Wed 20/12/2017 - 06:38 EST

    Stanley Cup Futures Watch

    Since we last checked the NHL’s Future Bets online, we’ve seen a few shifts in oddsmakers’ thinking, but no massive shakeups. The Lightning are still the team to beat and are distancing themselves from the rest of the pack. Still lots of hockey left to play, as we’re not even at the all-star break yet. But let’s see where the smart money is if you wanted to place your bet today.

    The Tampa Bay Lightning +500

    Oddsmakers are loving this team more by the week. And why not? Tampa has won their 7 games and 8 of their last 10 games. Meanwhile, their closest rivals in the division (and overall) is faltering, but we’ll get to the Leafs a bit later. Tampa is only allowing 2.47 goals per game, tied for second on the league. Meanwhile, they’re lighting opposing teams up for a league-best 3.8 goals per night.

    Second best defense plus best offense equal most likely to win it all, in oddsmakers’ books. It’s not brain surgery at this point.

    The Toronto Maple Leafs +1000

    The Leafs’ recent slide hasn’t really affected their betting odds to win it all. They went on a 3 game slide before unleashing an 8-1 beating on Carolina. Vegas knows that this losing streak is 100% besides Leaf poster boy Auston Matthews has been sidelined with a head injury and the Leafs are in absolutely no hurry to bring their young star back.

    He is definitely missed though. Prior to the game against the Hurricanes, the Leafs has scored 4 goals in 4 games. A far cry from the red light specials the Leaf fans are used to seeing. Toronto will take their time with Matthews and his oh-so-valuable brain. When he’s back, this team is straight up scary.

    The Pittsburgh Penguins +1800

    Last time we discussed this, I said that it was the best time to bet on the Pens, because I didn’t see the odds on them getting much higher. Well, I was wrong. They’ve gone from -1400 to -1800. I which makes them an even better sleeper pick. But, a 2 time defending NHL champion being a sleeper? Still seems odd to me.

    However, the struggle is real for the Pens. They are 6th in their freaking division and cannot seem to build any momentum whatsoever. The Penguins are only scoring 2.89 goals per night, while allowing 3.17. Milestone #1 is flipping those numbers if they want to make a push for the playoffs.

    The Montreal Canadiens -5000

    Just what the hell is this Montreal team? Oddsmakers still don’t know. And I don’t know either. Either way, they are an extra-long shot to win the Cup. They got shut out and mildly embarrassed in one of the most watched games of the year against Ottawa at the Heritage Classic. They could have really used that win, because they are on the road for the rest of 2017. 

    The Habs are still only scoring 2.61 goals per night. So the odds are not in their favor right now, and it’s going to take a herculean effort for them to just play .500 hockey on the road trip. If you’re thinking about betting on the, maybe wait a bit and keep an eye on the odds.

    Chicago Blackhawks +1800 

    A new addition to our watch list. The Hawks are suddenly surging, as Chicago won 5 straight games. This is the same team that lost 7 in a row earlier this month. Now their stock is on the rise. If they turn things around, they could be a serious player come playoff time. They would have to survive the stacked Eastern Conference.

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