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Stanley Cup Futures: Could it Finally be the Capitals' Year?

Scoring in the NHL is way up since the all-star break. Maybe it has something to do with the “sleeker” goalie pants or maybe it’s the newly instituted bye weeks. Whatever it is, it’s making hockey fun again and turning NHL action back into must-watch television.

Along the same vein, there are four teams in the top seven in NHL futures at Bovada that have never won a Stanley Cup and it’s looking like we could have a first-time winner for the first time since the Ducks hoisted Lord Stanley’s mug in 2007. Three of those teams – the Capitals, Wild and Sharks – have big leads in their respective divisions and Washington specifically is starting to separate itself from the pack and is now a +550 favorite to win it all. If all the goals we’ve seen this month don’t get you excited about the chel, maybe the prospect of a brand new champion will.

After 54 games played, the Capitals have accumulated 80 points – four more than any other team in the league and 12 more than the Atlantic-leading Canadiens. Their 1.28 goal differential per game is by far the best in the NHL and stop me if you’ve heard this before, but it looks like this could finally be the Capitals’ year. That said, you may want to hold off laying down a bet. Alex Ovechkin and the Caps are on a heater right now but should cool off a little at some point. When they do, and their value goes back up to something like 7/1, you may want to take out your toolbox and hammer this one home.

When I look at the league holistically, I have a hard time picturing anyone but the Capitals, Penguins, Wild or Sharks representing their conferences in the Stanley Cup final. There are some incredibly inflated lines in the field right now and I have no faith at all in teams like the Chicago Blackhawks and New York Rangers at the prices they’re currently being offered.

The true competitors have really been showing their qualities since the turn of the new year and until teams make some moves in the days and minutes leading up to the trade deadline, I am going to continue to have a very narrow focus on the organizations I believe have a shot once the beards start growing.

Here’s the complete list of Stanley Cup futures odds:

2017 Stanley Cup Odds
TeamOdds
Washington Capitals+550
Minnesota Wild+700
Chicago Blackhawks+750
Pittsburgh Penguins+1000
Columbus Blue Jackets+1000
New York Rangers+1000
San Jose Sharks+1400
Montreal Canadiens+1400
Edmonton Oilers+2000
Anaheim Ducks+2000
Los Angeles Kings+2500
Nashville Predators+2800
Toronto Maple Leafs+2800
Ottawa Senators+2800
St. Louis Blues+3300
Boston Bruins+4000
Calgary Flames+4000
Tampa Bay Lightning+4000
Dallas Stars+5000
Florida Panthers+5000
Winnipeg Jets+5000
Philadelphia Flyers+6600
Vancouver Canucks+6600
New York Islanders+6600
Detroit Red Wings+10000
Carolina Hurricanes+10000
Buffalo Sabres+10000
New Jersey Devils+20000

Odds as of February 9, 2017 at Bovada

Archived Articles

As we head into All-Star Weekend, let's take a look at the updated Stanley Cup futures to see where we stand at the unofficial midway point of the NHL season. 

For the first time this season, it's a team other than the Chicago Blackhawks on top of the NHL futures board with the Washington Capitals drawing even with the 'Hawks at +700 on Bovada after their 13-game point streak. Rounding out the top 10 we have the Penguins (+800), Wild (+800), Blue Jackets (+850), Canadiens (+1200), Rangers (+1200), Sharks (+1600), Oilers (+1600) and Ducks (+1800). 

The common theme among all these teams is that they're all, with the exception of the Rangers, within seven points of the lead in their respective divisions.

I don't see a ton of value beyond this list but with that said, a team like the Toronto Maple Leafs could do some serious damage in the playoffs as they're too young and immature to even know they don't have a chance to win the Cup. That kind of reckless abandon is great for the playoffs and, as we all know, once you get into the postseason, anything is possible.

Of the top 10, there are four teams that I think are deserving of a wager. Those teams are the Capitals, Penguins, Wild and Sharks. Washington is starting to look like the team we saw during the 2015-16 regular season and is by far the most complete team in the league. The Caps are very deserving of the share of the top spot they currently have but should have it all to themselves.

