The coronavirus pandemic has all but disrupted everything – including sports. When NBA star Rudy Gobert tested positive, it began a domino effect that led to the postponement of major sports leagues including the NBA, NHL, Premier League, and even the UFC. But it’s not all over, especially not for online bettors. Several sports, led by esports, plus online casinos are still up and running. Let’s look at what’s available.
NHL 2019-20 Season Futures
With the start of the 2019-20 NHL season, we break down the NHL odds and prognosticate the Stanley Cup contenders and notable teams’ odds of making the playoffs. The NHL is the most unpredictable league as we saw the major longshot St. Louis win it all last season while massive betting favourites Tampa Bay were first to exit the playoffs. With these in mind, let’s look atsome potential surprise bets.
With the start of the 2019-20 NHL season, we break down the NHL odds and prognosticate the Stanley Cup contenders and notable teams’ odds of making the playoffs. Here are the NHL Vegas odds favourites:
- Tampa Bay Lightning 8.50
- Toronto Maple Leafs 9.00
- Vegas Golden Knights 11.00
- Boston Bruins 11.00
- St. Louis Blues 16.00
The NHL is the most unpredictable league as we saw the major longshot St. Louis win it all last season while massive betting favourites Tampa Bay were first to exit the playoffs. With these in mind, let’s look at some potential surprise bets.
To further elaborate on how unpredictable the NHL is, here are some historical facts that show how difficult it is to hoist the Stanley Cup:
- 251.00: this isn’t a typo – the Blues were 250-1 (last in the league) to win the 2018-19 Stanley Cup midway through the season
- 1: only one team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, have repeated as Stanley Cup champions in the last 20 seasons
- 5/6: the Conn Smythe trophy has been awarded to Canadians in five of the last six playoffs; Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals is the sole non-Canadian
- 26: there hasn’t been a Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup in 26 years; the last team that did it? The Montreal Canadiens in 1993.
- 0: no Canadian teams advanced past the first round last season; the Jets, Leafs, and Flames all lost
NHL Vegas Odds: The Lightning and the Stanley Cup Contenders
In spite of their disastrous Stanley Cup playoffs performance, the Tampa Bay Lightning remain the favourites (8.50 via Sports Interaction) to win it all according to NHL Vegas Odds. Although they are only slightly favoured over the rest of the contenders.
The Lightning return this season with all of their major pieces in tow and they will have the stigma of their playoff exit to fuel them. Repeating another historic regular season run is unlikely. But getting the job done and going all the way is.
Following the Lightning are a slew of talented teams who could be just as deep and prolific:
Toronto Maple Leafs (9.00)
It speaks to how chaotic the NHL is when the Leafs, a team that can’t get past the first round, is the next favourite to win it all.
Toronto acquired John Tavares last season and re-signed Mitch Marner this season. They are loaded on offense and have a tireless netminder in Frederik Andersen. But they will need to find a way to overcome Boston somehow,
Vegas Golden Knights (11.00)
The Cinderella story for this team hasn’t ended yet despite a stunning loss in the first round last season.
The Knights blew a 3-1 series lead to the Sharks partially because of a controversial penalty. But either way you cut it, this team is still just as hungry and prolific as the team that went all the way to the Finals two seasons ago.
Boston Bruins (11.00)
Beantown became Heartbreak City last season after the Bruins surrendered a 3-2 series lead to the Blues in the Finals.
Boston had St. Louis reeling but just couldn’t quite close the deal. Teams that lose the Finals usually don’t fare that well the next season. But this team is far too talented and driven to follow that trend.
Odds of Making NHL Playoffs: The Sleeper Bets
It might be Stanley Cup or bust for a handful of teams, but for the rest of the league, it’s all about their odds of making the playoffs. As last year’s Stanley Cup playoffs proved, making the playoffs can be good enough as several underdog teams pulled off shockers to unseat favourites and make a solid run.
We pick two surprise teams who will make an underdog run and one who might disappoint:
NY Islanders – To Make Playoffs (2.24)
The Islanders lost their best player last season but still went further in the playoffs. Barry Trotz turned this ragtag group into a legitimate team. Despite NHL Las Vegas odds indicating last season was a fluke, bank on this team to once again return to the playoffs on the strength of great coaching and stud individual playmakers.
Edmonton – To Make Playoffs (2.65)
As dysfunctional as they seem, Edmonton will finally return to the playoffs. The playoff run from two seasons ago was not entirely a fluke. Led by Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, this team has the stars and simply needs for the rest of the crew to pull it together.
With a reshuffling of the team, including X-Factor Mike Smith in net, Edmonton could finally see the odds on their side.
Winnipeg – To Miss Playoffs (2.44)
The once-promising Jets might be fighting for its playoff spot. Fewer teams lost more than they did this offseason as they let several key players walk including two of their top defensemen plus several role players.
At their best, they are still good enough to make a deep playoff run. But if those losses add up, they could be the odd team out come April.
How to Beat the NHL Las Vegas Odds
Beating the NHL Las Vegas odds seems improbable. Even with the underdog run from last season, most bettors did not expect that many upsets to happen. And it usually doesn’t. So it’s about picking and choosing just a few bets. Don’t get greedy.
Be patient and play the odds based on what you see the public is saying. Most bettors are too easily swayed by public opinion. Do more intensive research and ignore most of the talking heads.
Last but not least, you need to find the top sportsbooks in the market. They all have the same purpose, but only you get to choose which ones suit your style.
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