Flyers and Canucks top NHL betting futures

By: Barry Daniels | Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Canucks opened 12/1 to win it all but have been bet down to 4/1.

Pro hockey bettors who are looking to hedge their future book wagers have quite a few large line moves on their radar. Let’s examine four teams that have seen their future book odds dramatically increase, and four that have seen a significant drop.

Those who proficiently prospected at the beginning of the season by placing a few dollars on the Vancouver Canucks to capture the Stanley Cup at 12/1 are presently sitting pretty.

The Canucks have been bet down to 4/1 thanks to a league-leading 97 points. That’s 11 more points than any Western Division rival and seven more points than the Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia Flyers.

Vancouver has a league-best 225 goals thanks in large part to the NHL’s No. 1 power play that has a 24.2 percent success rate. The Canucks are tops in the league defensively, allowing just 2.3 GPG. They also have the NHL’s best home ledger at 23-7-1-4.

The aforementioned Flyers opened at 15/1 to take the Cup back to Philadelphia, but have since been bet down to the 7/2 favorite. The Flyers are equally adept at home (21-10-1-2) as they are on the road (21-9-2-1). They have scored the most goals in the Eastern Conference (215), despite a 20th-ranked power play.

Two other division leaders have also seen their respective future book odds bet down. The Northeast Division-leading Boston Bruins went from 20/1 to 7/1, while the Central Division-leading Detroit Red Wings are currently 4/1 from an opening of 8/1.

Both teams have had the majority of success on enemy ice, with the Bruins owning the league’s best road ledger at 22-8-1-3. It’s a good thing the Bruins are clicking on the road because the club is just 16-12-3-2 at home.

Detroit also has a better record on the road (22-9-2-2) than it does at home (18-11-3-1). Ironically, the Wings began the campaign with a 10-1-1 home ledger, but have gone 8-10-2 since. Mike Babcock’s troops are tied for first offensively, averaging 3.2 GPG. However, they are a dismal 19th defensively by yielding an average of 2.9 GPG.

Those who wagered on the Chicago Blackhawks to repeat as Cup champs at 5/1 have seen those odds swell to 22/1. But, after a very slow start, the Blackhawks have recently picked up steam. Entering weekend action, Chicago has won eight of its last 10 outings to climb within seven points of the first place Red Wings in the Central Division.

The Pittsburgh Penguins were a stylish choice to take home Lord Stanley’s cup with an opening number of 7/1. However, the Pens have dropped six of their last nine contests and are playing without superstars Sidney Crosby (concussion) and Evgeni Malkin (knee). As a result, the Pens are now 12/1 to go all the way.

Washington, which was expected to lead the world in scoring, opened at 6/1 to take the title. Despite holding a slim two-point lead over second-place Tampa Bay in the Southeast Division, the Caps are now 10/1.

The scoring expectations have not come to fruition, as the Caps rank 22nd offensively by averaging 2.6 GPG. However, the club is getting it done on the defensive end. Washington is yielding an average of 2.4 GPG, which ranks fourth. The Caps are also fourth on the penalty kill with an 85.5 percent success rate.

Despite a furious late-season rally that has seen them go 18-4 in their last 22 games, the New Jersey Devils are currently 60/1 to capture the Cup. That is significantly higher that their 18/1 opening line. The Devils are still 10 points out of the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

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