Chicago is incredibly overrated and is going to struggle mightily in the playoffs. The Blackhawks are running their stars far too many minutes due to their lack of depth and when we get to the postseason, that's going to show. I wouldn't be surprised to see a first-round exit from the Blackhawks and advise heavily against betting on them to win the Stanley Cup.

The Sharks are still my favorite value play on the board. They have the perfect mix of veteran grit, youthful skill and excellent defending that wins playoff series. Brent Burns is running away with the Norris Trophy race and could help lead this franchise to its first ever NHL championship.

Here’s the complete list of Stanley Cup futures odds:

2017 Stanley Cup Odds
TeamOdds
Washington Capitals+700
Chicago Blackhawks+700
Pittsburgh Penguins+800
Minnesota Wild+800
Columbus Blue Jackets+850
Montreal Canadiens+1200
New York Rangers+1200
San Jose Sharks+1600
Edmonton Oilers+1600
Anaheim Ducks+1800
St. Louis Blues+2500
Nashville Predators+2500
Tampa Bay Lightning+2800
Calgary Flames+2800
Los Angeles Kings+3300
Boston Bruins+3300
Toronto Maple Leafs+3300
Philadelphia Flyers+4000
Dallas Stars+4000
Ottawa Senators+4000
Florida Panthers+5000
Winnipeg Jets+6600
Vancouver Canucks+6600
Carolina Hurricanes+10000
Detroit Red Wings+10000
New Jersey Devils+15000
Buffalo Sabres+15000

Odds as of December 21 at Bovada

Archived Articles

For the most part, this NHL season is unraveling as I expected it to. There are, however, a couple of outlying teams that have been defying the odds all year and are beginning to receive a lot of attention from sportsbooks. Although I’m not ready to crown teams like the Blue Jackets and the Flyers just yet, the movement they’ve made up the futures board is notable and I have to respect it.

Below, I’ve broken down the biggest movers in the market since our last update.

Columbus Blue Jackets from +6600 to +1400

A 10-game winning streak will get a lot of people talking and that’s exactly what the Blue Jackets are in the midst of. Columbus started out the season hot and no one paid attention. The Jackets got a little bit of press when they embarrassed the Canadiens 10-0 but that didn’t last long. After that, they won four games in a row and people started asking, “This team can’t really be good, can it?” With John Tortorella and the Jackets now going for their 11th straight win, I almost don’t know what direction is up.

Columbus is the youngest team in the league, is devoid of any superstars and was not expected to even make the playoffs at the beginning of the year. Superb play from goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and a historically good power play, however, have driven this team to a 21-5-4 record and the best goal differential in the league.

Despite all this, +1400 is not an acceptable price for this team. The success Columbus is achieving right now is completely unsustainable and it’s only a matter of time before the team has a serious regression. Don’t get it twisted – the Jackets are a long shot to get out of the stacked Eastern Conference and are still at risk of missing the playoffs as they get into the meat of their schedule.

Nothing about this team makes sense and neither does a futures bet on them.

Philadelphia Flyers from +4000 to +2000

Much like the Jackets, the Flyers’ meteoric rise in the Stanley Cup futures market can be largely attributed to a 10-game winning spree they went on that was only recently ended. The main difference between the two teams, though, is that Philly may actually have a reasonable shot in this race.

The Flyers have an excellent mix of scoring, grit and glamor and if they could find a way to keep the puck out of the net, they could easily finish in one of the top three spots in the Metropolitan. Anything is possible once you make the playoffs in the NHL and the Flyers have the veteran leadership to take this team on a long playoff run.

The problem? Goaltending. The Flyers’ team save percentage is close to last in the league and that’s a bad look for a team that is reasonably good at limiting five-on-five shots. The positive, Steve Mason is much better than he’s played and is simply being exposed to far too many high-danger situations.

Philadelphia has a young core of defensemen who are still developing and a couple of guys in Andrew MacDonald and Mark Streit who are well past their primes. If the Flyers are looking to seriously contend, they may want to shop some of their highly touted young forward prospects for a stay-at-home defender or two to limit the quality chances they are giving up on their own net. Just a suggestion.  

