On March 28th the NHL announced that it expects every team to complete their full season, targeting May 11 as the day of the regular season. That means with the trade deadline passing, we are midway into the final month of the NHL regular season, a short 4 weeks away from the start of the NHL playoffs.
The current top five Stanley Cup favorites remain the Colorado Avalanche (+350), the Tampa Bay Lightning (+600), the Vegas Golden Knights (+800), the Toronto Maple Leafs (+800), and the Carolina Hurricanes (+1100).
The Buffalo Sabres are the only team that has been officially eliminated, but that should change in about a week. Currently, the best online slots odds are exponentially better than the Detroit Red Wings, Ottawa Senators, or Anaheim Ducks’ chances of even making the playoffs.
How Do the Odds Works for the Stanley Cup?
A futures wager is a bet that is made on the outcome of certain contests or events scheduled to take place on a future date. Hockey fans enjoy these bets as they provide an opportunity to root for one or more teams in the long term. It’s also a way of winning a nice payoff from a small bet. Here, we’re talking about betting on a team to win the NHL’s Stanley Cup. The NHL playoffs comprise eight teams from each of the two conferences. It’s easy to make a futures wager on any of the teams.
Why Do the Odds Change?
A team might be listed with certain odds, to begin with, but then they could change at any given time. So while the Anaheim Ducks might start as underdogs, for example, they could later be listed as favorites. A number of factors come into play here.
- Sportsbooks adjust odds depending on betting patterns. So a large bet amount on a particular team could result in oddsmakers lowering their odds in order to cut their losses in the event of that team winning.
- Odds are also adjusted depending on how a team performs, along with their schedule, injuries, etc. during both the regular season and postseason. Odds can be further adjusted as teams are knocked out of the playoffs.
- Another way that odds can fluctuate is if a team scores an upset in the opening round of the playoffs and perform well. In this case, the lines could be moved down.
History of the NHL Futures Market
It isn’t easy to win the Stanley Cup. The final two teams need to make it through three playoff rounds before they face off in the final match of the season. That’s after 56 regular-season games, with plenty of road trips, skating, and checking.
The aim for each team is to make it to the playoffs and then give it their all. In 2018, the Vegas Golden Knights made a never-seen-before run to the final as an expansion team. Let’s look at a few other long shots that managed to win the whole thing.
- 1986: The Montreal Canadiens put on a surprise victory against the Calgary Flames when they scored a 4-1 win in the finals. They put out a host of rookies that included Claude Lemieux and Patrick Roy.
- 1995: At the beginning of the playoffs, the New Jersey Devils weren’t a favored team, with only a fifth seed. They struggled in a season that was reduced to just 48 games, thanks to a lockout. The Red Wings dominated and looked unstoppable, as few media pundits gave New Jersey a chance,. The unlikely heroes swept the finals 4-0.
- 2012: The Los Angeles Kings were the eighth seed at the beginning of the postseason, with 20-1 odds to win their first title in almost 50 years. The LA Times noted that the team was on fire, largely thanks to a stunning 10-1 win-loss record on the road, tying a league record for the most playoff wins. They indeed won their first title in close to half a century.