The NHL season is almost here already, and we are more than excited to get it underway again here at BetQL. Our NHL model killed it last year, and since it is probably the least popular sport we cover, you might have missed out on a great season of hockey betting. Don't make that same mistake this year, and get on the wagon that keeps paying out each day. Of course, you can't win every day, but the objective is to win more than you lose, and we are definitely going to do just that.
Taking a look at this year's updated Stanley Cup odds, we see some of the familiar names up at the top. The Avalanche, the Maple Leafs, the Panthers and the Hurricanes have all been great over the last several seasons. The top-10 odds are below (BetMGM):
Colorado Avalanche: +380
Toronto Maple Leafs: +700
Florida Panthers: +900
Carolina Hurricanes: +1100
Tampa Bay Lightning: +1200
Edmonton Oilers: +1500
Calgary Flames: +1500
Minnesota Wild: +1700
Pittsburgh Penguins: +2000
New York Rangers: +2000
There is no denying the Avalanche are just massive favorites to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions in 2022, just look at this line. The next closest team is +700, so that is a massive gap between #1 and #2. The Avalanche will return most of their Stanley Cup winning roster from 2021 to do damage in 2022. They did lose two key pieces in goalie Darcy Kuemper and center Nazem Kadri, so that is something to keep an eye on. Kuemper was fifth in wins, fifth in save percentage, 11th in goals-against average and fifth in goals saved above expected. No matter what you may think of him, he was one of the top goalies in the NHL last season. Replacing that with Pavel Francouz and Alexandar Georgiev may be a problem.
The good news is they still have their top-quality guys in MacKinnon, Makar, Landeskog and Toews. Those players are superstars that can carry a team on any given night. Still, in the playoffs, you need great goaltending, and it's still uncertain if we will get that out of them.
You're giving me 20/1 odds with the Rangers after their incredible season last year? They made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Final and took the Tampa Bay Lightning to six games. They lost their offense over the final four games, scoring just one goal per game, and that ultimately cost them a shot at the Stanley Cup.
This season will be about if New York can take the next step in their development, and you are betting this accordingly. We have to remember that these players are still young on this roster, even with their success last year. Alexis Lafreniere and Kaapo Kakko are still only 20 and 21, respectively. Defenseman K’Andre Miller is only 22 and fellow blue-liner Adam Fox is 23. This was a very inexperienced team that took the defending champions almost to the brink in 2021.
They can learn from their failures and get better for this year, and I'm betting that they will do just that.