Calgary Flames from +6600 to +2500

I can’t wrap my head around this one at all. Sure, the Flames may have caught lightning in a bottle with a Chad Johnson and, sure, they may play in the worst division in hockey but this team is simply not good enough to win the Stanley Cup, or even a playoff series, for that matter.

Outside of names like Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Mark Giordano, this team’s roster is filled up with has-beens, never-have-beens and a couple of guys who might someday be something. Call me crazy, but I still don’t trust Chad Johnson – unless we’re talking about Ochocinco – and have very little faith in a No. 1 power play that features the likes of Troy Brouwer and Kris Versteeg.

Calgary had a lot of promise after its Cinderella run in the playoffs two years ago but Brian Burke has once again screwed up a team beyond repair. Get the wrecking ball fired up; it’s almost time for another rebuild in Alberta.

Colorado Avalanche from +6600 to +20000

Finally, a line that makes some sense. The Avalanche are so bad they make other bad teams look not so bad. Colorado has gone from being a “well, maybe we can make the playoffs” team to a “well, who are we going to draft first overall” team in the matter of a month.

The team has dropped 11 of its last 13 games and sits dead last in the league. Someone start writing the eulogy, the Avalanche are dead – they just don’t know it yet.

Some positivity maybe, Rob?

For my money right now, the Penguins are the best team in the NHL and it’s not close. I’ve already written about them ad nauseam so I’ll spare you the agony of reading any more of my drivel. Just believe me that they’re good and bet them while there’s still (a ton of) value in doing so.

Here’s the complete list of Stanley Cup futures odds:

2017 Stanley Cup Odds
TeamOdds
Chicago Blackhawks+750
Pittsburgh Penguins+900
New York Rangers+1100
Montreal Canadiens+1100
Washington Capitals+1200
San Jose Sharks+1200
St. Louis Blues+1200
Minnesota Wild+1200
Edmonton Oilers+1400
Columbus Blue Jackets+1400
Tampa Bay Lightning+1600
Anaheim Ducks+1800
Philadelphia Flyers+2000
Los Angeles Kings+2500
Calgary Flames+2500
Nashville Predators+2800
Ottawa Senators+2800
Boston Bruins+2800
Dallas Stars+4000
Winnipeg Jets+5000
Florida Panthers+6600
New Jersey Devils+6600
Toronto Maple Leafs+6600
Detroit Red Wings+7500
Carolina Hurricanes+12500
New York Islanders+15000
Buffalo Sabres+15000
Vancouver Canucks+15000
Colorado Avalanche+20000
Arizona Coyotes+20000

Odds as of December 21 at Bovada

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The 2016-17 NHL season is just over a month old and there have already been some drastic changes in Stanley Cup futures, the most considerable being the movement of the now-favored Montreal Canadiens.

Before the puck dropped on the season, the Canadiens were tabbed as +2500 long shots at Bovada but have moved up 15 spots and are now pegged as +750 favorites after their 13-2-1 start. Montreal was one of my favorite value plays prior to the season because I knew what Carey Price was capable of. The last time No. 31 was completely healthy, he won the Vezina and MVP and the Canadiens got to the second round of the playoffs largely on the back of their No. 1 goalie. Well, it’s feeling a lot like the 2014-15 season right now. Price has started out his year 10-0-0 with a .957 save percentage, 1.40 goals-against average and two shutouts to boot. He is simply the best goalie in the NHL and he definitely has the ability to carry his team to a Stanley Cup.

To be fair, Price isn’t doing it all by himself. Shea Weber has been a beast at the blue-line and the trade for P.K. Subban is starting to make a hell of a lot of sense. The 6’4” d-man leads the league in plus/minus at +16 and has already accumulated 13 points. If Weber keeps it up, he’ll be a shoo-in for the Norris Trophy and will be a crucial component of a Canadiens’ Stanley Cup run.

Other big movers include the Edmonton Oilers, who shot up from +3300 to +1100, and the New York Islanders, who moved to the opposite end of the spectrum from +2500 to +6600 after a sluggish 5-7-3 start.

