The 2012 NHL Playoffs will get underway this week, with the San Jose Sharks taking on the No. 2 seed St. Louis Blues. The Sharks struggled mightily in the second half of the regular season and needed a big winning streak in the home stretch to make it into the playoffs. Those struggles contribute to the huge underdog odds that the San Jose team has been saddled with before the puck drops on the NHL postseason.
According to our friends over at OddsShark, the only team in the postseason with a worse chance to win the Western Conference are the Pacific Division Champions the Phoenix Coyotes. The Sharks are at +1,200 to win the conference, while their first-round opponents the Blues are the favorites to head to the Stanley Cup finals, at +250.
Here are the first-round betting trends and the full odds to win the Western Conference, courtesy of OddsShark:
First-Round Western Playoff Matchups & Betting Trends:
No. 2 St. Louis Blues vs. No. 7 San Jose Sharks
The Blues went 4-0 against the Sharks this season.
The OVER/UNDER went 1-3 in those four contests.
No. 3 Phoenix Coyotes vs. No. 6 Chicago Blackhawks
The Coyotes went 3-1 against the Blackhawks this season.
The OVER/UNDER went 2-2 in those four contests.
Odds to Win NHL Western Conference at TopBet:
St Louis Blues +250
Vancouver Canucks +300
Chicago Blackhawks +600
Detroit Red Wings +700
Nashville Predators +750
Los Angeles Kings +1,000
San Jose Sharks +1,200
Phoenix Coyotes +1,500
For all news and information regarding the San Jose Sharks, please visit Fear the Fin. For updates and perspective on the St. Louis Blues, head on over to St. Louis Game Time. For complete coverage of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, stay tuned to SB Nation's dedicated NHL hub.