Betting The Updated NHL Futures
This year’s quest to win the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup has been turned completely upside down given the stunning results in the opening round. Upsets across the board in both conferences have completely scrambled the NHL futures odds to win both a conference title as well as the championship.
The first of four conference semifinal matchups are set to get underway on Thursday night and most of the top online sportsbooks have posted their updated NHL futures odds. Here is a look at each race in the Eastern and Western Conference as well as the odds to win the 2019 Stanley Cup.
Betting The Eastern Conference
Tampa Bay’s early exit in a four-game sweep at the hands of the Columbus Blue Jackets may have been the biggest upset in the opening round. However, the fact that Washington is also out of the playoffs following an equally stunning Game 7 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes has really shaken things up in the East.
Of the four remaining teams, the Boston Bruins have the best odds on the board to win the conference at +175. They will face the Blue Jackets in the next round -160 favorites on the series price odds. Columbus is a +300 third-favorite to win the East.
The other semifinal matchup pits the Hurricanes against the New York Islanders, who are coming off an impressive four-game sweep against Pittsburgh. The Islanders are +275 second-favorites to win the East and they have been opened as -140 favorites against Carolina in the series price. The Hurricanes’ odds to win the conference are the longest on the board at +350. Everything points to the Bruins advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals from the East, but you cannot take anything for granted in light of the early results in this year’s playoffs. I still have Boston facing off against the Islanders in the conference finals.
Betting the Western Conference
The Calgary Flames were set packing as the top team in the West and the Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets made early exits as the two best teams in the Central Division. The four teams advancing to the next round in the West is highlighted by the San Jose Sharks as +200 favorites to win the conference. The St. Louis Blues are next at +240 followed by the Dallas Stars and the Colorado Avalanche at +325.
Much like the East, you never know what could happen from here. However, I still see this as a case of two teams that expected to be in this round facing a pair of teams have already eclipsed expectations.
The Sharks are -140 favorites in their semifinal matchup against Colorado and I do see San Jose making good on that bet. It did need the full seven games to get past Vegas, but that could actually work in San Jose’s favor as a veteran playoff team.
St. Louis has been on a mission over the second half of the regular season after missing the playoffs last year for the first time in the previous seven seasons. The Blues’ series price odds against Dallas as clear favorites have been set at -155.
Despite all the opening round upsets, I am going chalk with the two favorites in these two Western Conference series.
Stanley Cup Finals Betting Prediction
Boston tops the list to win the Stanley Cup at +400. San Jose is set as a +500 second-favorite followed closely by New York at +550 along with Columbus and St. Louis at +600 betting odds. Carolina, Colorado and Dallas have the longest odds on the board at +700.
Boston would be the easy pick out of the East, but defense wins championships so I am going with New York on the strength of Robin Lehner in goal.
There is something about San Jose that has intrigued me all season long. I picked the Sharks to win the West at the All-Star break and I am not about to get off that bandwagon now. I am also going with San Jose to finally get that Stanley Cup title that has eluded this team in so many other postseason runs.
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