Well, the weather outside is frightful, but betting on hockey is so delightful. When you’re climbing over people to get the last L.O.L Surprise Doll thingy for your daughter, put your feet up and turn your attention back to where the violence should be happening: The NHL. So pour a stiff drink as we take a look at who is favored to win The Stanley Cup this year.
Stanley Cup Futures Watch
December is when we need the NHL the most. Our cars have to be plugged in overnight or we can’t go to work the next day, and our feet are just always cold and wet. Also, there’s the Mastercard bill we’re poised to get. So, what do you say we fund your Christmas shopping this year with some well-placed bets on our future Stanley Cup Champions.
Let’s see who the oddsmakers like:
Tampa Bay Lightning +700
Tampa Bay is favoured to win it all on the strength of a very strong regular season performance, and a current 5 game winning streak. What’s not to love. The Lightning is scoring 3.73 goals per game to lead the league. And defensively they look almost as good, as they’re third in the association with 2.43 goals against per night.
It’s early, but they are definitely looking like future champions.
Toronto Maple Leafs +1000
The oddsmakers are feeling the Leafs chances a little bit less than the last time we checked in on future odds. They have won their last 3 out of 4, but I think their slight dip in odds has more to do with Tampa Bay’s dominance than anything they’re doing. Toronto is scoring 3.31 goals per night, which has dropped them slightly to 4th in the league overall. Defensively, they’re average-to-meh, ranked 12 in the league.
St. Louis Blues +1000
The Blues are tied with Toronto in the eyes of oddsmakers as the team second most likely to win a few laps with Lord Stanley. These are also the only two teams whose current Championship drought numbers start with the word “forty.”
It’s been 46 years since the Blues tasted championship champagne and just under 50 for the Leafs. But if you live in Canada, you already knew the latter.
The Blues are allowing only 2.53 goals per night, which is good enough for 4th overall defensively. They’re also scoring 3.18 goals per night.
Pittsburgh Penguins +1400
Now is a great time to buy-in on the defending champions. It’s early enough for records to be pretty much meaningless, but late enough that people are freaking out over them. The Penguins are 16-13-3 and rank 5th in their division. They are in the bottom half of the league for defense and offense, with Pittsburgh allowing 3.21 goals per night, and scoring only 2.93.
I don’t know how much worse (re: better if you’re betting on them) the odds will get. Right now’ we’ve got the two-time champions sitting at 1400. You may see the odds against them increase slightly if their current losing streak continues. But, I think they’re going to turn it around in the new year and that means you may lose the chance to lock in these odds.
Montreal Canadiens +5000
Hard to tell what this Habs team is going to be. They got hot when Carey Price returned from injury, but prior to that, they may have been the worst team in the NHL. The Habs are currently 5 points out of the wildcard spot. And if they grind it out in the second half of the season and maybe go on a mini-run, they could definitely be that team that pulls off a first-round upset on a higher ranked team. Also, you just don’t ever want to play someone as good as Price in the playoffs.
Whatever they do, they will do without any home-ice advantage whatsoever in the playoffs. Which is meh news, because they were one of the best teams in the NHL on the road last year. This year, they’re 5-7-1.
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