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.
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.
Lightning vs. Avalanche: The road to the Stanley Cup Final
Check out the best moments of the postseason from the Lightning and Avalanche ahead of their Stanley Cup Final Game 1 matchup Wednesday night.
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