I will be the first to admit that I love what the Oilers are doing and I’ve been tuning into every one of their games just so I don’t miss out on a miraculous Connor McDavid moment. That said, I have very little faith that this team could do anything other than make a little noise in the playoffs and probably make a first- or second-round exit – assuming they even make Lord Stanley's playoffs. +1100 is not a great line and I would recommend waiting until the Oilers’ eventual fade to grab them if you plan to.

The Penguins, Capitals and Blackhawks both held fairly steady at the top of the board and they will always be decent bets as they will all likely make it deep into the playoffs. The ’Hawks have looked a lot better than I expected them to with their top-heavy roster and they’ve been on an absolute roll. In a year where the Western Conference looks much worse than the East, Chicago should have no problem making it to the West final.

I, however, am not confident any team from the West can beat the Penguins, Capitals or Carey Price in the Stanley Cup final and none will be wooing any money from my wallet.

Here’s the complete list of Stanley Cup futures odds:

2017 Stanley Cup Odds
TeamOdds
Montreal Canadiens+750
Pittsburgh Penguins+900
Washington Capitals+900
Chicago Blackhawks+900
Tampa Bay Lightning+1000
Edmonton Oilers+1000
New York Rangers+1200
St. Louis Blues+1400
San Jose Sharks+1800
Minnesota Wild+2000
Anaheim Ducks+2000
Dallas Stars+2200
Los Angeles Kings+2800
Florida Panthers+3300
Nashville Predators+3300
Detroit Red Wings+3300
New Jersey Devils+3300
Ottawa Senators+3300
Boston Bruins+4000
Philadelphia Flyers+4000
Toronto Maple Leafs+5000
Winnipeg Jets+5000
Calgary Flames+6600
Colorado Avalanche+6600
New York Islanders+6600
Columbus Blue Jackets+6600
Buffalo Sabres+6600
Vancouver Canucks+10000
Arizona Coyotes+15000
Carolina Hurricanes+15000

Odds as of November 14 at Bovada

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It’s almost time for some puck! The NHL season is upon us and if you haven’t already, it may be a good time to get your Stanley Cup futures bets in at online sportsbooks who’ve updated their odds heading into the 2016-17 season.

The Penguins were in the business of winning last year and they’ve landed themselves +1000 odds to become the first team since the 1998 Detroit Red Wings to win back-to-back Stanley Cups. Pittsburgh has possibly the deepest roster of forwards in the league and still has a few good years out of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang. I was pretty shocked when the Blackhawks passed the Pens for first in futures odds so that should be indication enough that I like the defending Cup champions’ chances this year.

I know big-market teams tend to get worse value because of the high volume of bets Vegas receives on them but the +750 line on the Blackhawks is outrageous and should not be bet. The only reason I can think of for this line being so expensive is because of the precedent currently being set by the Cubs in World Series odds. Don’t get me wrong, Chicago absolutely has a chance to win, they just don’t deserve to be ahead of teams like Pittsburgh, Washington, Tampa Bay and Dallas.

Speaking of the Stars, they have an excellent chance to make it out of a Western Conference that has gotten worse every year the Red Wings have not been a part of it. The dynasty of the Kings seems to have ended and there’s really only four teams in the West that I’m giving a chance to. Dallas was one of the best regular season teams last season but was upset by the Blues in the second round of the playoffs. The defending Central Division champions had the third-best goal differential in last year’s campaign and if they manage to trade for one of the many available goalies, they will immediately become the Cup favorites.

The Predators are a really trendy pick right now but, honestly, they are not getting nearly enough value. Pekka Rinne, their starting goalie, has played less than 45 games in two of his last four seasons and showed serious regression in last year’s campaign in which he stopped just 90.8 percent of shots he faced and allowed 2.48 goals per game. Nashville will play an exciting, up-tempo brand of hockey this year – of that, I have no doubt – it’s the defensive end that I’m worried about.

As far as value goes, there’s not a ton of teams I love beyond +1200 so I’m going to take an absolute shot in the dark and say the Montreal Canadiens. The Habs are currently offering long-shot odds of +2500 and a lot of things need to go right for this team to have a chance but with a healthy Carey Price in net, the Canadiens have a chance to win every game they play.

Bovada has lines up for all the NHL futures so make sure to check them out and click the NHL tab to get access to our in-depth coverage of the upcoming season of NHL hockey.

