Stanley Cup Final betting notes: Two preseason favorites enter, only one will raise the Cup

Steven Stamkos (middle) and the Tampa Bay Lightning are looking to win their third consecutive Stanley Cup. Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time since 2009, the two preseason favorites will square off in the Stanley Cup Final. The Colorado Avalanche entered the season as +550 favorites while the Tampa Bay Lightning were 7-1 to win their third straight title.

Now, the Avalanche are -175 favorites to win their first Cup since 2001. The Lightning are +155, which is tied for the longest odds they've faced to win a series in the past five postseasons. They beat the Panthers as +155 underdogs in the second round.

Catch all of the action live on ABC and ESPN+ all series long, with the puck dropping on Game 1 Wednesday night at 8 ET.

Colorado Avalanche

  • The Avalanche have been Stanley Cup favorites all season. No team since the lockout has finished wire-to-wire as the favorite and won the title. They would be the second preseason favorite to win the title in the past decade, joining the 2020 Lightning.

  • The Avalanche are 5-0 in Game 1s over the past two postseasons, outscoring opponents 29-12.

  • The Avalanche are 7-0 on the road this postseason, covering the puck line five times.

  • The Avalanche won both regular-season meetings by one goal, including one win in a shootout.

Tampa Bay Lightning

  • The Lightning are +140 underdogs in Game 1. Their longest odds in any game in the past five seasons is +145 (done four times including twice this postseason, both wins).

  • Ten of the past 11 Lightning playoff games have gone under the total.

  • Over the past five seasons, Andrei Vasilevskiy is 26-10-2 (+22.21 units) as an underdog, including 14-3 (+13.2 units) in the postseason. Overall, Vasilevskiy is 17-8 (+12.77 units) as an underdog in the postseason in his career. The Lightning are 5-2 as an underdog this postseason (+4.2 units).

  • The Lightning have won seven straight home playoff games (7-1 overall this postseason), and they've won 13 of their past 14 home playoff games dating back to last postseason.

  • The Lightning went 8-3 in the Stanley Cup Final the past two seasons (+3.31 units). They were favored in all of those games.

Stanley Cup history

  • Home teams are 13-2 in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final since the 2005 lockout (excluding the 2020 bubble). Overs are 4-0-1 in Game 1 in the past five Stanley Cup Finals with each game decided by multiple goals.

  • Since the Stanley Cup Final moved to a best-of-seven series in 1939, teams that win Game 1 have an all-time series record of 62-20 (.756). However, three of the past four teams to lose Game 1 went on to win the Cup: Washington (2018), St. Louis (2019) and Tampa Bay (2020).

  • Excluding the 2020 bubble, home teams are 35-10 in the first three games of the Stanley Cup Final, compared to 24-21 in Games 4-7 (5-6 in Game 6, 1-3 in Game 7) since the 2005 lockout.

  • Favorites have won eight of the past 10 Stanley Cup Finals, though they have split the last four seasons.

  • Home teams are 51-32 this postseason (+6.15 units). Road teams had been +23.63 units in the previous three non-bubble postseasons.

Odds from Caesars Sportsbook and SportsOddsHistory.com