Future Bets: A look at the odds

As winter turns to spring fans of certain sports anticipate different things. Baseball fans look forward to Spring Training. Horse racing enthusiasts look forward to the Triple Crown races where they can bet on Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont winners. Football fans look for week 12 NFL lines analysis. And even though the weather is getting warmer hockey aficionados have Stanley Cup playoff and World Championship puck action on tap. In the sports books of Las Vegas the Pittsburgh Penguins are currently the top choice to take the Stanley Cup.

The Penguins are priced at +650 to win the Cup putting them slightly ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks, priced at +700. A quick primer on how moneylines work—a $100 bet on the Penguins to win the Stanley Cup would return $650 (plus a return of your initial $100 bet) if they are able to pull off the victory.

After Pittsburgh and Chicago other Stanley Cup frontrunners include the San Jose Sharks (+800), the Boston Bruins (+850), the St. Louis Blues (+1100) and the Anaheim Ducks (+1400). Further down the list there are some intriguing choices priced at 25/1 or higher including the Tampa Bay Lightning (+2400) and the Montreal Canadiens, Minnesota Wild, Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers (all priced at +2500). It's not unprecedented for an eventual Stanley Cup winner to be available in this price range—in the past decade or so the Los Angeles Kings, Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning all cashed tickets at or in excess of 25/1.

What about the big long shots? The teams at the bottom of the league standings are unlikely to 'catch fire' and claim the Stanley Cup but should that happen the 'return on investment' is huge. The Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets are both +10000 to win the Stanley Cup. The Edmonton Oilers are +15000 followed by the Calgary Flames (+30000) and the Florida Panthers (+30000). The biggest longshot is the Buffalo Sabres who are currently dead last in the league. It's unlikely that they dig out of this big hole but if they do they'll return +45000.

If you're looking to make a NHL futures bet keep in mind that these moneyline prices vary widely from one sportsbook to another. Make sure to shop around for the best price before locking in your bet.


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