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2014 NHL Futures Odds & hockey handicapping predictions

Gambling On NHL Hockey?

A new year is upon us and the NHL’s schedule has crept past its halfway mark on the 2013-14 regular season. With the playoffs just a few short months away, let’s re-examine the odds for each team’s chances of claiming the Stanley Cup at the end of the season.

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Here’s a look at three top teams, three mid-level teams, and three long shots, with a recommended pick from each category.

Chicago Blackhawks +600

The Blackhawks just aren’t a sexy pick anymore after years of strong play but they just keep chugging along. Even without goaltender Corey Crawford the team has been able to outscore opponents to keep up with the Western Conference’s elite. A repeat appearance in the Stanley Cup Final is surely on their minds.

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St. Louis Blues +600

The Blues haven’t been able to translate their regular season success into playoff success in recent years but the team added some horses in the offseason and are poised for another run. The team’s goal differential of plus-55 through half of their schedule was better than any other team’s.

Anaheim Ducks +700

Anaheim has been a completely different squad since Bruce Boudreau took over as the team’s bench boss. Entering play on Sunday the Ducks ranked third in the league in scoring and eighth in goals against, and their ability to defend their home ice will be devastating for opponents come playoff time.

The play: Anaheim +700

Tampa Bay Lightning +1600

The Lightning haven’t lost a step without star forward Steven Stamkos and will get a heck of a boost when he returns. The team’s issues between the pipes have seemingly been resolved and we’re seeing what the team can do with competent play at that end. Forward Martin St. Louis seemingly doesn’t age and his leadership in the playoffs will be crucial.

Toronto Maple Leafs +2800

The team hasn’t been able to raise Lord Stanley’s mug since 1967, so expecting them to break that curse in a given year may be somewhat foolish, but the team’s top-end talent has been able to put the puck in the net with pretty fair consistency, and their goaltending situation has been solidified with the addition of Jonathan Bernier between the pipes. This could be the year the Buds get the monkey off their back.
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Philadelphia Flyers +2800

A pathetic start to the year by the Flyers allows us to get some value on them now that the team has figured things out. Their old nemesis Pittsburgh still stands in their path but the Flyers have been scoring goals in bunches and if their playoff schedule lines up just right, the team will be in a position to make some noise when the games really matter.

The play: Toronto +2800

New York Rangers +3300

It’s a tale as old as time – Henrik Lundqvist starts slow of the gate, then figures things out and plays lights out. The Rangers are slowly creeping up the Metropolitan Division standings and should be in a position to make some noise in the postseason.

Ottawa Senators +4000

The Ottawa Senators appeared dead in the water earlier in the season, but they’re starting to figure things out and it starts with head coach Paul MacLean who has seemingly done everything right since arriving in town. Star defenseman Erik Karlsson still isn’t fully back from a nasty Achilles tear, goaltender Craig Anderson can’t seem to get his head on straight, and the ‘C’ is weighing heavily on the shoulder of center Jason Spezza. Through it all, the team has been able to pick wins of late, thanks largely to offseason pickups like Bobby Ryan and Clarke MacArthur who have picked up some of the slack. As bad as they looked at times at the start of the year, they’ll be a tough out come playoff time.

Minnesota Wild +5000

It seems nothing has gone right for Minnesota this season, but thanks largely to the stellar play of goaltender Josh Harding, the Wild would find themselves in a playoff spot if the playoffs were to begin today. Once they get healthy, this number will look a lot more attractive.

The play: Ottawa +4000

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About Gino Bottero

Gino is new to CappersPicks.com but NOT new to the online gambling industry.He's got an AMAZING knack for discovering hidden gems when it comes to betting on sports. Stick with him as he predicts when a team will have a letdown! Check Gino out for NBA, NHL, NFL, and MLB betting articles all season long!


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