The 2019-20 NHL season is less than two months away. Ice hockey enthusiasts the world over are eagerly awaiting the start of what is the most loved annual competition of the sport. However, even with time remaining, all the fans, punters, and bookmakers are keeping a keen eye on the teams and the changes taking place in them.
Those who partake in sports betting are aware that some of the most significant profits come from bets at the beginning of a competition. Due to the worldwide popularity of the NHL, its individual games and the Stanley Cup are permanently on the radar of the bookmakers. Not only that, they are eager to release early odds based on predictions so that punters can pick up favourable bets even before the pre-season.
To make the most of these early odds, punters need to keep a few things in mind. They obviously should stay up-to-date with team news, checking in on who is injured, new additions, and if there are problems between the players. Then, they must follow up on NHL Power Rankings, which lists the teams most likely to win based on multiple factors like individual games, playoffs, and futures. Lastly, keep a watch on the odds. Bookmakers at this stage are in the same boat as you, but they do have experience on their side. Early odds speak volumes about who is a top contender and who is not.
Keeping in mind all of the research available, here are the top three teams that are most likely going to reach the finals of the Stanley Cup.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Leading the power rankings and the hearts of the bookies, Tampa Bay Lightning are all set to dominate the NHL come October. They have been consistent in their plays all year long and have a strong team that is capable of winning the Cup. Bookmakers have them at 15/2 odds right now as the overall winners, and that’s a great odd to pick up before the actual tournament begins. As the most reliable team in the competition, placing bets on their individual games can also prove to be profitable.
With a power ranking of 1602, the Bruins are amongst the top three contenders for the Stanley Cup this year. The previous season was a bittersweet experience for them as they managed to reach the finals but lost to the Blues. The Bruins were criticised for Game 7 of the competition and their performance in it. However, the new year is full of hope, and the bookmakers are also confident that the team will continue playing well. At present, bookies have them at 14/1 odds to win the Stanley Cup and 57/17 as the Atlantic Division winner.
New York Islanders
Not the most obvious choice, but the Islanders have been rising steadily in the NHL Power Rankings during the past few weeks. The pre-season games will give a complete picture but looking at them play right now; they can prove to be the underdogs who go on to win big in the end. Once again, the odds of 28/1 to win the Cup might be a long shot. So, it’s better to focus on the Islanders’ head-to-head plays.