The dust has settled, the Cup has been won, and one of the most entertaining and best Stanley Cup Playoffs we’ve seen in quite some time has finally come to a close. Congrats to the Colorado Avalanche for one of the more impressive and dominant Stanley Cup runs of all time. Now that it’s over, next year’s Stanley Cup odds are starting to show up so let’s take a look at some way too early lines. Remember to do some shopping when looking at futures prices, you can find some price variations on different sites so make sure you find the best value. Also, taking some fliers on futures doesn’t mean you have to stick with them through the whole season. Keep an eye on prices as the season goes on, if prices move and you have a good deal you can always flip on PropSwap (use promo code Betsperts to get a deposit match up to $500) to make some money or find ways to hedge. Onto the bets.
New York Rangers +2000
The Rangers made a little bit of a Cinderella run to the Eastern Conference Final this year before ultimately running out of gas and losing to the Lightning in 6 games. They’re a very young and talented team that made a run earlier than expected. They have a some decisions to make with pending UFAs, most notably Andrew Copp and Ryan Strome, but they have about $12 million in cap space, one of the best goalies in hockey, a Norris-caliber defenseman, and a strong young core of forwards.
The Rangers are always a top destination for free agents, I expect them to be active in making tweaks to get them over the hump. Also, at +2000 unless the Rangers get off to a brutal start I don’t see their odds getting much better than this. Teams like the Rangers that are big brand names get bet on quite a bit so I don’t see the odds going much higher.
*Odds via FanDuel
St. Louis Blues +2500
As a Blackhawks fan, it pains me to say I like the Blues odds but I really do. After Colorado, they were the most impressive team in the Western Conference Playoffs and really gave the Avs a run for their money taking them to 6 games and losing on a Darren Helm buzzer beater. They have some questions in net, most notably how they want to handle their tandem with Ville Husso’s contract up. But Jordan Binnington returned to his 2019-playoff form in these playoffs, and had he not gotten hurt who knows what happens in that Avs series.
Doug Armstrong is a very good GM, he’s always been good at making the right tweaks to his roster. Outside of Colorado, the Blues have the best “built for the playoffs” roster. Some subtle tweaks to the roster this offseason and I think we see them right back as a tough out in the playoffs next season.
*Odds via FanDuel
Washington Capitals +3500
The finished 4th in the Metro Division, but still finished with 100 points. They lost a hard-fought series in 6 games to the Presidents Trophy-winning Panthers. They have an older, aging core and about $9 million in cap space to play with. While that core only has a couple runs left at best, they’re still very good and very playoff experienced and have a coach in Peter Laviolette that seems to be in the playoffs every year.
I expect the Caps to do what they can to maximize the last few years of the Ovechkin/Backstrom/Oshie/Carlson core before they have to move on to the next era. An improvement in net and some additional role players and this team will be a tough out come May.
*Odds via Caesars
Los Angeles Kings +4000
The Kings are an interesting young group. They had 99 points in the Pacific Division last year and are still young and on the rise. They still have a talented, veteran core led by Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty, but some free agent additions and rising young stars have made them a playoff threat. They took the Oilers to 7 games last year. I think Edmonton will be good again, but Calgary will probably take a step back. Who knows what Vegas is going to be.
There’s another team in the Pacific I like (more on them next), but I think LA will be in a spot next year to compete for a division title. Rob Blake has made a lot of right moves for them, and they’re another good offseason away from being arguably the best team in that divison.
*Odds via BetMGM & DraftKings
Vancouver Canucks +5000
I really like this one. Not that I necessarily think they’re going to win the Stanley Cup, but I think they’ll be a MUCH better team next year than they were last year. Boudreau was 32-15-10 when he took over the team midseason, good for a 106-point pace which would have been 2nd in the Pacific. Boudreau is a great regular season coach and gets the best out of his team. Headed in to last year, the Canucks were a fun dark horse team after an impressive bubble playoff performance vs Colorado. They have a very good goalie in Thatcher Demko. They have a really solid young core in Bo Horvat, Elias Petterson, Brock Boeser, and Quinn Hughes. They have solid veteran leadership in J.T. Miller, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Brandon Sutter.
They have about $10 million in cap space and not a whole lot of free agents to take care of. They’ll be a very interesting team to watch this offseason and could be a surprising contender that sees their odds drop to +2000 territory by midseason.
*Odds via Caesars, BetMGM, & PointsBet
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