3 Stanley Cup Futures Value Bets
With Wednesday night being a quieter night in the NHL, we thought it might be a good opportunity to take a step back and re-evaluate the Stanley Cup futures market. Here are three teams who, based on our projections, have a legitimate shot at hoisting hockey’s Holy Grail.
Pittsburgh Penguins +1400
If Sidney Crosby's performance last night didn’t inspire belief, this bet isn’t for you. In Crosby’s absence, we saw how good the Penguins are. Without Crosby, inarguably one of the game’s premier players, Pittsburgh managed to compile an 18-6-4 record, charging up the Metropolitan Division standings. So you have to like their chances with him back in the lineup.
Rumors indicate that the Penguins remain active in the trade market and are looking for another complementary forward to slide into their top six, now that Jake Guentzel is done for the season. Jim Rutherford doesn’t shy away from big trades and was the architect of the Penguins' 2016 and 2017 Stanley Cup runs.
Our projections give the Pens an 11.2% chance of finishing the season as Stanley Cup champions, which is second-best among Eastern Conference teams. FanDuel Sportsbook currently has the Penguins listed at +1400, which has an implied probability of 6.7%. That’s a substantive advantage that will also allow for some decent hedging opportunities come playoff time. Don’t overlook this value.
Colorado Avalanche +1100
One thing I always look for in Stanley Cup contenders is depth, and the Avs have that in spades. Colorado currently has 12 players with 20 or more points this season. What’s more impressive is their mix of young stars and a well-balanced attack with their puck-moving defensemen and defensive stalwarts. I’m willing to bet that their mix of skilled and complementary players will be a force to be reckoned with in April, May and June.
After taking a big step forward with a young roster last postseason, surely the Avs will have their sights set on at least reaching the Conference Finals. Based on our algorithm, the Avs have the best chance of any Western Conference team of winning it all, at 12.1%. The implied probability of the +1100 price leaves you with a 3.8% advantage in taking Colorado to win it all.
Boston Bruins +950
Brad Marchand united the hockey world with his failed shootout attempt on Monday night. But, unlike the puck left at center ice, the B’s are hoping their shot at the Stanley Cup doesn’t pass them by for a second year in a row.
The Bruins are propelled by two of the league’s top scorers with David Pastrnak and the aforementioned Marchand. Opposing teams also have to contend with the best two-way forward of our generation, four-time Selke Trophy winner, Patrice Bergeron.
Boston’s path is made easier by hanging onto the top spot in the Atlantic Division. In that way, with Tampa Bay Lightning likely having to face Toronto Maple Leafs, they avoid having to play one of those contenders and would maintain their home ice advantage until at least the Eastern Conference finals, where they’ve only lost twice this season in regulation.
The Bruins have slipped down the futures board recently, so now might be the best time to get them. In reconciling our projections, Boston has a 11.0% chance of winning the Cup, and with the current betting market (+950 at FanDuel Sportsbook), there is an advantage in taking the Bruins on the futures board.