2018/19 NHL Outrights
Betting before the season starts, or in the early stages of the season has one clear advantage: We’re usually going to get better odds. The clear disadvantage is that we have less information than we would if we waited until later in the season. So there’s the rub.
For those unfamiliar with the NHL, there are two conference – the Eastern and Western – and four divisions (Atlantic, Metropolitan, Central and Pacific). All of our wagering partners such as Bovada and TopBet offer future betting odds on the winner of each division, conference, and ultimately, the Stanley Cup.
Here is the general consensus of the top 5 betting choices to win the Stanley Cup:
- Tampa Bay Lightening +800
- Toronto Maple Leafs +800
- Winnipeg Jets +800
- Nashville Predators +1200
- San Jose Sharks +1200
Who takes the Cup?
Depends on who you ask, of course, but to win the Cup, you obviously have to win the division first, and San Jose seems to be the team most experts agree will win the Pacific without a great deal of resistance.
Similarly, the Toronto Mapleleafs are strong picks to win the Central division. The path of least resistance isn’t a bad angle when selecting teams for a future bet. Barring a major upset, San Jose and Toronto should be poised to make deep runs in the playoffs and let the chips fall where they may in terms of winning the Stanley Cup.
Given the odds, of course, San Jose is the more appealing pick at +1200. Some experts have argued that the Tampa Bay Lightening, despite their +800 status at most sportsbooks, could be toppled in their own division by teams like the Boston Bruins. Food for thought before diving in on a futures wager.
Based solely on value, I’ll roll with the San Jose Sharks to win the Stanley Cup at +1200 as the addition of Eric Karlsson should make them prime contenders.
In the Eastern Conference, the top 5 betting choices look like this:
- Tampa Bay +400
- Toronto +450
- Boston +650
- Washington +700
Something about Tampa Bay doesn’t sit well and +400 is much too short on value. In the Eastern Conference, I think I’d lean towards Boston or Washington as both have a live look to them. Playing against the favorite makes a lot of sense here from some of the projections and forecasts I’ve seen from those who really follow the NHL.
In the Western Conference, the top 5 choices are as follows:
- Winnipeg +450
- Nashville +575
- San Jose 6/1
- Vegas 7/1
- Edmonton 12/1
Here, the selection is more clear-cut for me. If I like San Jose to win the whole thing, I clearly must like them to win the Western Conference. This sounds painfully obvious, but it never ceases to amaze me how many “action junkies” are willing to bet against themselves. Are they conflicted, or just mathmatically incompetent?
Surely not as juicy as betting the conference or the Stanley Cup winner, but there’s still plenty of cash to be made here. Among the four divisions, only one favorite is listed above 8/5 in the futures market, and that just so happens to be the team I like the most in San Jose at 5/2. Sorry to be redundant here, but yes, of course, I’ll taking San Jose at 5/2 to win the Pacific Division. Anaheim, listed at 9/2, might be the only reasonable competition.
In the other division, Tampa Bay is 8/5 to win the Atlantic, Pittsburgh 2/1 to win the Metropolitan and Winnipeg 3/2 to win the Central. Those are some short and unappealing odds if you ask me. If there’s a squad among this heavily-favored trio that could prove vulnerable, it’s got to be Pittsburgh in the Metropolitan where I believe the Washington Capitals could prove a very worth nemesis.
All things considered, the NHL may not be a league of tremendous parity, but there’s still enough balance to make betting on division, conference and Stanley Cup futures a fun and profitable experience. Be sure to do your homework and be prepared to let that investment sit in the proverbial window for better than half the year.
See below the top sportsbooks where you can wager online and choose the best one for you:
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