The 2017-18 NHL season begins on October 4th, and this year’s league will feature the first expansion team – Las Vegas Knights – since the 2000 season.
Stanley Cup odds look great for defending champions Pittsburgh Penguins, who have won the cup two years running. The team was nearly upset by upstart Nashville last June. But, Sidney Crosby and company held strong.
Does he and the Penguins have what it takes to win a third straight Stanley Cup?
Stanley Cup odds
Pittsburgh Penguins +800
Two-time cup champions Pittsburgh should be loved by NHL bettors, but winning a third Stanley Cup won’t be an easy task. Pittsburgh became the first back-to-back winners since Detroit in 1997 and 1998.
And remember, no team has won three in a row since the New York Islanders of the early 1980s.
Crosby is still the main man for the team and his back-to-back Con Smyth Trophies are proof the 30-year-old is the best player on the ice right now.
Pay per head agents who believe Pittsburgh can’t pull off a third win might want to just let the bets ride. But having max betting limits in place won’t hurt.
Washington Capitals +1000
The Washington Capitals may be the most overrated team in the NHL over the last two seasons. Both years, the Caps were Presidents’ Trophy winners – most regular-season points.
And some online bookies went to the bank thrilled as plenty of NHL bettors wagered on the team winning the cup.
Both seasons saw the Caps lose in the second round of the playoffs, meaning those Presidents’ Trophies were, well, meaningless.
The team still has Alex Ovechkin, one of the modern greats, but the Caps have flattered to deceive, and still, have never won a Stanley Cup.
Again, depending on your NHL bettors and how you as the bookie perceive the Caps, you might just want to let this ride.
Tampa Bay Lightning +1000
Tampa Bay just missed out on the playoffs last season, but that doesn’t mean NHL bettors should look past the Lightning this time around.
The team has plenty of potential and goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy is a rising star in the NHL. Tampa Bay was 14th in goals scored while it gave up 224, which was good enough for 15th most in the league.
Chicago Blackhawks +1000
The Blackhawks scored the ninth most goals in the NHL last season (240) and gave up the tenth fewest (212). However, the team just didn’t have it in the playoffs.
Chicago finished the regular season as Western Conference champions but succumbed to a hot Nashville side in round one in four games. The Blackhawks’ management needs to tinker with its side if this team is to win it all again.
Chicago is just two years removed from lifting the Stanley Cup in 2015.
Stanley Cup Odds – The underdog
Edmonton Oilers +1000
The Edmonton Oilers haven’t been relevant in the NHL since the late 1980s during the era of Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier.
However, Connor McDavid has brought excitement back to the Canadian team. McDavid finished 2016-17 as the league’s leading scorer and took home the NHL MVP award.
Like Gretzky in the 1980s, McDavid has the opportunity to lead the Oilers to the Stanley Cup. The Oilers have a good team around him as the club finished eighth in scoring and eighth in defense last season.
No Canadian team has won the Stanley Cup since Montreal in 1993. It has been a long drought that could come to an end.
It’s not a bad idea to have max betting limits on all future bets, regardless of the sport. But, this is based on how you, the online bookie, decide to run your sportsbook, and what you can afford to pay out.
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