We’ve hit the NHL All-Star break and are two-thirds of the way through the season. With roughly 30 games to go, it’s easy to make an assessment of teams, and we can find some easy value in futures to help increase our bankroll going into the playoffs.
Right now, the Columbus Blue Jackets are the favorite to have the worst record this season, as they have three more losses than anyone else, but there is no way they will have more Ls at the end of the season.
The Ducks and Blackhawks are right behind them in the tankathon, and while Columbus has been playing worse, they have no plans of becoming worse. The Blue Jackets have a solid core and are building for the future; they will not move core pieces as the Blackhawks and Ducks will.
Everyone is waiting for Patrick Kane to be dealt, and Chicago will be a far worse team once that happens.
The Ducks are also rumored to possibly be moving Max Comtois, John Gibson, John Klingberg, Kevin Shattenkirk, and Dmitry Kulikov. This team could be gutted by the time the deadline passes, and they will be far worse than Columbus.
Both teams’ lines look great, and bettors may sprinkle some dough on both of them, but Chicago is more likely to be the biggest loser at the end of the season.
Chicago Blackhawks (+240) Anaheim Ducks (+430)
90+ Regular Season Points
There is a fairly strong divide between the teams that will and those that will not. Only two teams are on that bubble, and it’s the New York Islanders — who recently landed Bo Horvat — and the Ottawa Senators.
Ottawa started the season horribly, but they have been playing far better of late. Expecting them to continue to play as they have been, they should have any problem finding 39 points in their last 32 games.
The Islanders will no doubt have a much stronger second half with Horvat added to the mix, their odds aren’t great, but it’s a sure payout. Bettors should grab it before the odds become more unfavorable.
For bettors who want a plus-money play related to the Islanders, betting on them to make the playoffs is an offering with incredible value. The Islanders are chasing the Capitals and Penguins in the standings. New York has a far better squad, and they will have no problem catching them in the standings.
Ottawa Senators (+440) New York Islanders (-142) Islanders to Make the Playoffs (+215)
Stanley Cup Prediction
It’s hard to predict anyone other than the Bruins coming out of the East. It’s a chalky pick, but they are head and shoulders above everyone else. The Hurricanes will make a run, but they are not as well-built as Boston.
The Western Conference is far more open. Unfortunately, Colorado has had so many injuries, and while they could put it together in time for the playoffs, it doesn’t appear to be in the cards.
Other frontrunners are the Dallas Stars, Winnipeg Jets, and Seattle Kraken.
Despite taking a dip in the standings, the Las Vegas Golden Knights will make another run at the Cup. The Kraken and Jets don’t have the experience to make it to the finals, but the Knights have the experience and talent to make it happen this year. The Kings will certainly make things interesting for them, but I’m riding with the Knights.
Boston Bruins to Win the East (+250) Vegas Golden Knights to Win the West (+550) Boston Bruins to beat Vegas Golden Knights (+3500)