I have been mulling over my NHL future bets for the 2016/17 NHL season that gets underway today. Even though my laser like focus is mainly on football, I do have a soft spot for hockey having played a little shinny growing up back East.
It looks to be an interesting year for NHL future bets and I think there will be a lot of profit on betting on hockey if you keep a few things in mind. In particular, there is a lot of rebuilding going on at the moment in the league- so finding teams on the rise but under priced is key.
Let’s start by taking a look at the Eastern Conference and then I will do another article on the Western Conference in the next couple of days.
NHL Future Bets – Atlantic Division
The Tampa Bay Lightning had a great season last year and with the return of Steve Stamkos there is no reason to suppose they won’t have another excellent one. At +110 to win the Atlantic Division, this is one NHL future bet that might be a bit shy on value. The Lightning are +400 to win the Eastern Conference which puts them at the same price as the Washington Capitals. I think it is going to be tough to outpoint the Caps this year to win the conference, but I think Tampa will win the Atlantic Division.
What about a bit more of a speculative NHL future bet on a young team with promise that could surprise everyone this year? With superstar defencemen like Erik Karlsson and Dion Phaneuf, and rising stars like Cody Ceci, the Ottawa Senators could do very well for you at +1800 to win the Atlantic Division. If they live up to their potential then you have lots of room to make some creative hedge bets and make money regardless of who actually wins. Give this one some thought and run it through your own hockey handicapping.
NHL Future Bets – Metropolitan Division
The Metropolitan Division has been a barn burner for the last few years, particularly given the competition between superstars Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals and Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The New York Rangers have also been very competitive during the same time frame so this is always a hotly contested division. I think given how intact the Capitals are, and given that they all seem healthy, that the +180 they are at is actually a value bet. The Penguins are the favorites to win the division at +170, while both teams are +400 to win the Eastern Conference.
At the end of the day I like the +180 for the Caps to win the Metropolitan Division as I think it is long enough to provide value. Both teams are +800 to win the Stanley Cup, which is a short price for the Caps who have struggled in the playoffs. Also this might be a bit short for the Penguins if Crosby has a serious concussion.
As much as I like the New York Rangers I don’t see them outpointing a healthy Washington but I like them better than the Pens in the regular season for a #2 spot in the Metropolitan Division. Given that they are +750 to win the division, you could consider them or the New York Islanders as value bets to be hedged later with a Caps bet. At the end of the day, I think the Pens will have an playoff worthy season but won’t beat the Caps’ regular season point total.
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