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2014 Stanley Cup Futures Odds & NHL handicapping predictions

Gambling On NHL Hockey?

The Regular season is done, the first round playoff matchups have been set and the razors have been put away for all of the participants in this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs! Let the games begin, let the beards commence and let’s enjoy an intense two months of nail-biting hockey!

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Bodog has released the odds to win the Stanley Cup and predictably the Bruins sit on top after a sensational Regular season with the Blues and the Penguins not far behind. Who should we throw our support behind – let’s break it down.

Odds to win the 2014 Stanley Cup

Boston Bruins 7/2

The Bruins have come out of the East two of the last three seasons and won the Cup three years ago, finishing second last year. They are the best defensive team in the game – Tuukka Rask should win the Vezina, Zdeno Chara will be a finalist for the Norris trophy as the NHL’s best defenseman and Patrice Bergeron is in the running for the best defensive forward year after year.

Simply put Boston is stacked from the goaltender out – built for playoff hockey.

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They can roll four lines with confidence and trot out six quality defensemen in every situation. The loss of Dennis Seidenberg will hurt but no team has the horses to absorb a loss like the Bruins.

Add in the fact that the youngsters on the team are one year older with a long playoff run under their belts and the Bruins are definitely the team to beat. The East is seen as an easy path to the final this year which should help the B’s in their quest for their second Cup in four years.

Tremendous depth, incredible talent and a host of playoff experience makes Boston my favorite to win it all. I can’t see anyone beating this team four times in seven games!

St. Louis Blues 6/1

The Blues were the betting favorites only a few weeks ago but an unflattering stretch run and six straight losses to end the season has taken some luster off this team. Ryan Miller looks as though he has lost his mojo, injuries have started to mount and the air of invincibility is starting to wear off this team a bit. Add in the fact that they will face the defending champs in the first round and the Blues look like a very risky bet.

The Blues are still stacked up front, they are sound defensively and they play a system that is perfect for playoff hockey but I can’t see them getting past the Hawks so I can’t endorse them to hoist the Cup this year!

Pittsburgh Penguins 7/1

The Penguins are another team that didn’t look great down the stretch and they certainly have an enormous playoff monkey on their back – they have been brutal in the postseason the last few seasons! But the Pens may get Evgeni Malkin back after an 11 game absence and anytime you have a guy names Sidney Crosby, you are a contender.

The top six forwards consist of Crosby, Malkin, Chris Kunitz, James Neal, Jussi Jokinen and Lee Stempniak who has found a home after coming over from Calgary at the deadline. The forwards shouldn’t be an issue – defense and goaltending will determine how far the Pens go!

Do you trust Marc Andre Fleury? He has 14 wins, a 3.18 goals-against average and .880 save percentage in 31 playoff appearances since 2010 – not good. With the added pressure of this being perhaps his last chance in Pittsburgh, my gut tells me Fleury fails to fire yet again.

Add in the fact that the Pens will have to get by the Bruins just to advance to the final and Pittsburgh suddenly looks like a risky bet.

Chicago Blackhawks 8/1

The defending champs look like the best value on the board right now at 8/1. What makes them even more dangerous than a month ago is the fact that Jonathan Toes and Patrick Kane will return from injury – rested and ready to terrorize once again.
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Toews, Kane, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa and Michael Handzus offer experience and Ben Smith, Andrew Shaw, Brian Bickell, Marcus Kruger and Brandon Bollig provide the support for the stars. Simply put the Hawks possess the most complete offense in the NHL and with Duncan Keith, Brent Sebrook, Michal Rosival, Sheldon Brookbank, Nik Hjalmarsson, Johnny Oduya and Nik Leddy patrolling the blue line, it is hard to imagine the Hawks not coming out of the West.

They are my pick to get to the Final – only to lose to the Bruins in a tight series.

Anaheim Ducks 9/1

The Ducks had a remarkable season and they look like they have an easy path to the second round of the playoffs. Offensively they were terrific and defensively they were adequate. But goaltending is their biggest issue – one that will likely keep them from going deep. Jonas Hiller was average the last month of the season and backup Frederik Andersen is a raw rookie.

While I applaud the Ducks for the season they had, they just didn’t look good enough in the final month to garner my support. Defense and goaltending look like their undoing this year!

San Jose Sharks 9/1

The San Jose Sharks are tasked with defeating Jonathan Quick and the LA Kings in the first round of the playoffs – it doesn’t seem fair at this point in time! That said, the Sharks have been terrific all season long offensively and the likes of Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, Brent Burns, Patrick Marleau and Logan Couture were beats while defensively Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Dan Boyle, Justin Braun Jason Demers, Scott Hannan and Brad Stuart were terrific.

But Antti Niemi looks like a shadow of his former self and the fact that a physical series against the Kings looms has me wary of throwing down on the Sharks. Best to look elsewhere in the uber-tough West.

Los Angeles Kings 10/1

The Kings look like good value – their defensive style has already produced a Cup. With Jonathan Quick between the pipes, Drew Doughty on defense and Jeff Carter Mike Richards and newcomer Marian Gaborik up front, the Kings look solid as we enter the playoffs.

It was just two years ago that the Kings took what was one of the worst offensive teams in the league and parlayed that into a Stanley Cup. This team looks eerily similar! Can you see anyone beating Jonathan Quick four times in seven games? They are my second pick to come out of the West – right behind the Hawks.

Colorado Avalanche 14/1

The Avs have the Wild in the first round – they could definitely gain some confidence in hat series. But they are going to have to get by the Kings and the Hawks – maybe both in order to advance. Colorado is the youngest team in the playoffs and they will be forced to play without Matt Duchene for at least the first round of the playoffs.

Colorado’s time will come – just not this year!

Philadelphia Flyers 18/1

The Flyers just don’t match up well with the Penguins or the Bruins!

Detroit Red Wings 20/1

The Wings were lucky to get in – advancing is unlikely to say the least.

Montreal Canadiens 20/1

Looking for a dark horse? Look no further than the Montreal Canadiens who enter the playoffs on a high and have some guy named Carey Price between the pipes. The addition of Tomas Vanek at the trade deadline looks like it may be the piece that could take this team far into the playoffs!

Canada’s only hope is an intriguing one at that and the price certainly is right!

New York Rangers 20/1

The Rangers are a nice team but like the rest of the East are a tier or two below the Bruins and the Penguins.

Tampa Bay Lightning 28/1

Ben Bishop is banged up, St. Louis is gone and Ryan Malone is a distraction – no thanks!

  • Minnesota Wild 40/1
  • Columbus Blue Jackets 50/1
  • Dallas Stars 50/1

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About DaveB

Dave B has been a Fantasy Football writer for us for 10 years. A couch potato wannabe, Dave’s insights have been read by 10’s of people for years. He hope’s for world peace + global relaxation. Enjoy and remember only smoke things that are completely natural.


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