2018/19 NHL Outrights
With rosters’ final and the first glimpse of NHL teams in the regular season, now is a great time to bet on NHL futures. While hockey is known for its parity, some teams look like they have all the pieces to win the Stanley Cup, while others are lacking enough in some aspect that bettors should be wary of betting on those teams this season.
Quick Facts on NHL Futures for 2018-19
- Top two favourites to win Stanley Cup come from the Eastern Conference (Toronto and Tampa Bay)
- Nine teams have odds of +2000 or better to win the 2019 Stanley Cup
- Central Division viewed as most competitive in the NHL (all teams odds of winning Division between +140 and +1500)
- Atlantic Division three teams with +225 or better to win, and four teams at +3600 or more to win the Division
- Vegas opened at +20000 odds to win the Stanley Cup last season
- Capitals won Stanley Cup last season with the second best opening odds (tied with two other teams)
Best Stanley Cup Futures
Tampa Bay Lightning +800
After scoring the most goals in the NHL last season and coming within a game of the Stanley Cup Finals in 2018, the Tampa Bay Lightning enter this season with a Stanley Cup or bust mentality. While the Lightning may not lead the NHL in goals this season (with their biggest competition coming from the Toronto Maple Leafs), they should improve on defence, specifically the penalty kill.
The Lightning are the deepest team in the Eastern Conference. They have multiple candidates to score 30-goals this season and a goaltender that led the NHL in wins and shutouts last season. They have also been consistently one of the most competitive teams in the NHL. They have won at least 46 games in four of the previous five NHL seasons and made the Eastern Conference Finals three times in the last four years.
With the majority of their stars entering or in the midst of their primes, the Lightning are one of the best teams to bet on to win the Stanley Cup in 2019.
San Jose Sharks +1000
With the best defensive tandem in the NHL and a group of forwards comprised of both youth and veterans, the San Jose Sharks have their best roster since they made the Stanley Cup three years ago (when they lost 4-2 to the Pittsburgh Penguins).
The performance of Martin Jones will go a long way in determining the Sharks chances. However, even if he continues to play like a league-average goaltender during the regular season, he has consistently been better for the Sharks in the playoffs. Jones has a .926 save percentage and a 2.12 GAA in 40 playoff games, both better than his regular season numbers (.915 save percentage and 2.36 GAA in 226 games).
The improvement of the offence this season should also help the Sharks. The Sharks have Evander Kane for the entire 2018-19 NHL season, giving the Sharks one of the more underrated goal-scorers in the NHL. Kane scored 13 goals for the Sharks last season (nine regular-season games, four playoff games) in just 26 games. His presence will take some pressure off their young forwards, and help them develop into 30-goal scorers.
Once Karlsson and Burns develop strong chemistry for the Sharks, San Jose should become one of the best teams in the NHL with an excellent opportunity to win the franchise’s first Stanley Cup.
Check out the best online sportsbooks below for wagering on the NHL and NHL futures this season.
Teams to Avoid
Washington Capitals +1200
It is hard to repeat in the NHL as Stanley Cup champions. Although the Pittsburgh Penguins did it in 2017, most Stanley Cup Champions regress somewhat in the year following their Cup victory. NHL fans should expect Washington to fit into that fold. The Washington Capitals changed their head coach following their Cup victory, a rare move in the NHL.
Even though their new head coach is from the organization, the change could see the Capitals move away from some of the things that made them so successful in the past. Also, while the Capitals did win the Stanley Cup last year, in the franchise previous 13 seasons with Alexander Ovechkin, they never made it further than the second round of the NHL playoffs.
Edmonton Oilers +1800
As great as Connor McDavid is, NHL teams rarely win because they have the best player in the league. Teams need depth, goaltending and a strong blue line to win the Stanley Cup. While the Edmonton Oilers have some depth up front, their defence is lacklustre (at best), and their goaltender cannot carry the team without more help in front of him.
Edmonton will play better than their record last season but they are still missing a few pieces needed to compete against the top Western Conference teams. Maybe, if the franchise adds some depth on the blue line around the trade deadline, they can compete, but the uncertainty of a move should make bettors look to place their money elsewhere in 2018-19.
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