Our handicapper takes a look at the Stanley Cup futures & NHL odds prior to the start of the season, what they currently are, and some recent trends for the eight teams still alive.
Preseason Stanley Cup Futures
It makes for interesting discussion when looking at Stanley Cup Futures NHL odds prior to the start of the season regarding the remaining eight teams, and what they currently are. I’ve taken the time to do so, and share some betting options for your NHL picks going forward.
Odds Prior to Onset of 2015-2016 NHL Campaign
Tampa Bay 10:1
St. Louis: 12-1
San Jose: 80-1
NY Islanders: 20-1
Hypothetical Hedging Scenarios
I’m sure bettors that anted up on either Dallas or San Jose prior to the 2015-2016 NHL campaign beginning are pretty excited right about now. As a matter of fact, if you were so fortunate to do so, I would highly advise hedging against either or each team during their current and future series. After all, at NHL betting odds of 80-1, and with no disrespect intended, it would be foolish not to do so from a money management standpoint.
Hypothetically, if your wager was $100 on Dallas or San Jose to win the Stanley Cup, you stand to make $8000 if indeed that occurs. You would especially be in a great position to hedge against San Jose in their Western Conference Semifinal series against Nashville. According to NHL series prices at TheGreek.com, Nashville is +115 to win the series versus San Jose.
Personally if it were me, I would make a $500 wager on Nashville to win the series. If by chance Nashville comes out on top in the series, it will produce a profit $675, minus your original $100 bet on San Jose to win the Stanley Cup, and there’s still a bottom line net gain of $575. On the other hand, if San Jose prevails, you still have a potential profit of $7500 remaining intact. I would then hedge against San Jose in the Conference Finals, and again if they reach the Stanley Cup Finals, never making a total wager more than $500, thus insuring a profit of some kind no matter what transpires.
Stanley Cup Futures as of 4/28/16 (Courtesy of Bovada)
Washington (+375): It’s very strange to see the two odds on favorites to win the Stanley Cup squaring off in a Conference Semifinal series, but that’s exactly what we have with Washington and Pittsburgh squaring off. At the time of this writing, Washington already captured Game 1 of that series 4-3 in overtime. The Capitals special teams play has been outstanding in these 2016 playoffs. They’ve gone 8-31 (25.8%) on the power play, and have successfully killed off 25 of 26 (96.2%) of their opponents man advantage opportunities. At Stanley Cup futures odds of +375, the #1 overall seed, and Presidents Trophy winning Capitals are an enticing betting option.
Pittsburgh (+375): Washington may have amassed the most points during the NHL regular season, but Pittsburgh undeniably finished as the hottest team. Despite their series opening loss to Washington, Pittsburgh is now 18-4 during their last twenty-two games. I would be remiss not to mention, the Penguins have gone a perfect 13-0 during its last thirteen games following a loss. What’s been most impressive about Pittsburgh thus far among is how easily they disposed of a very good Rangers team, and did so despite being without the services #1 goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (concussion).
St. Louis (+475): The Blues had garnered the reputation of being regular season lions, and then playoff lambs during recent years. They had to feel jinxed once again when they drew Chicago as a first round playoff opponent for the fourth consecutive year. St. Louis finally erased the enigma of first round playoff eliminations at the hands of Chicago. After losing to the Blackhawks during Western Conference Quarterfinal series during each of the past three years, they defeated their Central Division nemesis in a thrilling seven game series. Clearing that hurdle may finally prompt a deep playoff run by the Blues.
Dallas (+500): In my opinion Lindy Ruff is the most underrated coach in the NHL. He’s certainly proven his worth in his two seasons with Dallas. Ruff also led the small market Buffalo Sabres to three Conference Finals and one Stanley Cup Final. He possesses the highest scoring team in the NHL. However, their shoddy defensive play at times, and inconsistent goaltending, will be difficult to overcome as we move deeper into the postseason.
San Jose (+625): The good news for the Sharks is they’re 31-13 on the road this season, and that’s the best in all of hockey. The bad news, they’re an uninspiring 21-24 at home. They shockingly handled the Los Angeles Kings with relative ease during the previous round by eliminating them in five games. Holding true to form, San Jose won all three games during that series at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
NY Islanders +850: By virtue of their win in six games over Florida, the Islanders captured their first playoff series in 23 years. They’re off to a fine start against Tampa Bay after winning Game 1 on the road 5-3. By virtue of that win, the Islanders are now 6-1 during their last seven away games, which certainly can’t be ignored since it’s highly unlikely they’ll have home ice advantage going forward. If Thomas Greiss continues his superb play in goal, the Islanders won’t be an easy out for any of its future opponents.
Nashville Predators +850: Nashville showed me a lot of character and resiliency during a weird seven game series against Anaheim. They went from winning the first two games on the road, to losing the next three, and rebounding to win the last two. It would’ve been easy for them to be frustrated and discouraged after squandering a 2-0 series lead, and then being on the brink of elimination during Game 6. However, they persevered and advanced. I’m still not sold on their chances in the big picture.
Tampa Bay +1200: The Lighting was my preseason NHL pick to win the Stanley Cup. That wager was made well before Steven Stamkos was lost to a blood clot issue. They also have other key injuries that will make it even tougher to get by their current series, let alone capturing the Stanley Cup. I will be hedging against them the rest of the way.