There are two excellent periods in which to wager NHL Futures at your favorite NJ online sports betting sites. One comes late in the season as teams jockey for playoff position.
The other is now.
The new-look Metropolitan Division has more than five months to sort out its top participants, thus yielding scores of excellent payouts for the projected Stanley Cup Champion.
Value is everywhere. Here are some key sports betting tips to get you started.
DraftKings NHL Stanley Cup Odds
- DraftKings has the Flyers as a 32-1 Stanley Cup longshot, and the Rangers at 75-1.
- New York Islanders at 50-1
- New Jersey Devils at 60-1
- Washington Capitals at 17-1
- Pittsburg Penguins at 20-1
FanDuel NHL Stanley Cup Odds
FanDuel offers variation in the Metro with the Islanders at 32-1 and Rangers at 36-1, while the Flyers hold steady at 30-1 and the Devils are 26-1.
Different spreads represent the small betting pool early in the season. One fairly-decent sized wager moves the line.
SugarHouse NHL Stanley Cup Odds
- PlaySugarHouse has the Flyers at 32-1
- Pittsburgh at 20-1
- Islanders at 50-1
- Devils 60-1
- Rangers at 75-1
PointsBet NHL Stanley Cup Odds
PointsBet elevates Tampa Bay to 7-1 as the Cup favorite and gives Colorado respect at 10-1.
- The Flyers are 40-1
- Devils and Rangers 50-1
- Islanders 33-1
- Pittsburgh 25-1
Intriguing play? Florida, with new goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, is 40-1 at PlaySugarHouse. Great value. But the word is getting out.
How does the Metro Division stand up to the rest of the league?
- Tampa, Vegas, Boston, Toronto and Colorado rank between 8-1 and 13-1 at most books.
- Carolina is the first Metro team, at 14-1.
- Just for fun, Detroit is hovering at 200-1
- Ottawa at 350-1
Throughout most books, conference championships come in at roughly half the odds of a Stanley Cup.
The last two Cup champions, Washington and St. Louis, had long odds throughout the regular season. St. Louis was mired in its league basement for half the year and had a losing record in early January.
But the Blues caught fire, and the Cup. Both teams are in the 16-17 to one range at many books, a real nice return on recent champs.
The Vegas Golden Knights reached the NHL finals as a 200-1 pre-season underdog two years ago. By January, bettors knew they were for real and took them down to 7-1.
SugarHouse NHL Betting Odds – FLYER-ing High
NHL futures wagering has been reasonably brisk according to Matt Stetz, COO of Rush St. Interactive, which operates PlaySugarHouse in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
“In the Philadelphia area, betting in the Metro has shown the most action for the Flyers,” he said, “and then it’s the Islanders, Devils, Penguins and Capitals.”
In Pittsburgh, Penguins fans have taken the leap of faith for Cup futures at 20-1.
“The Penguins to win is one of the biggest risks we have,” Stetz said. “At 20-1 that’s a big liability. If they win the Cup, we are on the hook for at least half a million dollars.”
Tampa Bay and Colorado, at 13-1, obtained hefty early-season respect.
That’s what makes October magical for bettors. Although one can’t predict injuries and the playoffs are an entirely different season, played more defensively, rewards could be high.
Stetz said PlaySugarHouse.com bettors can also redeem a cash-in function for a reduced payout, effectively becoming a hedge or a sports equivalent of surrender. It can be utilized at any time before the completion of a season, with diminishing payouts closer to the end of the season.
The Metro Division was terrific last year, with the top five teams ranging from 104 to 98 points. As the season skates into high gear, let’s examine the potential fortunes of this group.
Philly Fever – Flyers NHL Season Predictions
The real Flyers may soon stand up. They began the season with an extended road swing and will soon settle into a more predictable schedule.
The Flyers sport new leadership and defensive emphasis. The additions should propel this chameleonic 2018-19 team one notch higher into a playoff spot.
How chameleonic? The Flyers were 37-37-8 last year but went an entire month without losing a game in early January and February.
