Stanley Cup odds: League-leading Capitals now the favorites
Find line reports, best bets, and subscribe to push notifications in the Betting News section. Have you ever ended a relationship out of boredom to go in search of something new, only to realize what a great thing you had with your ex? The early stages of the relationship were new, exciting, and passionate. Then, over time - it could have been weeks, months, years - you got bored for no real reason and ended things so you could chase that feeling again?Now you're back on the open market looking for someone to give you exactly what you just had. But once you realize that, it's too late. What you had is gone and your ex is doing great.
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We're not sure if you've heard, but the St. Louis Blues went from last place in January to Stanley Cup champions in June last season.
It's a story that's been beaten to death, but for good reason. The NHL regular season is a seven-month grind filled with ups and downs, so when it comes to betting futures, the key is finding the right time to jump in.
More specifically, don't buy a team that just produced a 10-game winning streak, and don't sell a squad mired in a slump. The key is getting in or out before those runs begin. With that said, here are four teams that offer great value at their current Stanley Cup prices - prices that likely won't be available much longer.
NHL weekly betting preview: Reeling Leafs head west
Find line reports, best bets, and subscribe to push notifications in the Betting News section. It's around the point in the NHL season when value really starts to show up on a nightly basis. "It's still early" is a common saying this time of year, with many people dismissing early-season results in favor of public perception. For example, the Tampa Bay Lighting are 9-6-2 but have been favored in 16 of 17 games, while the 11-5-4 Montreal Canadiens have been favored in less than half of their matchups.Being able to identify which teams continue to be overvalued and undervalued can be the difference between losing your shirt and turning a profit.
Vegas Golden Knights (14-1)
After being considered Western Conference favorites at the start of this season, thecurrently sit fourth in the Pacific Division, seven points back of the first-place Edmonton Oilers. They've basically been playing .500 hockey through the first 27 games and they've seen their odds dip from 7-1 to 14-1 as a result. This is arguably the best buy-low spot you will get all season.
From an analytics perspective, Vegas ranks No. 1 overall in expected goals for (xGF) but is middle of the pack in terms of actually finding the back of the net. Meanwhile, the team's percentage of goals from scoring chances is just 10.85%, the second-worst rate in the league, while 14.77% of high-danger scoring chances against have resulted in goals (the fourth-worst mark). All three of these stats are due for positive regression.
Super Bowl odds update: Eagles, Texans sinking after losses
Find line reports, best bets, and subscribe to push notifications in the Betting News section. Prior to Week 11, the Philadelphia Eagles and Houston Texans were two of the trendier Super Bowl contenders, with both teams' odds shortening in each of the previous three weeks. After letdown losses on Sunday, futures bettors may want their money back. Let's start with the Eagles, who were 40-1 a few weeks ago, but they entered Week 11 at 25-1 after beating the Bills and Bears before their bye. Sunday's loss sapped any momentum from that stretch when Philadelphia was held scoreless in the second half of a 17-10 home loss to New England.
This is a Stanley Cup-caliber team that's playing much better than its record indicates. With a legitimate stud goalie in Marc-Andre Fleury and a deep roster in front of him, Vegas will go on a run any time now. Once that happens, good luck finding 14-1 anywhere.
Colorado Avalanche (16-1)
The fact that theare still in a playoff spot speaks volumes about the quality of depth on their roster. This team has been without stars Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog since late October, but it has stayed afloat thanks to impressive contributions from Andre Burakovsky, Joonas Donskoi, and others.
When healthy, the Avalanche might have the best top line in hockey. They also feature excellent role players and some studs on the back end, including 20-year-old phenom Cale Makar.
You can expect a deep playoff run from this team, which began the season with 12-1 odds. Those odds will be a lot shorter come January, at the latest, so hop on at 16-1 while you still can.
What's next for Mike Babcock? Former Toronto Maple Leafs coach could have several options
The 56-year-old finds himself unemployed for the first time in 17 years.The Toronto Maple Leafs decided to part ways with the veteran bench boss on Wednesday after weeks of speculation, replacing Babcock with NHL neophyte Sheldon Keefe. It wasn't an unexpected move — the Leafs are mired in a six-game losing streak and have dropped to 10th place in the Eastern Conference — but it comes at a time when teams generally aren't looking to replace their head coaches.
Carolina Hurricanes (20-1)
Theare analytical darlings. There's not a team in the NHL that advanced stats love more. If the Stanley Cup was won on , Carolina would be crowned champion.
Reality isn't awful either - the Hurricanes are sitting comfortably in a wild-card spot - but the numbers suggest it can get a lot better. Carolina has produced the third-most scoring chances this season and the third-fewest chances against. This team is also second in xGF and eighth in xGA - one of just two squads that rank top 10 in both along with the Pittsburgh Penguins). Additionally, opposing teams have scored on 12.35% of high-danger chances against the Hurricanes, which is the fourth-highest mark in the league.
All the underlying numbers suggest this is one of the league's best squads, which makes 20-1 a bargain.
Florida Panthers (25-1)
Theopened the year at 20-1. Getting them at 25-1 right now is a blessing, as they haven't done anything to deserve those longer odds. Florida can score with anyone (third-most goals in the league) and has been unlucky on the back end. Opposing teams have scored on 16.86% of chances, which is the fourth-highest rate in the league and is due for a correction.
Sergei Bobrovsky is too good of a goaltender for these issues to continue, and Joel Quenneville is a master behind the bench. The Panthers are loaded with talent at forward and they possess a strong top four in defense. All the ingredients for a Cup run are there. The Panthers currently sit second in the Atlantic Division behind Boston despite losing four of their first five games this season.
Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter.
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McCarty: Red Wings won Stanley Cup in 2008 'in spite of' Babcock .
Former Detroit Red Wings forward Darren McCarty believes Mike Babcock cost the club a championship in the 2009 Stanley Cup Final and was anything but the reason Detroit won it all one year prior. "Our (dressing) room worked in different ways and when I came back you could tell that things were different, but the thing that didn't change was that guys played for each other," McCarty told Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press. "That's the key. In spite of him, right? In spite of him," McCarty added. "And I learned that more getting into '09 because we won in '08 in spite of him and lost in '09 because of him.