The Washington Capitals’ party might have finally ended after their victory over the Vegas Knights. As soon as the clock hit 0:00, all of the NHL started thinking about the 2018-19 season and how they could raise the cup. The sportsbooks are no different in that regard, as they have already released the odds for the Stanley Cup winners. Which teams present the best value as of right now?
The first two things that jump off of the odds page are the fact that the Tampa Bay Lightning are the favorite to win the Cup at 9:1 and that the Edmonton Oilers have the 7th best odds right behind the Penguins and Capitals.
Tampa as the favorite is not terribly shocking as they were one of the best teams all season last year and they return basically the entire team. If the Lightning stay healthy, the top spot is warranted. Edmonton’s odds, on the other hand, seem bizarre based on their 36-40 record and 6th place finish in their division. Neither team provides enough value to bet upon.
Because of the success of Vegas this past season, it might be enticing to pick a longshot to win the Cup and hope for some magic. There are 9 teams that are 60:1 or greater to win it all. Betting on any of them is a waste of money. Forced to pick one, the Islanders have the most talent if they can keep John Tavares, but even that is not a given.
Rather than take an exceptional long shot, there are 6 teams who made the playoffs last year who are currently between 25:1 and 40:1. Columbus and Philadelphia are both 25:1 and are intriguing. The Kings, Avalanche, Devils, and Wild are all either 30 or 40:1. Minnesota and Columbus are the most complete teams and are both worth a bet at 30:1 and 25:1 respectively.
The eventual champion most likely comes from one of the teams that is currently priced between 10:1 and 12:1. That group includes Toronto (10:1), Winnipeg (10:1), Boston (11:1), Vegas (11:1), Nashville (11:1), Pittsburgh (12:1), and Washington (12:1).
It is nearly impossible to repeat as champion, despite Pittsburgh’s recent back-to-back runs in 2016 and 17. With that in mind, Vegas and Washington are not worth a bet. Toronto is a year or two early and they do not have the elite defensemen required of a Cup run.
The remaining four teams are split between the Eastern and Western Conferences in Boston, Pittsburgh, Winnipeg and Nashville. The Flyers exposed a gigantic hole in Matt Murray’s glove side, and the Penguins defense was sloppy in the playoffs. They are also an older team, which decreases the chances of a deep run.
Both Winnipeg and Nashville had tremendous seasons and fantastic home ice advantages. The Jets came out of nowhere, but have a mountain of young talent, which indicates that their success may be sustainable. Nashville has also proven to be a strong team, and they have been to the Stanley Cup finals. It does not make sense to bet on both teams unless their odds get longer.
The Winnipeg Jets appear built for the future and are younger than Nashville. If they can re-sign Paul Stastny, they are a strong bet at 10:1. Likewise, the Boston Bruins at 11:1 have the talent and goaltending to win the championship.
If you would like to take a shot in the dark, then the Islanders at 60:1 are the best pick. Columbus and Minnesota have been to the playoffs and offer payouts in the 25:1 range. Winnipeg and Boston represent the best value of any of the title contenders.