Tampa Bay has continued to grow in esteem with the hockey betting public. With less than a month to go before the playoffs they remain the favorite. Lightning backers have bet them up to 4/1 with the Stanley Cup futures odds. But as many hockey fans know parity is at an all-time high. Surprises are the rule rather than the exception in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Upsets are what make the NHL post season the best of any pro sport. Plenty of credible candidates are on the NHL futures watch. Legitimately potential champions load the board.
2018 Stanley Cup Futures Odds
Date and Time: Stanley Cup Playoffs begin April 11, 2018
Location: Check Schedules
NHL Betting Online Odds at SBG: Tampa Bay Lightning 4/1
2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs TV Coverage: Check Listings
While elite goaltending is mandatory for success with the Stanley Cup futures odds it alone is not enough. Cup champions all have timely scoring with depth. Blue line prowess is also a must. Tampa Bay boasts each of those elements. Center and captain Steven Stamkos is the marquee man for the Bolts. Stamkos has 27 goals and 55 assists with a plus-22. Right winger Nikita Kucherov has emerged as a top sniper with 34 goals.
Important Names in Tampa
Tampa Bay Defenseman Victor Hedman has climbed into elite status. With 11 goals and 40 assists he is a superior quarterback. Most impressive is a plus-26 against the opposition’s top lines. Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy has an impressive .922 save percentage. With seven shutouts and a 2.53 goals against average he is of Cup caliber. Also required for a Stanley Cup is a top shelf coach. Jon Cooper fits the bill to perfection. Young, smart, and in touch with his players he is the envy of most teams.
Nashville has the top record in the NHL and is an 11/2 pick. Last year’s Western Conference championship was quite the sportsbook online surprise. Observers point to the Predators rank as the top defensive unit in the league. Goal scoring has improved to seventh best. Defenseman PK Subban has flourished in Music City. Subban has 15 goals, 36 assists, a plus-16 and star presence. Goaltending has been elite with the tandem of Pekka Rinne and Juuse Saros. Rinne has a .929 save percentage and seven shutouts.
Boston Bruins and Vegas Golden Knights
At 13/2 are the Boston Bruins and Vegas Golden Knights. Although they are the most successful expansion franchise ever Vegas is fading. Recently the Knights have lost six of their last ten games. Gamblers wonder if it’s a case of coming back down to Earth. Boston has been one of the most complete teams in the league. Ranking third for both Scoring and goals against the Bruins are consistent and profitable. Defensive depth remains a bit of a concern.
Pittsburgh could be a bargain at 10/1. As the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion, they have a loaded lineup. Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel, Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang headline a bright marquee. Goaltender Matt Murray has missed a month of action due to concussion. Murray’s status is the dark cloud that hovers.
Matchup to Watch
Tampa Bay missed the playoffs last year. Ironically that helps their value with the
Stanley Cup futures odds. Wear and tear from a deep playoff run will not fatigue them. Fresh legs go a long way in the post season.
2018 Stanley Cup NHL Betting Odds Picks
In conclusion Tampa Bay is loaded, well coached and rested. Expect them to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup this June!
NHL Betting Online Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning
Check out highlights of Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos!