Preseason Guide to NHL Futures Betting

We’re less than a month away from the start of the NHL season and while betting on games each day is a lot of fun, choosing somebody to win the Stanley Cup Finals now not only provides a seasons worth of excitement, but an opportunity to cash in on great odds. Whether you are going to back the heavy favorite, defending champion Chicago at 13-2, or take a flyer on Buffalo, Calgary, Florida or Nashville at 75-1, the time is now to start considering who will dominate the ice in 2014-2015.

We’re less than a month away from the start of the NHL season and while betting on games each day is a lot of fun, choosing somebody to win the Stanley Cup Finals now not only provides a seasons worth of excitement, but an opportunity to cash in on great odds. Whether you are going to back the heavy favorite, defending champion Chicago at 13-2, or take a flyer on Buffalo, Calgary, Florida or Nashville at 75-1, the time is now to start considering who will dominate the ice in 2014-2015.

It is easy to look at last years regular season standings and completed playoff bracket and figure that the teams that were competitive last season will again be in the mix this year. However, significant movement in the off-season will impact this years race. It is true that Eastern Conference Champ Boston is live at 10-1, and Metropolitan Division heavyweight Pittsburgh is once again dangerous at 12-1, but what squads bettered themselves during the summer?

The Blues have been among the best defensive teams in the NHL over the past three seasons. That said, they’ve won just one playoff series. In July they signed dependable center Paul Stastny to a four year contract. In 71 games last season with Colorado Stastny tallied 60 points including 25 goals. He has lit the lamp 20 times or more every year that he’s managed to play more than 45 games. Last season he had five goals and five assists in seven playoff games. St. Louis is 12-1 to win the Stanley Cup.

For the Dallas Stars call it a two-year plan. Their offense was in the leagues lower tier when they acquired Tyler Seguin last season. He promptly scored 37 goals, added 47 assists, and made the Stars offense competitive. For a second straight year Dallas is emphasizing offense. They traded a combination of players and picks to Ottawa for Jason Spezza. Coming off of a 66 point season, Spezza is a lock for 20 goals and has eclipsed 30 goals on three occasions. He could team with another newcomer in Ales Hemsky or perhaps get ice time with Jamie Benn. The Stars are 20-1 to win it all.

Anaheim led the Western Conference in points last year and finished just one point away from the President’s Trophy. By adding center Ryan Kesler from Vancouver, they got even more dangerous. Kesler is a combination of scorer, set-up man, and tough guy. He has tallied 20 goals ore more six times including a 41 goal season in 2010-2011. Five times he has had 25 assists or more with a 50 helper season in 2009-2010. He’s a lock for 50 penalty minutes, and hit the century mark in the box in 2009-2010. And oh yeah, he is playing with Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Dany Heatley and Andrew Cogliano. The Ducks are 12-1.

It’s not just offense that teams have used to improve. The Islanders solidified their defense adding Jaroslav Halak between the pipes and Vancouver added veteran Ryan Miller in goal. While the Isles have young talent, are improving, and offer 66-1 odds, the Canucks are still a powerful offensive squad and if Miller is reliable, they are dangerous at 40-1.

Here is the full list of teams preseason Stanley Cup futures:

Chicago Blackhawks – 13/2
Los Angeles Kings – 9/1
Boston Bruins – 10/1
Anaheim Ducks – 12/1
Pittsburgh Penguins – 12/1
St. Louis Blues – 12/1
San Jose Sharks – 14/1
Minnesota Wild – 16/1
New York Rangers – 16/1
Tampa Bay Lightning – 16/1
Colorado Avalanche – 18/1
Montreal Canadiens – 18/1
Dallas Stars – 20/1
Detroit Red Wings – 22/1
Philadelphia Flyers – 28/1
Columbus Blue Jackets – 33/1
Toronto Maple Leafs – 40/1
Vancouver Canucks – 40/1
Washington Capitals – 40/1
Edmonton Oilers – 50/1
New Jersey Devils – 50/1
Arizona Coyotes – 66/1
Carolina Hurricanes – 66/1
New York Islanders – 66/1
Ottawa Senators – 66/1
Winnipeg Jets – 66/1
Buffalo Sabres – 75/1
Calgary Flames – 75/1
Florida Panthers – 75/1
Nashville Predators – 75/1

Future bets are great. They don’t break the bank, you have someone to cheer for all year, and when your 30-1 team is the three seed, you have great value when the playoffs begin.