Now that the trade deadline has come and passed, it’s time to check out the odds for the three main futures….Eastern and Western Conference Champion and Lord Stanley Cup Champion. There were a lot of bog moves made last week so nows the time to jump on some plays with teams who will heat up as the playoffs approach.
Note: these are not who I think will necessarily win it all, but rather smart plays with favorable odds. Gambling has everything to do with quality. These teams will give the most bang for your buck.
Washington Capitals 8:1 odds
Finally everyone isn’t saying that it’s the Caps year. They made no attempt to beef up their team before the deadline like you have seen from Boston and Tampa. But here is the thing with Washington. If they stay atop the Metro than they have the most favorable road ahead of them. Playing a wild card (at this point New Jersey). Then probably a Pittsburgh team that is due for an early exit. This leaves them facing only one of the big boys (my pick would Bruins) in the ECF. They certainly have the fire power to win a series against anyone.
Pros: Offense, goaltending, PP, playoff experience, underdog mentality, playoff path.
Cons: Depth compared to favorites, horse on their back, mediocre PK.
San Jose Sharks 10:1 odds
The west is loaded with talent and the playoff picture is far from permanent. The addition of Evander Kane will certainly give them much needed depth and a spark in the offense. The Sharks are sitting nicely in the Pacific, but will have to really make a push here to keep their spot as the 2 seed. Playoffs are all about the path. Getting that 2 or 3 seed means they will probably end up playing either LA, Anaheim, or Calgary in the first round. Very beatable teams. A second round match up will feature either Vegas, the previous teams listed, or maybe the Blues (I don’t see them making the playoffs). Again all beatable. This leaves once again a favorable path for the Sharks. Can they take down the big dogs of the west in Nashville or Winnipeg? I certainly like the 10:1 odds to say yes!
Pros: PK (best in NHL right now), PP, playoff experience, disciplined (spend very little time in the box), playoff path.
Cons: Offensive depth, scoring consistency, ability to score on the road.
Winnipeg Jets 16:1 odds
I know what you’re thinking. You picked the Sharks to win the Western Conference? How can you then pick the Jets to win it all? This is where you sit up on Papa’s lap and let him explain. I didn’t pick anyone to do anything. I BET the Sharks and BET the Capitals to win the conference. I BET the Jets to win the Cup. See the difference? Gambling is all about quality odds. Each BET is its own separate entity. I see the these three teams as quality bets that get you the most for you money. So now on with the Jets.
This comes down to one question. Can the Jets beat the Predators in the second round of the playoffs? I’m not counting anyone out but this is likeliest scenario in the Central. I think they can. They have the most under hyped offense in the league. They have the least amount of home losses in the league. They play so well their, it’s scary. They added Statsny down the middle for even more depth. This team is built for the playoffs. They will probably end the season with six 20 goal scorers. With 16:1 odds, how can you not take this team?
Pros: offense/scoring, home ice play, goaltending, insane PP.
Cons: experience, inconsistency on the road, difficult path, defensive depth.
Those would be my bets right now. Obviously the playoffs are unpredictable which makes them the best in the sports world. In my opinion, this is setting up to be the most wide open playoffs in awhile. So many threatening teams that can get hot and steal a round or two. Now that March is here I have the playoff itch so bad. It can’t come soon enough.