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NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Betting: Western Conference Odds

It's certainly been an eventful last few days in the Western Conference. With the playoff picture down to just four teams - the Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues, Phoenix Coyotes and Nashville Predators - the 2-0 series leads staked by the Kings and Coyotes has made for what promises to be an exciting week. Over at Bovada's online sportsbook, a series of futures odds have been created for who will win the 2012 Western Conference. Let's take a look now…

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Los Angeles Kings, 1/1

The Kings are in the proverbial driver's seat at the moment. They've raced out to a two-game lead in their series with St. Louis and have done so on the strength of great penalty killing and timely scoring. To put how good the Kings PK is in perspective, consider this: St. Louis has played L.A. six times this year including the two playoff games. The Kings have gone shorthanded 26 times and haven't allowed the Blues a single power play goal - but that's not all! The Kings have also scored twice while shorthanded, two absolutely crippling blows for the Blues. L.A. is also undefeated on the road thus far in the postseason and 6-1 overall - pretty impressive stuff.

Phoenix Coyotes, 11/4

Speaking of impressive, how about the Coyotes? All they've done through two games is take a commanding lead over Nashville by sweeping both contests at Arena and are doing it with goaltending. That's no small feat, considering the Predators have Vezina Trophy nominee Pekka Rinne in goal, but Mike Smith has made it look easy by allowing just five goals overall. The Coyotes are working their counter-attack to perfection and are now just a pair of wins away from the first Western Conference finals appearance in franchise history. Exciting times in the desert.

Nashville Predators, 9/2

The big news out of Nashville this week is that the Preds have suspended forwards Andrei Kostisyn and Alex Radulov for Game 3 of their series against Phoenix after the pair broke curfew prior to Game 2. (Rumors say the two were out at a Scottsdale-area bar until 4am - and puck drop that night was 5pm.) That's shaken this Predators team up and there's no telling if the players will recover. Captain Shea Weber and associate Ryan Suter have publicly backed the organization for suspending both players, but the decision takes an awful lot of skill and offensive flair from a team that's struggled to solve Smith through two games. It's going to be an uphill climb for Nashville from here on in.

St. Louis Blues, 6/1

What a difference a week makes. Going into Round 2, the Blues were Bovada's odds-on favorite to win the Stanley Cup, thanks in large part to their five-game rout of the Sharks in Round 1. But a key injury to stud defenseman Alex Pieterangelo has thrown the Blues into a tailspin and the normally-reliable goaltending of Brian Elliott just isn't there. The Blues are in a world of hurt after losing two straight and home, and now must face the Kings in L.A.

The gloves are off. Bet on the Stanley Cup playoffs at Bovada.

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