Vegas Odds For Who Will Be the Eastern Conference’s Top Seed

The Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers will play a three-game round-robin tournament to determine the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. But which of the four is most likely to emerge as the top seed? Vegas has just released the odds.

To recap, The top 12 teams in each conference have been awarded a birth in postseason play for the 2020 NHL playoffs. The top four teams in each conference will hold a three-game round robin tournament while the bottom eight teams in each conference battle it out in four best-of-five series.

If the Capitals would end up with the best record after the three-game round robin tournament they would face the lowest seed to advance from the qualifying round. (The teams will be reseeded after each round).

Examples: if the Canadiens beat the Penguins, the Capitals would face the Canadiens. If all the higher seed teams win their qualifying series’, the Capitals would face the Maple Leafs in the next round.


So, what are the odds win the top seed? The Bruins are the favorites to take the top seed, followed by the Lightning, Capitals and Flyers.

Boston Bruins (+155)
Tampa Bay Lightning (+280)
Washington Capitals (+350)
Philadelphia Flyers (+385)

[Moneyline: +350 means you would win $350 for a $100 bet should the Capitals become the number one seed]


Vegas has also posted odds (and win probabilities) for the qualification round series. The Penguins are by far the biggest favorites, facing an under-talented Canadiens squad that will need Carey Price to stand on his head.

The next biggest favorite are the Maple Leafs over the Blue Jackets. Vegas thinks the closest series will be the Islanders and Panthers series.

Win probabilities average all of the odds available and remove the juice (fee) in order to determine the “true odds” that the betting market has set for all eight series. For example, the average odds for the Blackhawks and Oilers would be Blackhawks +137.5 (42.1%) vs Oilers -163 (62%). Adding the two win probabilities results in 104.1% meaning we have to subtract roughly 4% from each win probability to get the “true odds” (i.e. no-juice odds).

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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