2017 Stanley Cup betting guide

Alex Ovechkin's Washington Capitals and Jonathan Toews' Chicago Blackhawks are the top seeds as the playoffs begin. Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire

It's NHL playoff time, folks. The field is narrowed to 16 teams, all trying to get 16 wins, and only one will hoist the Stanley Cup in late June.

The field has changed a bit since last summer. Consider that the Toronto Maple Leafs, once a 100-1 bet to win the Cup, now sit at 40-1. However, the Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks remain the odds-on favorites to win it all.

Up until this point, we have looked primarily at value bets, shying away from betting on the favorites; the logic was that favorites' odds wouldn't change too much and their Cup hopes would be much clearer at this point in the season. Well, it's time to throw that thinking away with the playoffs about to start.

The best bets heading into the playoffs, which are set to begin Wednesday, are based on their actual chance to win the Stanley Cup with consideration to value.

Let's look at some of the best bets heading into the playoffs.