It’s such a shame that there weren’t any betting props like “Will the Stanley Cup be damaged” or “Will Bud Light sponsor a player” a week ago. You could have made money easily. No, the only bets that currently exist are those that involve a little more know-how.
The good news is that these futures bets offer a plethora of options and payouts. You can finally scratch that itch and jump on your hunch, or try playing smart and going with the usual suspects.
Sports Interaction is focusing on futures betting this offseason. Let’s start with the most common, then step out of the table a bit. The first of two glaring questions they ask themselves is, “Who will win the Stanley Cup next season?” It’s a bit paraphrased, but you get the idea.
The favorites are the Colorado Avalanche (+513), the Vegas Golden Knights (+615) and the Tampa Bay Lightning (+653). In the middle of the field are the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers (+2400) as well as the Washington Capitals and Calgary Flames (+3100). Then at the back of the pack, we salute the Arizona Coyotes (+12800), the Detroit Red Wings (+19600) and the modest Buffalo Sabers (+20800). There is a nice range of options, right? So let’s dig deeper into our research.
Best bets to win the Cup
Your best bet, of course, is the Avalanche. They were fired far too early because everything went off the rails against Vegas in the playoffs. They were sailing there with a sweep in the first round, the highest goals (by a landslide) and nothing but the confidence that escaped them.
Somewhere and somehow something took a turn and we all know what happened next. Rest assured that they will be back, however, and their chances are unlikely to be any better than that. I’m just giving you a warning.
Now the Lightning, back-to-back Stanley Cup champion, is another story. They are probably going to have a very different look in October. They’re pressed up against the ceiling, there are quite a few bodies heading into unrestricted free agency, and they’re coming out a year much longer than most. Their payout will likely increase if you wait a bit given the looming departures, lack of project capital, and scarcity of dough to spend this summer.
In other words, they are not the best choice of the litter.
Valuable choices to win the Cup
When it comes to value picks, you want to find a team that has a good chance of impressing, but still pays decently. The ones that come to mind on the big board here are the New York Islanders (+2300) and the Dallas Stars (+3500).
The Islanders are in the conversation due to being 60 minutes away from the Stanley Cup Final. They pushed every team they played to the limit and looked sharp throughout – despite their 8-0 loss to Tampa in the conference final.
The Islands have one of (if not the) best youth squads in the league and a solid spell of free agency just might give them the last piece of their winning puzzle.
As for the Stars, of course, we can put an asterisk next to any team’s performance at the 2020 Bubble Cup, but Dallas were in the Stanley Cup final just over a year ago. They’ve had a bad year, but this team has a very strong young core and GM Jim Nill is still aggressive in free agency. Not to mention, it also has a cap boat load to work with.
The Stars are really not far from back in the conversation and they could be a solid choice with a big payout next season.
Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (37) receives a slap on the head from teammate Adam Lowry (17) after their overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens in the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs at Montreal, Monday, June 7, 2021 (Ryan Remiorz / CP)
Long shots to win the Cup
In terms of long shots, there are a few you might want to check out. Basically, for a “long-term” pick, you want to look at a team with extenuating circumstances from the previous year.
Of course, you can throw some dough on a unique miracle race and get lucky one way or another. The odds are better, however, by finding a team that has seen a year of decline based on some variables – or no year at all. Enter the Winnipeg Jets (+4000), the Seattle Kraken (+4800) and the Los Angeles Kings (+5700).
Injury has stalled the Jets, who have a very talented youth squad and are backed by one of the best tenders in the league. A full season against teams outside of Canada will do them good too.
The Kraken could possibly shoot a 2017-18 Golden Knights style run. Contrary to the rules of yesteryear, the “new” expansion structure allows new franchises to take off and the Kraken has some very wise hockey minds behind the scenes.
Then we come to kings. They have an aging core, but just added former Nashville stallion Viktor Arvidsson for next to nothing and should be major players this summer. They have plenty of room for caps and will be very hungry when the free agency window opens.
Canada’s best to win it all
Oh yes, there is a bet for that.
You can select the next Canadian team to win it all and add it as a sweetener to your current term bet.
If you decide to jump on the Toronto Maple Leafs – the Canadian favorite – you can add +125 to your 2022 Stanley Cup futures tally. If you decide Montreal is on line for a better performance this coming year , you’ll find them listed at +1600 in Cup Futures and +275 in Canadian Futures.
Your other valuable games are the Edmonton Oilers (+333), Calgary Flames (+550) and Jets (+800).
Sorry Ottawa and Vancouver, but outside of the teams listed above… you should probably save your money.