With the NHL season already underway, now is a good time to look over some of the more interesting season long wagering opportunities. Today we will look at the Stanley Cup odds, East/West conference odds, and some of the more interesting prop bets. Lets begin with the Stanley Cup:
Stanley Cup Odds:
The Pittsburgh Penguins are favored to win the cup this year at +550 (meaning if you bet $100 you receive $550 if you win). Personally I think that number should be higher when you consider the Pens’ shaky goaltending situation.
The Chicago Blackhawks are a close second at +650 and the Boston Bruins are third at +1000. If you are looking for good value then I would suggest the Ottawa Senators at +2500. I really like this Senators team and I like their 25-1 odds even better.
The Florida Panthers have the longest odds of winning the cup at 250-1. A winning $100 bet on the Florida Panthers would return $250,000.
Again the Pens top the list at +255. I like the Senators and Islanders at +1200 and +1450 respectively and as a waaay long shot, I like the Hurricanes at +2000.
Out west, the Blackhawks are the favorite at +250 to win the Western Conference. The Anaheim Ducks are a good pick at +1000.
Here we will be looking at some full season points over/under bets. This means, a book (5dimes.eu is what I am using for all the odds you see here) sets a final point total for each team and you can bet that the team will either finish with more (over) or less (under) points. For example, the Panthers over/under point total is 72.5 so to win an over bet, the Panthers would have to accumulate at least 73 points during the season and to win an under bet, the team would have to accumulate 72 points or fewer.
To be honest I think going over for the Panthers is a pretty good bet, but I will not make it because I have enough sense to realize that I am completely biased when talking about the Panthers and thus I should avoid betting on them at all costs.
Some over/under bets that I like:
Ottawa over 94.5 (-130): The Senators were on pace for 95 points last season and that was with injuries to Jason Spezza, Erik Karlsson and Craig Anderson slowing the team down. With good health, the addition of Bobby Ryan and further development of their young players, the Sens should be able to easily tally over 94.5 points.
Boston over 104.5 (+100): There are a couple of things to like with this bet. First you do not have to put up any vig, (i.e. the extra money you pay on a bet for example in the Senators bet, you have to put up $130 to win $100). Second this team was on pace for 106 points last season and third, despite their active offseason, this team should not be much better or much worse than last years team that went to the Stanley Cup. If Tuukka Rask is on his game, 104.5 points should be no sweat for the B’s.
New York Rangers under 101.5 (-110): It is never good to bet on feeling, but nonetheless, I have a feeling that we will see this Rangers team struggle this year. Last year’s team was only on pace for 96 points and I think this year’s squad will take a step back, not forward. The Rangers rely heavily on an aging trio of Rick Nash, Brad Richards, and Henrik Lundqvist. If that trio takes a step back, the Rangers will be in big trouble. Take advantage of the fact that the public tends to overvalue any New York team and jump on the under.
In addition to team over/unders, you can place wagers on individual players. There are plenty of opportunities out there, right now, I will just focus on some individual Panthers:
Jonathan Huberdeau: Over/Under (+100/-130) 61.5 points: This one is tough. Huberdeau was on pace for 53 points in his rookie season. The case for the over is: he will improve in year two, he had surgery to fix a hip that was bothering him the entire season, the Panthers will be healthier so there will be more players to take the defensive heat off Huberdeau, and his supporting cast will be better at finishing off his passes. That is a pretty convincing case but the case for the under is: Huberdeau gets hurt, or he struggles in his second season like so many players historically have done. Ever the optimist, I am going with the over here.
Tomas Fleischmann: Over/Under (-115/-115) 58.5 points: Vegas knows what they are doing with Fleischmann who last season was on pace for 59 points and two years ago, in his first season with the Panthers, he tallied 61 points. If he can stay healthy in 2013, Fleischmann has proven that he will fall right around the 58.5 point mark. The only problem is, Fleischmann’s two years with the Panthers represent the healthiest, most productive seasons of his career. Basically for Flash to hit on the over, he has to play in every game and equal his career high in production. There is too much that can go wrong here, take the under.
Brian Campbell: Over/Under (-160/+130) 42.5 points: Brian Campbell has been a remarkably consistent player. If you count last season when he was on pace for 46 points, Campbell has scored 43 plus points in seven of his last eight seasons. He will again be the player that the Panthers run their offense through in both 5-on-5 and power play situations so health pending, he should be a safe bet on the over. The -160 is deterring but if you do not mind taking on a lot of vig, then Campbell to go over is your guy.
Sean Matthias: Over/Under (-115/-115) 42.5 points: Here you have to ask yourself the question, is Shawn Matthias the guy who scored thirteen points in March (11-2-13) or the guy who only tallied 8 points (3-5-8) in 32 non-March games. If he is the second guy, then this is an easy under and even if he can close to replicating last season’s March production, he could still fall short of 43 points. I am going under here.