2018/19 NHL Future Odds: who will win the Stanley Cup?

2018/19 NHL Future Odds: who will win the Stanley Cup?

After the Vegas Golden Knights miracle run to the Stanley Cup Finals last season, it would seem almost impossible to rule any franchise out of winning the Stanley Cup in 2019. 

Of course, not every team is worth betting your hard-earned money on. However, there are some favourites – including the long-suffering Toronto Maple Leafs – and underdogs to bet and at least one team to avoid betting. 

NHL 2018-19 Stanley Cup Futures

Big Offseason has Toronto Maples Leafs (+650) as Favourites

The Toronto Maple Leafs showed the NHL they mean business when they signed highly coveted free agent John Tavares to a massive deal this offseason. Tavares joins the Leafs young core of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander to form one of the most potent offences in the NHL.

Not everything for the Maple Leafs is all good. Contract negotiations with their young stars have filled the headlines this offseason.

If the issue lingers into the regular season, the Leafs may have too many distractions during the season to meet expectations

If they manage to put the distractions behind them, successfully integrate Tavares into their offence and goaltender Frederik Andersen is healthy throughout the season, the Maple Leafs have the talent to end their 50+ year Stanley Cup drought.  

Tampa Bay Lightning (+700)

The best team in the Eastern Conference last season sits just behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for the best odds to win the Stanley Cup. However, it is not too hard to argue they deserve they to be the favourite overall. The Tampa Bay Lightning led the NHL in goals last season, ranked first in shooting percentage and ranked third in power play.

They should finish at or near the top in those offensive categories again in 2019, after re-signing Nikita Kucherov (third in the NHL the last two seasons with 79 goals) to a long extension this offseason.

They also have a reliable starter in net with Andrei Vasilevskiy, who led the NHL with eight shutouts in 2018. If the Lightning can get a bit more consistency from their blueline, they have a great chance at winning their first Stanley Cup since 2004. 

Winnipeg Jets (+1000)

There is probably no team in the NHL right now with more overall offensive talent than the Winnipeg Jets. Patrik Laine, Kyle Connor, Nikolaj Ehlers and Blake Wheeler combined to make the top two winger lines in the NHL. The offensive depth does not end there, with Mark Scheifele providing the Jets with 1.00 points per game at centre (in 61 games last season).

The Jets also have a stellar defence, ranking fifth in goals against last season. The Jets re-signed goaltender Conor Hellebuyck in the offseason.

Hellebuyck led the NHL with 44 wins last season while finishing top-ten in GAA, save percentage and shutouts.

If the Jets make a move around the trade deadline to add some depth on the blue line, they could have the best roster in the NHL. 

Vegas Golden Knights (+1200)

Even with the defenceman, Nate Schmidt suspended for the first 20 games of the NHL season, the Golden Knights proved to everyone that they are a serious Stanley Cup contender. While the franchise lost James Neal this offseason, the veteran only ranked fourth on the team in goals and sixth in points.

The most important players on the Golden Knights return in 2019, including William Karlsson (third in the NHL with 43 goals last season) and Marc-Andre Fleury (top six in both GAA and save percentage last season).

If they can replicate their success in 2019, the Golden Knights could find themselves back in the Stanley Cup next May. 

 

Best Underdog: New Jersey Devils (+4000)

The New Jersey Devils were one of the biggest surprises in the NHL last season, improving their record by 27 points and making the playoffs for the first time since 2012.

The Devils are also home to the reigning NHL MVP Taylor Hall, who helped the team net 248 goals (most by the franchise since 2001).

The Devils also had the eighth youngest team in the NHL last season, meaning their young players should develop even more in 2019. If goaltender Cory Schneider can bounce back in 2019, the Devils could surprise many this NHL season. 

Team to Avoid: Washington Capitals (+1300)

In sports, it is common to see the champions suffering some form of a hangover in the season following their championship.

The Washington Capitals (specifically Alexander Ovechkin) may have taken the meaning literally, partying like no other Stanley Cup champion since the 1980s.

Of course, partying is not the only reason to avoid betting on the Capitals to repeat in 2019. Outside of their Cup victory last season, the franchise had never made it past the Second Round with Ovechkin, they have a new head coach coming in, and only two teams (Detroit 97-98 and Pittsburgh 2017-18) are the only teams to repeat as Cup champions in the last 25 years.

Bonus: NHL Point Total Over/Under Bets

Best Under: St. Louis Blues – Under 96.5 Points (-110)

The Blues have seen their point total decline the last five seasons (from 111 in 2014 to 94 in 2018). They were lucky to go 9-6-2 after the trade deadline (when they posted a negative goal-difference). They also traded Paul Statsny, one of the franchises top point scorers. Overall, it is hard to see the Blues improving in 2019.

Best Over: Nashville Predators – Over 105.5 Points (-110)

The President’s Trophy winner in 2018 sees their point total line open 11.5 points lower than their 2018 point total. While reaching (or surpassing) 117 points in a season is always difficult, the Predators are still one of the best teams in the NHL due to their superb depth on defence.