|Stanley Cup Odds|
If you bet on hockey at your offshore sportsbook, the Stanley Cup odds are always a fun challenge. More so than baseball and especially basketball, hockey offers tremendous playoff parity to those who bet sports.
Betting on the Stanley Cup futures at this stage of the season isn’t like betting on the NBA, where only a handful of teams have a legit shot. Since the NHL introduced the Presidents’ Trophy in 1985-86, only seven of the 22 first-overall finishers – less than one third -- have gone on to win the Stanley Cup. In other words, there are always plenty of teams to consider when betting on the Stanley Cup.
The hockey betting dilemma begins with the “big three” – Detroit, San Jose and Boston. The first factor to consider is Boston’s relative inexperience; while they’re a great team and look like they’ll contend for years to come, most of their impact players – Phil Kessel, Tim Thomas, David Krecji, Blake Wheeler, Milan Lucic, Dennis Wideman – have one year of playoff experience or less. The B’s could make a deep playoff run, but they’re probably not ready to make the next leap. That leaves Detroit and the powerful San Jose Sharks. Detroit has the experience and is a slightly better value at +290, but San Jose is ready to win it all and has the goaltending advantage. The Sharks are the favorite for a reason and truly are the best bet to win the Cup.
Another pick really gaining steam like is the New Jersey Devils, who look unstoppable right now, at +850. How much better will they be with Martin Brodeur back? Or have they peaked early? In this category of candidates, the Calgary Flames offer a much better value at +1800. Don’t you think they’d push New Jersey hard in a seven-game series? Then why not take them at more than double the value?
We can’t discount Chicago and Washington, who are arguably the two most exciting teams in Stanley Cup betting. These teams should make all the top contenders lists from any handicappers from the top 10 online casinos. Like Boston, though, they’re not quite ready yet. They’ll have their day in the sun soon.
And the Devils lost both Gomez and defenseman Brian Rafalski, while picking up Zubrus and netminder Kevin Weekes (who will sit and watch Martin Brodeur stop pucks).
What about Montreal and Pittsburgh, who looked like the top two Eastern Conference candidates last year? They’ll have to bounce back from injury woes and, in Montreal’s case who have odds resembling internet video poker hands, goaltending woes, but they can’t be forgotten considering they offer good value at +1300 (Montreal) and +1800 (Pittsburgh).
If you’re falling in love with a big-time underdog pick like Florida or Buffalo, you’re better off picking one of those teams to win the conference but not the Cup. The 2002 Hurricanes, 2003 Ducks, 2004 Flames and 2006 Oilers all reached the final as low seeds but none of them won those series.
Before you place your bet on the Stanley Cup, remember that it’s never a bad idea to wait until after the trade deadline. You never know when a major deal could shake up a team’s odds of winning.