2015 Stanley Cup Futures Odds
The NHL regular season came to a close this past Saturday, and the field has now been set in the quest to win this year’s Stanley Cup. One of the great things about this sport is that any one of these 16 teams can get hot and make a run all the way to a title. This means that you can oftentimes find some tremendous value in the futures odds that are posted ahead of the start of the opening round of the NHL Playoffs this Wednesday night.
2015 Stanley Cup odds have been released, so here is a closer look at where some of the best value in the numbers may lie.
The team at the top of the list heading into the postseason is the New York Rangers at 11/2 betting odds to win it all. They made it all the way to the NHL Finals last season before losing to Los Angeles in five games of a best-of-seven series. Not to be denied, the Rangers posted the most points in the NHL this season (113) to capture the top seed in the Eastern Conference. They come into the playoffs ranked third in the league in both goals scored (3.0) and goals allowed (2.3), according to ESPN.com’s final regular season’s stats.
New York remains the complete package in the NHL this season, and there is some solid value in these odds, especially with Henrik Lundqvist playing well in goal along with Cam Talbot as the backup. This duo is easily the best goalie combination in the league.
One of the perennial contenders to win a Stanley Cup title for the past several years has been the Chicago Blackhawks, and heading into this season’s playoffs they have been listed as one of two 8/1 second-favorites. If they can successfully navigate their way through the four brutal best-of-seven rounds that make up the NHL postseason, the Blackhawks will have laid claim to their third title in six years.
The good news for Chicago is that Patrick Kane is expected to be back in the lineup sometime in the near future. It also helps when you have a defense that is ranked second in the league in goals allowed (2.3).
The second seed in the East is the Montreal Canadiens and their betting odds to win this season’s Stanley Cup have been set at 9/1. Montreal held off Tampa Bay for the top spot in the Atlantic Division with 110 points, and it comes into the playoffs as the top defensive team in the NHL in goals allowed (2.2). Scoring may excite the fans, but defense still wins championships, especially behind a hot goalie.
The Canadiens have one of the best in the game in Carey Price. His GAA of 1.96 and his .933 save percentage were both ranked first in the league during the regular season.
Looking down the list to try and stretch the value in the betting odds, a team that is worth a closer look is the New York Islanders at 18/1. The set the pace for most of the season in the Metro Division before fading a bit down the stretch to finish tied for second with Washington with 101 points. The knock on the Islanders is a sketchy GAA of 2.7 that is ranked 27th in the league, but they do have some firepower behind an offense that averaged 3.0 goals a game this year.
The value in this pick hinges on Jaroslav Halak’s play in goal. He can still be one of the best goalies in the game when he finds his form. In 59 games this season, Halak has a GAA of 2.43 and a save percentage of .914.