Auston Matthews, a native of Arizona.

Some questioned the idea of the Leafs being the top dog, since they still have questions on their blue line and are competing with other highly-skilled, well-rounded teams in the Eastern Conference like the Lightning, Bruins, Penguins and Capitals.

The Coyotes, meanwhile, were the second-to-lowest odds to win the cup (80/1), just ahead of the beleaguered Ottawa Senators (150/1). This, despite Arizona going 20-14-7 after Jan. 1 last season and adding forwards Alex Galchenyuk and Michael Grabner this offseason. The Coyotes will also return their entire top six defensive corps after doling out a new contract to Kevin Connauton and giving extensions to Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Niklas Hjalmarsson.

The team hopes to see a full season from starting goaltender Antti Raanta. The 29-year-old set a career high in games played last year after earning a No. 1 goalie job for the first time in his career, but was nonetheless limited to 47 games due to injury while the Coyotes struggled in his absence. When he did play, the Finland native posted a stellar .930 save percentage, the highest such number in the league among goalies who played as many or more games than he did.

Other curious odds included those for the Chicago Blackhawks, who were given 30/1 odds despite missing the playoffs last year, and the Colorado Avalanche having just 35/1 odds, despite boasting Hart Trophy finalist Nathan MacKinnon and coming off their first postseason birth since 2013-14.

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