NHL Odds: Updated Conference Futures Breakdown & Best Value Plays

Jay Pryce

Thursday, January 28, 2016 3:32 PM GMT

The NHL All-Star game is behind us, oddsmakers are adjusting their futures prices for end-of-year honors. Here, we take a look at updated Conference Championship NHL odds.

Here we take a look at updated Conference Championship odds and offer our best value NHL pick with a few months to go in the 2015-2016 season.

 

Eastern Conference
The Washington Capitals, league point leaders with 74 (35-8-4), own the shortest odds at +170 to hoist the Prince of Wales Cup at the end of the year as offered by 5Dimes. LW Alex Ovechkin, the most lethal sniper in the game, is on pace to net 50 again. G Brandon Holtby, who the team rewarded with a long-term deal after a superb playoff run last season, picked up right where he left off, ranking sixth in save percentage (.929) and fifth in goals-against average (2.07). The Caps' +53 goal differential is more than double the nearest Eastern Conference competitor, the Panthers (+23).

Speaking of Florida, it is tied with Sunshine State foes the Lightning as second favorites to win the East at +700. Dale Tallon's crew just missed out on the playoffs last season. They are young, and growing more experienced every game, but so much of the team's success is due to four-time All Star G Robert Luongo (.930 SV%). One has to believe the season will catch up with the 36-year-old netminder. Florida's price here may be a tad inflated.

Cross-city rivals the Islanders and Rangers are tied for third on the oddsboard at +900 with the Red Wings (+1000), Bruins (+1200) and sinking Canadiens (+1265) rounding out the top eight choices.

 

Best value: Tampa Bay +700
It's hard to look past the Caps winning the East with the torrid run they're on. But as we covered before, at some point this team will come down to earth. The Lightning, however, may be the undervalued team in futures pricing. They picked up nine wins in the month of January, gifting bettors 23 percent return on one's investment. And their offense is charging up, averaging 3.0 goals per game versus 2.6 through December. The roster is deeper than any in the conference, and it will shine as the wear and tear of the season starts to take its toll. I mean, you know a team is chock-full of talent when Valtteri Filppula is centering the third line. They have a solid defensive corps with Ben Bishop and backup Andrei Vasilevskiy—who could start for many teams in the league—manning the pipes. This group was within a whisker of hoisting the Stanley Cup last season, and they're eyes are set on the prize.

 

Western Conference
The reigning Stanley Cup holders, Chicago Blackhawks, are +250 to win the West, and deservedly so after picking up 15 wins in their last 20 games. Joel Quenneville's group owns a 33-16-4 (70 points) record, with C Jonathan Toews, W Patrick Kane, and D Duncan Kieth primed to make it four Cups in the last eight seasons.

The L.A. Kings, who shockingly missed out on the playoffs last season, are second choice at +400 with the dwindling Stars third on the oddsboard at +450. The points leader for much of the season's first half, Dallas led the league in goals, averaging nearly 3.5 up to the New Year. Since, it has won just three in 11 and is posting a measly 2.3 netters a contest.

The Blues (+700), Wild (+1000), Ducks (+1200), Predators (+1600) and Sharks (+2000) round out the top eight.

 

Best Value: Anaheim Ducks +1200
A lot like the Lightning, this team is deep, talented, and hungry to make a run for the Cup, narrowly missing out on beating the Blackhawks last season for the Western title. Anaheim got off to the slowest of starts, winning just one in their first 10 games. This is nothing new for the Ducks under coach Bruce Boudreau. Since his first full season in 2012, Anaheim is 41-38 in October and November, sapping four percent profit from bettors, but 137-79 from December through the postseason, yielding 13 percent profit overall.

The offense was dismal for much of the first half of the year; it netted 2.0 goals per game through its first 25. But with Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Ryan Kesler as your big three up front, the goals will come. Since January 1, the Ducks have won seven of 10 and are averaging 3.2 per contest. The defense is talented, but overall inexperience a concern. Kevin Bieksa offers plenty of wisdom, though. John Gibson has taken over the starting gig in net from Frederik Andersen, sparking some competition among two of the better young goalies in the league. Look for this team to keep building momentum.

The complete list of NHL odds available at 5Dimes for both the Eastern and Western Conference titles are as follows:

 

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Team

Odds +

Washington Capitals

170

Tampa Bay Lightning

700

Florida Panthers

700

New York Islanders

900

New York Rangers

900

Detroit Red Wings

1000

Boston Bruins

1200

Montreal Canadiens

1265

Pittsburgh Penguins

1400

Ottawa Senators

3500

New Jersey Devils

5000

Philadelphia Flyers

5000

Carolina Hurricanes

10000

Buffalo Sabres

35000

Columbus Blue Jackets

37500

Toronto Maple Leafs

37500

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Team

Odds +

Chicago Blackhawks

250

Los Angeles Kings

400

Dallas Stars

450

St Louis Blues

700

Minnesota Wild

1000

Anaheim Ducks

1200

Nashville Predators

1600

San Jose Sharks

2000

Colorado Avalanche

2500

Vancouver Canucks

3300

Arizona Coyotes

4000

Calgary Flames

4500

Winnipeg Jets

6000

Edmonton Oilers

10000