As we approach the end of a very tumultuous 2016, there’s a lot of people wondering what’s on the horizon and whether the grass is going to be greener on the other side. Sportsbooks are taking advantage of our curiosity and wonderment by offering us props relevant to the 2017 half of the 2016-17 NHL season.
is one of the main culprits and is offering three interesting propositions for the second half. I’ve broken down these props and found the value for you so you won’t have to make it your New Year’s resolution to stop sports betting.
Will an Original Six team win the Stanley Cup?
I don’t love the value of any of these props but this one, I think, has the best chance of cashing. The Rangers, Canadiens and Blackhawks are all sitting in prime position to finish the season near the top of their respective divisions and the Bruins look like they could also get into the playoffs if Tuukka Rask keeps up his insane play.
Even if all those teams make the playoffs, they’ll be just four of 16 teams vying for the Cup – giving an Original Six team a 25 percent chance to win. If the odds were fair, this prop would be paying out 4 to 1. I know books have to protect themselves but I think they’re being a bit greedy here.
Will a goaltender win the Hart Memorial Trophy?
Carey Price accomplished this feat in 2015 so it’s definitely possible. That said, there’s plenty of factors going against the netminders bidding for the MVP trophy this year.
Factor No. 1: There are too many good goalies this year. Multiple crease occupiers such as Devan Dubnyk and Sergei Bobrovsky are playing out of their minds right now, limiting the value of other goaltenders around the league. Those guys’ numbers are similar to the ones being posted by Price and Rask this year so unless one of those tendies breaks away from the pack in the second half, it’s not going to happen.
Factor No. 2: Sidney Crosby is back. Sid has been the poster boy for the NHL ever since he was drafted back in 2004 and when the league gets a chance to anoint its prince, it does. This was confirmed last season when Sid the Kid won the Conn Smythe despite Matt Murray carrying the Pens to the Cup as a rookie. Crosby is currently leading the league in goals and has a serious shot to win the Hart, Maurice Rocket Richard and Art Ross trophies.
Will a Canadian Team win the Stanley Cup?
This one is a stretch. Even if you forget about the McSorley curse that’s plagued Canadian teams ever since the Habs won in ’92, I think there’s only one Canuck team with a shot to win the Cup this year – and it’s not Vancouver.
Montreal has a five-point lead in the Atlantic Division right now and has been borderline unbeatable at the Bell Centre this year. With Carey Price in net, anything is possible but I find it tough to bet on any team based on one player’s dominance. Since this is most likely the only team with a legitimate Stanley Cup case, you may as well take Montreal in a futures bet, rather than risk it on this prop.