#Betting101: Bruins a Great Value in Stanley Cup Futures Market

Jason Lake

Monday, February 19, 2018 8:29 PM UTC

Monday, Feb. 19, 2018 8:29 PM UTC

The Tampa Bay Lightning and Vegas Golden Knights are tied at +600 on the Stanley Cup futures market, but does either team have enough betting value for our NHL picks?

#Betting101: Stanley Cup Futures Market Free NHL Picks: Bruins (+800), Flyers (+3300) and Kings (+4000)Best Line Offered: Bovada

Where would sports betting be without advanced statistics? If you’re old enough to remember how things were 20 years ago, you already know. The dam burst in 2003 with the publication of Moneyball by Michael Lewis. The lessons that book taught about statistical analysis in baseball have been applied across the sporting world – yes, even in the NHL, where Corsi For and Offensive Zone Start Percentage have put on the foil and beaten the tar out of goals per game.

One of the easiest ways to take advantage of these stats is on the futures market, which has some of the softest NHL odds you’ll ever see. There’s also a big, fat hold percentage to overcome, but with so many recreational bettors in the marketplace, you can usually find a bargain or three.

Let’s use the new playoff probabilities report at Hockey Reference to see who belongs in our NHL picks. We’ll be using the same method we used for pounding the NBA futures, running the probabilities through our holy SBR Betting Odds Converter and comparing them to the prices on the menu at sportsbook Bovada. Let’s riggidy-roll.

Fools Gold

Right off the bat, we’ve got the two Stanley Cup co-favoties at +600: the Tampa Bay Lightning (39-17-3) and Vegas Golden Knights (39-15-4). They’re the top two teams in the Eastern and Western Conferences, respectively, but Hockey Reference gives Tampa Bay a 12.7-percent chance of winning the Cup, with Vegas at 11.4 percent. That works out to +687 and +777 for the co-favorites. No sale.

The best value among the top Cup favorites is with the surging Boston Bruins (35-13-8). They have a 12.2-percent chance of winning it all, which translates to +720, but you can buy them at +800 as we go to press. After that, you have to go way down the odds list to the Philadelphia Flyers (30-19-10) at +3300. Hockey Reference gives the Flyers a 4.2-percent chance of winning their first Cup in more than 40 years, or +2281 for a “fair” payout.

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The L.A. Kings are blaring The Tragically Hip as they ride bikes in the arena hallway. They can come to town anytime they like as far as I'm concerned.

— John Vogl (@BuffNewsVogl) February 16, 2018

If you want an even longer shot, there’s a modicum of value with the Los Angeles Kings (31-22-5) at +4000; their 2.6-percent chance translates to +3746 on the Odds Converter. You might remember the Kings from last week’s award-kicking-into-the-Rideau-Canal article about goal differentials. At plus-22, Los Angeles has played better hockey this year than the Flyers (plus-6). But can they make it into the playoffs? In the NHL, anything can happen. Let’s do the same thing we did with our NBA picks and take all three of these value teams as a set. Until next time, keep your stick on the ice -- and may the cylinder be with you.

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