|Written by Charlie Brown|
Bet on the NHLThe regular NHL betting season was long and winding for everybody who enjoys hockey betting. But that’s in the past, and the quest for the Stanley Cup has begun. It’s no surprise to see the Washington Capitals on top of the board to win the Stanley Cup, but it’s not uncommon either to see a lower-seeded team step up in the post-season. Here are three teams to watch out for in the playoffs.
The Capitals basically coasted through most of the regular season and led the league in wins, points, and goal differential. Goalie Braden Holtby tied with Martin Brodeur for the most wins in a regular season, while Alex Ovechkin finished the regular as the top goalscorer. It makes nothing but sense to put your NHL betting money on the Caps. However, they did finish the season at half-speed, going 3-6 SU in the last nine games and 1-4 SU in the final five. If that doesn’t make you hesitate about backing the Capitals, remember that the last time they won the President’s Trophy in 2009-10 they were sacked by the Montreal Canadiens in the first round. Washington is great hockey betting team, but something may or may not be a bit off about them.
The St. Louis Blues finished second in the Western Conference and got matched up with the Blackhawks in the opening round. They are playoff mainstays but haven’t won a first-round series since 2012 and lost to the Blackhawks in the opening round in 2014. Still, this team has depth all over the ice and features one of the better forwards in Vladimir Tarasenko. Not a surefire NHL betting prospect, but one that could pay off handsomely.
Finally, the Flyers switched gears in 2016 and closed the season in rare form, clinching a playoff berth with a 3-1 win over the Penguins. Constant goaltending from Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth, great forward play from Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds and a superb rookie season from Shayne Gostisbehere has been key to the Flyers’ rise from Eastern Conference punching bag to playoff team in a period of 82 games. They have been one of the best teams in the league in the second half of the season and it might be safe to say that the Capitals are not thrilled at the perspective of facing them in the first round.
When it comes to NHL betting, some people are always trying to skate uphill, and wagering on the Flyers might be just that. On the other hand, if you like taking chances, then they could suit you just fine. More serious contenders include the Los Angeles Kings, the Chicago Blackhawks, the Anaheim Ducks, and the Dallas Stars.