Here’s the complete list of Stanley Cup futures odds:

2017 Stanley Cup Odds
TeamOdds
Chicago Blackhawks+750
Pittsburgh Penguins+1000
Washington Capitals+1000
Tampa Bay Lightning+1000
Dallas Stars+1200
St. Louis Blues+1400
San Jose Sharks+1600
Nashville Predators+1600
Anaheim Ducks+1600
Florida Panthers+1600
Los Angeles Kings+1800
Minnesota Wild+2500
New York Rangers+2500
Detroit Red Wings+2500
New York Islanders+2500
Boston Bruins+2500
Montreal Canadiens+2500
Philadelphia Flyers+3300
Edmonton Oilers+3300
New Jersey Devils+5000
Colorado Avalanche+5000
Ottawa Senators+5000
Calgary Flames+5000
Winnipeg Jets+5000
Toronto Maple Leafs+5000
Buffalo Sabres+5000
Arizona Coyotes+6600
Carolina Hurricanes+6600
Columbus Blue Jackets+6600
Vancouver Canucks+6600

Odds as of October 6 at Bovada

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Free agent frenzy is winding down and teams are starting to shape up. With some big trades and key signings forcing the futures lines to move, sportsbooks have updated their 2016-17 Stanley Cup odds.

The defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins are still favorites on Bovada but have moved from +800 to +900 to hoist their fifth franchise Cup. They will, for the most part, retain the core of their team that led them to their finals win.  

After the dust from the free agent shake-up settled, we have seen some teams significantly change their odds – for the good, and for the bad. The biggest movers were the Tampa Bay Lightning (+1400 to +1000) after resigning Steven Stamkos, the Nashville Predators (+1800 to +1400) after trading for P.K. Subban, the Montreal Canadiens (+2500 to +3300) after trading away P.K., the Toronto Maple Leafs (+6600 to +5000) after a slew of offseason moves and the Vancouver Canucks who now have the longest odds at +7500 to win after whatever the hell Jim Benning did.

Another line that was adjusted was the Florida Panthers’, who moved from +2500 to +2000. 25/1 would have been a great value to grab the Cats after their promising 2015-16 season that saw them top the Atlantic Division but they are now pegged at a much more appropriate number.

Even though their line moved to +1400, there is still plenty of value in the Nashville Predators. General Manager David Poile has done a masterful job trading assets for legit players, the latest being the acquisition of Subban for Shea Weber. They have a group of dynamic forwards, two of the best all-around defensemen in the league in P.K. and Roman Josi and a goalie in Pekka Rinne that at times in his career has been unbeatable. This is a good team that will be one of the most fun to watch next year.

If you’re looking for a long shot, you may be out of luck. Any team past +2500 will be in tough to even make the playoffs but you never know. Teams like the Edmonton Oilers (+3300), Ottawa Senators (+5000) and Colorado Avalanche (+5000) will all be better this year and should challenge to get into the playoffs. I don’t recommend putting money on them, though, I cannot stress that enough.

There are still offseason moves to be made and World Cup injuries to be had, so be sure to check back for odds updates throughout the summer.

Here’s the complete list of odds:

2017 Stanley Cup Odds
TeamOdds
Pittsburgh Penguins+900
Chicago Blackhawks+950
Washington Capitals+1000
Tampa Bay Lightning+1000
Dallas Stars+1200
St. Louis Blues+1400
San Jose Sharks+1400
Nashville Predators+1400
Los Angeles Kings+1600
Anaheim Ducks+1600
Florida Panthers+2000
Minnesota Wild+2200
New York Rangers+2200
Detroit Red Wings+2500
New York Islanders+2500
Boston Bruins+2500
Montreal Canadiens+3300
Philadelphia Flyers+3300
Edmonton Oilers+3300
New Jersey Devils+4000
Colorado Avalanche+5000
Ottawa Senators+5000
Calgary Flames+5000
Winnipeg Jets+5000
Toronto Maple Leafs+5000
Buffalo Sabres+5000
Arizona Coyotes+6600
Carolina Hurricanes+6600
Columbus Blue Jackets+6600
Vancouver Canucks+7500

Odds as of July 6 at Bovada

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