NHL Playoffs Second Round Predictions

Last Updated: May 6, 2024

The first round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs is complete, leaving eight teams to vie for the best trophy in sports.

The defending champion Vegas Golden Knights will not be one of them after falling in Game 7 to the Dallas Stars, who overcame a 2-0 series deficit to earn a second-round date with Colorado.

That is one of the compelling matchups we have to look forward to, so let’s dig in and make our best bets for the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

NHL odds used for these second-round predictions are current as of Monday, May 6, and courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

NHL Playoffs Second Round Best Bets

Stars Win Series (-120) vs Avalanche

If the first round is any indication, this series should be electric.

The Avalanche were arguably the most impressive team in the opening round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs, eliminating the Winnipeg Jets in five games. The Jets had the joint-best defensive record in the NHL during the regular season, allowing 2.42 goals per game, but they had no answers for Nathan MacKinnon and Co.

Colorado scored five or more goals in every game of the series, netting 28 in total (5.6 per game) while converting 37.5% of its power-play opportunities. MacKinnon led the charge with nine points (two goals, seven assists), five of which came with the man advantage.

And while doing that against one of the top defensive teams in the league is impressive, the Stars should offer more balance than the Jets did. Dallas has an elite goaltender in Jake Oettinger but was also third in the NHL in scoring during the regular season (3.59), behind only Colorado (3.68) and Toronto (3.63).

The Stars also just exorcized some of their past demons, eliminating the Vegas squad that beat them in the Western Conference Final last year despite dropping the first two games at home.

That accomplishment should breathe confidence into Peter DeBoer’s team, which has home ice in this series. At relatively even odds, I’m taking Dallas to eliminate Colorado as my NHL bet of the day.

Panthers -1.5 (+115) vs Bruins

Boston’s Game 7 overtime victory over Toronto set up a tantalizing second-round showdown with Florida, the team that eliminated the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Bruins in the same fashion last year.

The Panthers overcame a 3-1 series deficit to stun Jim Montgomery’s record-setting squad, with Carter Verhaeghe scoring the Game 7 overtime winner to silence TD Garden.

Although Boston won all four regular-season matchups between these two teams and will be eager to erase that memory, I like Florida in this series.

Verhaeghe has continued his impressive play, leading the Panthers with five goals — including a Game 2 OT tally — in their first-round series win over Tampa Bay, and Matthew Tkachuk, who matched his teammate with nine points against the Lightning, continues to be a prime postseason performer.

Jeremy Swayman has been terrific between the pipes for the Bruins, but he’ll have to carry them in this series since Boston doesn’t have the forward depth to go toe-to-toe with Florida.

At plus-money odds, I’ll take the Panthers to win this series in fewer than seven games.

Connor McDavid: Most Points in Series (-130)

One Canadian team is guaranteed to reach the Western Conference Final, as the Edmonton Oilers will take on the Pacific Division champion Vancouver Canucks in Round 2.

Edmonton (-260) is favored to win the series, but its recent postseason history doesn’t instill much confidence, nor does its 0-4 head-to-head record against Vancouver during the regular season.

However, this Connor McDavid prop is one I can get behind.

McDavid finished third in the NHL during the regular season with 132 points and has already recorded a league-high 12 in the postseason despite only playing five games.

The 27-year-old has transformed into a dynamic playmaker this season, registering his first 100-assist campaign and dishing out 11 more helpers in Edmonton’s first-round win over Los Angeles.

He’s involved in everything the Oilers do offensively, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he leads the series in points even if the Canucks spring the upset.

Best NHL Playoffs Odds Today


John Arlia

Before joining The Game Day, John served as the National Writer for the United Soccer League, where he primarily covered the USL Championship out of the league’s headquarters in Tampa, FL. A devout soccer fan, John attended the men’s World Cups in Brazil and Russia and can’t wait for the 2026 edition to come to North America. Having also written for Sporting News Canada since getting his master’s from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at ASU, John has acquired a diverse sporting background, but considers football, golf, and soccer his three strong suits.

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