Keep pinching yourself, Winnipeg Jets fans. The news just keeps getting better.
After advancing to the conference final for the first time in franchise history with Thursday’s dominant 5-1 win in Nashville, the Jets are now strong favourites to get all the way to the Stanley Cup Final.
Online sportsbook Bodog makes Winnipeg a -145 favourite to beat the Golden Knights in the Western final, implying a probability of nearly 60% of a Jets victory in the series. Canadian betting site Sports Interaction is even more bullish on Winnipeg, making the Jets a whopping -177 favourite (implied probability of 69%).
Note: All odds referenced in this article were as of 2:45 p.m. eastern on May 11, 2018, and are subject to change
NHL.com writers also like Winnipeg’s chances to end Vegas’ Cinderella season. Twelve of 14 scribes picked the Jets when making their conference final predictions (although we should note the two writers who picked Vegas have combined to go 20-4 with their series predictions so far.)
Jets Atop Latest 2018 Stanley Cup Odds
And that’s not all. When it comes to winning the actual Stanley Cup, the bookies like Winnipeg’s chances as well.
In fact, Sports Interaction has the Jets as the outright favourite (+200 odds, with Tampa Bay second at +250).
Meanwhile, Bodog lists the Jets at +220, second to the Lightning’s +190 return.
To put those odds in context, the Jets were a 40:1 longshot to win the Stanley Cup back in October, when the Vancouver Canucks were the only Canadian team given longer odds. Then again, the Golden Knights were dead last on the 2018 Cup odds, paying 75:1 to win it all in their first year of existence.
Scheifele Among Top Conn Smythe Contenders
One final thing that bodes well for the Jets is Bodog’s latest Conn Smythe Trophy odds. Five of the top 11 candidates for the award are Winnipeg players, led by Mark Scheifele (third at +750).
Blake Wheeler, Connor Hellebuyck, Dustin Byfuglien and Paul Stastny are other Jets in realistic contention for the award, especially when you consider that a Winnipeg victory over Vegas would eliminate current Conn Smythe favourite Marc-Andre Fleury.
— Ted Wyman (@Ted_Wyman) May 11, 2018
Why are the Conn Smythe Trophy odds a positive sign for the Jets? Well, consider that just one one player from a non-Cup winner (Anaheim’s Jean-Sebastian Giguere, 2003) has been named the MVP of the Stanley Cup playoffs since 1987.