The NHL Trade Deadline Deals Make Eastern Conference Teams the Best Stanley Cup Bet

Given the odds, are the New York Rangers the best bet to win this year's Stanley Cup?

The NHL Trade Deadline expired four days ago, and each team's acquisitions have now laced up their skates for their new squads. As expected, numberFire's Stanley Cup odds have changed as a result. How much of a correlation is there between numberFire's calculations and Bovada's betting lines?

TeamnumberFire Cup OddsTeamBovada Cup Odds
Red Wings4.52%Lightning12/1

The biggest takeaway from the chart above is the continued lack of respect that Bovada has for the Rangers. The addition of Keith Yandle at the trade deadline gave the Blueshirts a legitimate puck-moving, offensive defenseman. Yandle's addition was given the respect it deserves by our metrics, but Bovada refuses to give them the same separation in the East.

The Islanders are two points ahead of the Rangers in the Metropolitan Division, but couldn't crack our Stanley Cup top-10 favorites. The roster is still green, and could flounder against an experienced team in the playoffs. (The Rangers in the second round?) It's tough not to love the Rangers at 12-to-1 odds.

Another Eastern Conference team to like is the Tampa Bay Lightning. If you're not betting on the Rangers, you should be betting on the Bolts. The biggest question the Lightning had to answer this season was whether to expect a similar type of season from goaltender Ben Bishop, or expect him to regress. Bishop was exceptional in his first season as a starter in 2013-14, finishing last season with a 2.23 goals against average, .923 save percentage and five shutouts. His numbers have dipped some this season, but a 2.39/.913/2 slash makes him, at worst, a league-average netminder.

Tampa's defense has held steady in 2014-15, giving up 2.60 goals per game, up from 2.55 last season. Coach Jon Cooper has taken a young team with an other-worldly talent in Steven Stamkos, and they now have a very good chance to represent the East in the Stanley Cup Final.

The Washington Capitals continue to creep up both of these lists. It's been mentioned before that Caps' coach Barry Trotz has sold his team on his two-way play tactics. Alex Ovechkin is the most dynamic player right now on the team, and appears to be having a ball on the ice. That positive attitude has rubbed off on his teammates, and it shows in their play.

Bovada still has Washington at a distant 18-to-1 odds to win it all, and were as low as 28-to-1 at the end of January. Those odds are worth a look, as Washington sits as the eighth most efficient team according to numberFire.

There isn't a lot of talk about the West because it's tough to peg who will come out of the better conference. There's no doubt that Los Angeles, Chicago and, to a lesser degree, St. Louis and Nashville, could win the Stanley Cup. The biggest issue is that no team has separated themselves from the rest of the pack.

If you're betting on history, the Kings and Hawks are the only teams you'd put money on. Bovada has caught onto the Kings after their eight-game winning streak -- the window to get a good value on L.A. has closed, and, really, the numberFire algorithms are having a hard time seeing the Kings as a a team that can win it all.

There's a very good chance that the Kings surpass the Vancouver Canucks for second place in the Pacific Division. That jump would more than likely cause the Kings to leap ahead of Vancouver as a more likely team to win the Stanley Cup. L.A. nearly triples Vancouver in efficiency (0.15 to 0.06), and the Canucks are without goalie Ryan Miller because of injury.

St. Louis and Anaheim have shown nothing with very good teams in the past to consider them as good bets to win the cup. Better to be wrong now than wrong with an empty wallet if you're the actual betting type. Anaheim must be drawing well on Bovada since they have not been below 10-to-1 odds to win the Stanley Cup in 2015.

The best bet to win the Stanley Cup continues to evolve. Keep checking in at numberFire for the latest odds and updated best bets.