Last Updated: 2017-10-02
I tend to go quite a bit smaller on Division Futures but it doesn’t mean there isn’t still good value to be found. These will be the only Futures bets I make where I know probably have a good chance of losing but still offer a very solid return if we can hit one. Let’s take a look at a few teams who are mispriced at some sportsbooks.
New York Rangers (+600) [5Dimes]
The Rangers can be found at other books between prices of +350 to +475 but 5Dimes is hanging +600 on Henrik Lundqvist’s bid for a Metro division title. Everyone still loves the Penguins and Capitals to finish one-two atop the division and while they are deserved favorites, both of them took hits to their depth in the offseason and could be in store for a small decline. Many are expecting the Rangers to decline this season but I think they’ve made positive improvements over the summer and are primed for a step forward. Their defense underwent a major overhaul with the subtraction of Dan Girardi and additions of Kevin Shattenkirk and Anthony DeAngelo. Their top-nine forwards are deep with Mika Zibanejad continuing to improve and lead the way and if “The King” can remain healthy in net, this team could surprise people.
The New York Rangers at +600 to win the Metropolitan division is a strong value bet.
Toronto Maple Leafs (+450) [BetOnline]
While I fully expect the Tampa Bay Lightning to win the Atlantic this season, there’s no value in betting them at the current +225 to +250 number. The top of the division should be tight with the Lightning, Canadiens and Leafs all vying for the top seed. The Leafs can be found elsewhere between +224 to +350 but there’s a fairly juicy +450 over at BetOnline for the moment.
The Leafs have one of the best young cores in the NHL with Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander and a strong supporting cast. The defense should be a bit better and the steady goaltending of Frederik Andersen could make the Leafs a serious Stanley Cup contender this season.
It’s my least favorite of these three division recommendations but it doesn’t change the fact there’s some value in the number.
The Toronto Maple Leafs at +450 to win the Atlantic division is another good value bet.
Calgary Flames (+600) [BetOnline]
This number may no longer be available but as of right now the Flames at +600 is great value and can be found at BetOnline and Bovada at this number (it’s already moved down to +525 at Pinnacle but the other books are usually a step behind them).
The big news of the day was the signing of Jaromir Jagr (not officially official but mostly kinda official) and that fills a big need for Calgary. The Flames were on the bubble for me as a playoff team in the Pacific but I think this should bump them enough to at least finish in the top three of the Pacific.
The Flames are priced as the fifth favorite behind Anaheim, Edmonton, San Jose and Los Angeles in this division and I think that is an unfair assessment. I have questions about the Oilers depth, the Sharks age and the Kings ability to keep up with their lack of speed. The Ducks are my personal favorite here but it’s a lot closer now than before Jagr, so taking a shot here at this inflated number is as good as it gets.
The Calgary Flames at +600 to win the Pacific division is our top value bet for Division Futures.
*NOTE* If this line has already moved by the time of posting, I would still recommend the Flames at anything above +500
STANLEY CUP FUTURES
I’m limiting myself to just two preseason Stanley Cup Futures this year but I’ll be keeping a particularly close eye on the New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators early in the season and may look to add one of those teams at some point. For now, here’s who I consider to be the top bet in each conference.
Tampa Bay Lightning (+1200) [BetOnline]
If you’ve followed my preseason content here at BangTheBook you’ve noticed I’m extremely high on Tampa Bay this season. My season preview outlined a number of reasons why I expect them to rebound this year and contend for the top of the Atlantic division and Eastern Conference and my selections for the Hart, Norris and Vezina Trophies all included a top Lightning player.
Training camp went better than expected with Steven Stamkos making a fully healthy return and looking sharper than ever. Young Yanni Gourde solidified a spot in the top-six and maybe the best news of all, Dan Girardi isn’t expected to play on the top defensive pair – or the second-pair! Jake Dotchin will pair with Hedman while rookie Mikhail Sergachev has done nothing but look like he belongs in the NHL and is expected to play in the top-four with Stralman. And then there’s Andrei Vasilevskiy as the stopper who I’m expecting to have a big year and become a household name.
The Tampa Bay Lightning at +1200 to win the Stanley Cup is our top Futures bet of the season.
Anaheim Ducks (+1500) [5Dimes]
The Calgary Flames signing of Jaromir Jagr earlier today gave me pause here on my Ducks pick but while his addition no doubt helps move the needle for the Flames regular season outlook, the reality is they will more than likely still have to go through Anaheim and the Flames still don’t match-up well with the Ducks, in my opinion.
Anaheim possesses one of the best goaltending combos in the league with John Gibson and Ryan Miller. A top-four defense as good as anyone in the league and a shutdown pair with Hampus Lindholm and Josh Manson who effectively limited even the great Connor McDavid last year.
The Ducks will start the season shorthanded with injuries to Ryan Kesler, Sami Vatanen and Lindholm but the opening month of their schedule is a bit of a cakewalk so I’m not too worried about a slow start. This team should be firing on all cylinders by the time the playoffs roll around.
The Anaheim Ducks at +1500 to win the Stanley Cup is our other strong value bet of the season.