English Premier League
As we start to get into the NHL All-Star festivities, a perfect time arises to start looking at value in the betting market for futures. There is always value to be had on the board, the key is weeding it out and cashing in at the end of the season either by winning the bet, or cashing out for a profit. Let's take a look at a team that I think has a great chance of winning the Stanley Cup this season, despite them getting a massive 35/1 number to do so.
There is a huge list of teams right now that can win the Stanley Cup, with only a handful of teams that we know for certain have no shot at bringing home a championship. There are a few teams that are currently higher up in the standings that I think are absolute frauds as well, such as the Winnipeg Jets or Pittsburgh Penguins.
Both of those teams are getting better odds right now to win the cup than the Kings, which I believe is a huge mistake. The Penguins are giving up almost 34 shots per game, which is one of the highest numbers in the NHL, while the Jets rely totally on their goaltending most nights. No thank you to either of them when they have to take on a great team in a playoff series. The one team that immediately catches my eye is the Los Angeles Kings, who have been severely underrated all season in my opinion.
Despite the fact that they have a 28-18-7 record, they are 35/1 right now to win the Stanley Cup at most sportsbooks, which is ludicrous. They have earned 63 points so far and have proven time and again that they are almost always competitive in every game they play. When I look for a team that is going to give us value at the end of the season, I look for a squad that is competitive and can control the puck at a high rate. The Kings check both of those boxes, with their biggest weakness coming in net. However, they have found a new goaltender that has been doing pretty well for them this season after Jonathan Quick failed to get the job done. Quick started off the year with an 8-12-4 record, a 3.41 G/AG and a poor .881 SV%. Phoenix Copley has been a revelation in goal, as he has started to bring stability in net. He's 15-3-1 in his starts this season with a 2.92 GA/G and .897 SV%.
If Copley can keep that type of play up, that helps start to fix their biggest weakness. They are allowing a large 3.43 goals per game on average this season, but that has a lot to do with Quick's poor start. That number has started to come down with Copley's 2.92 average. What I really like about the Kings is their ability to control the puck, as puck possession is huge in the playoffs. They are getting 32.3 shots on goal per game, while only allowing 28.8 on their own net. That tells me that they do a good job of keeping up their offensive pressure while limiting their opponents chances. Those teams are the ones that go far when the stakes are highest, and the Kings are in this category.
With the improvement of their net minding and the clear ability to control the puck, Los Angeles is flying under the radar as a team that is a serious threat when the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin. At +3500, this is a huge value on a sleeper team that should have higher odds than a few teams that are listed above them.