Check NHL Eastern Conference Odds Update Before Making Futures Bets

Mark Lathrop

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 4:00 PM GMT

Our NHL handicapper looks at the updated odds for the Eastern Conference Champion from top rated sportsbooks and makes his long shot and value NHL picks to reach the Stanley Cup Final. 

Now that the regular season has mercifully come to a close in the NHL, we can look forward to hockey played at a different, more fervent pace. It’s basically the only time I’ve watched the game as a fan, as the passion of the players in their quest to win the Stanley Cup quite literally jumps off of the screen. With that said, let’s take a look at the Eastern Conference odds for the team that will represent them in the Stanley Cup finals, as found currently at Bovada.

 

The Prohibitive Favorite
Washington Capitals (+150) – The Capitals have a tough draw in the first round as they matchup against the Philadelphia Flyers (+1400). These teams split four games over the season, so don’t count out the Flyers picking up a game or two in the first round. That may be the only thing stopping the Caps though, as their +59 goal differential is the best in the NHL. They play just as well on the road (27-10-4) as they do at home (29-8-4). The Capitals are a deep team and deserving of being the favorite to take the Eastern Conference.
 


 

2nd Tier
Pittsburgh Penguins (+450) – Led by the 36 goals and 85 points of Sidney Crosby, the Penguins have the third best NHL odds to reach the Stanley Cup in the league. They are the hottest team in the Eastern Conference coming into the playoffs after taking 14 of their last 16 games. And they are doing it not just with their stars, but with a youth movement mixed into the fold. Pittsburgh beat their first round matchup, the New York Rangers (+700), three times in March with all four of their matches going over the listed total. The team could get stars Evgeni Malkin and Marc-Andre Fleury back from injury during the playoffs as well. This is a dangerous team with the second highest goal differential at +42 in the entire NHL.

Florida Panthers (+800) – Winners of the Atlantic Division, the Florida Panthers (47-26-9) are having the best regular season in their franchise’s history. Many of their top players are getting a taste of the postseason for the fist time here, as this is just the second time the Panthers have made the playoffs since 2000. There is a little bit of mystery with this team and how they will respond, but you can bet that the gritty veteran, Jaromir Jagr, will have his shift ready to go. Their first round matchup pits them against the New York Islanders (+1000).

 

The Long Shots
Tampa Bay Lightning (+900) – The Lightning went 46-31-5 this season, but just 21-18-2 on the road while exhibiting one of the biggest home/away splits of playoff teams. The Lightning start their postseason against the Detroit Red Wings (+1400), who are making their 25th playoff appearance in a row. The team is real banged up at the moment and will be missing Steven Stamkos and Anton Stralman for the series against the Red Wings, but if they can make it past the first round this team will be bringing in fresh bodies at just the right time.

 

The Verdict
With the passing of the Flyers owner, Ed Snider, on Monday that team will be playing with renewed energy. If I was to take a longshot, Philadelphia would be my pick, especially after splitting the season series with the Caps. My value NHL pick is the Penguins at +450, as they are playing with the type of cohesiveness needed to make a deep run towards Lord Stanley’s Cup. 

 

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