Losing the last five games that occurred after they’d missed the playoffs may obscure the potential of this team. The entire portfolio from last year: a slow start, searing mid-season and late dropoff that made them look both invincible and invisible.
The biggest change from last year occurs behind the bench. Philadelphia selected a proven coach in Alain Vigneault, who has propelled both the Canucks and Rangers into the Stanley Cup finals.
He’s won coach-of-the-year honors in the NHL and has a record of immediate impact. Vigneault guided the Rangers into the finals in his first season five years back. He may be worth six to eight points alone to this team.
Matt Niskanen and Justin Braun try to bolster a defense that was 29th in the league last year.
Center Kevin Hayes is reunited with Vigneault and could provide 20-25 goals. Carter Hart and Brian Elliott will be respectable in goal if defensive support occurs in front of them.
Center Travis Konecny is already off to a fast start. At some point, the Flyers should catch fire.
If it starts earlier than last year, this is a playoff team.
New Jersey Devils NHL Playoff Aspirations
They added some firepower with PK Subban, a defenseman with excellent shooting skills in possibly the twilight of his career. Wayne Simmonds is reliable on right-wing and Nikita Gusev should add some dimension.
The Devils hope Taylor Hall can match career highs of 39 goals and 93 points from two years ago.
Goaltending was aided by Mackenzie Blackwood, who recorded an early shutout. They still like a non-playoff team.
Same Old New York Rangers?
They signed Finland star Kaapo Kakko and lured Artemi Panarin, a late-season star with Columbus last year, for $81 million over seven years.
The addition of Jacob Trouba and Pavel Buchevich further trumpeted the newly-minted Rangers, who opened the season with two straight wins. Then came five losses, complaints from Kakko about ice time and the potential for the team unraveling in the midst of a five-game homestand. The next week is critical for them.
A nice rebound victory against the 8-1 Buffalo Sabres recently renewed hope New York can stay with the top teams. It still looks like they need more offensive punch.
Henrik Lundqvist is an all-planet goalie, but long in the tooth. The Rangers will rely more heavily on backup Alexandar Georgiev. They are not likely to improve about 20 points to hit the postseason but should be a better team.
New York Islanders Can Do It Again
Can the magic repeat.? The Isles lost goaltender Robin Lehner (to Chicago), who teamed with Thomas Greiss to make them the league’s top defensive team last year. The Islanders then went on to sweep Pittsburgh in a stunning first-round development.
Defensemen Ryan Pulock and Adam Pelech, who performed well in the post-season, may be ready to step up. The Islanders are not new-look but could be strong.
Semyon Varlamov is a modest step down in the goaltending department, but will perhaps shine on a team with a good defensive culture. The Isles should be in the thick of it again.
Pittsburgh Penguins NHL Odds 2019-2020
The team with superstar Sid “No Longer the Kid” Crosby (now a 15-year veteran and 32 years old) had another predictably strong regular season last year but bowed early in the post-season. Talk about the playoffs being another world? The Pens had 100 points and led the Metropolitan Division with 272 goals.
They were then swept by the Islanders and scored just six goals in the series.
The Penguins took an off-season shot at youth, acquiring Alex Galchenyuk from Arizona in exchange for productive forward Phil Kessel. Looks like a move to provide new scenery to both players.
Pittsburgh can be explosive, but teams are finding a way to shadow Crosby. The Pens had an early five-game winning streak but then lost three straight. This team is reasonably strong, but stagnant.
Early-season injuries to Galchenyuk and star Evgeni Malkin could put the team in a hole.
Around the League
Teams will be chasing Washington and Carolina.
The Hurricanes made the post-season for the first time after a nine-year drought last year and advanced deep into the playoffs. Peter Mrazek gains an opportunity as the top goaltender on a team ticking upward.
Columbus, which went all-in with veterans trying to win the Stanley Cup last year, got rid of Panarin and Bobrovsky. This team figures to slide, while Florida, Bobrovsky’s new team, should improve.
The Caps did not go as far as expected in their role of defending Cup champions last year. But they still have Alex Ovechkin and goalie Braden Holtby. Enough said, they will be there.