Greetings everyone, it’s your pal Ryan here to help inject some NHL hockey into your summer… With the added bonus of gambling! Now that sports betting is likely coming to most states soon, most of us can now take advantage of betting on their favorite teams to win The Cup without having to take the expensive trip out to Vegas.

Everyone heard about how Vegas was as high as 500/1 odds to win last year, but let me just remind you that at one point last season the Washington Capitals were going for as high as 18/1.

I would’ve been a rich man, but I hindsight is 20/20 right? So why not now as a better time to look at the already released, super early odds for the 2018-19 season, my fellow degenerates! All odds found on www.vegasinsider.com.

Disclaimer: What you do with your money is your business! I’m not predicting who’s going to win here, just giving off an opinion relative to available team prices. 

The “We Believe In The Process and Culture Here” Teams

75/1: Vancouver, Ottawa, Arizona – So yeah, if you think either of these teams will be next year’s Vegas Golden Knights then jump in now and hope you look like a genius next June. Let’s be honest, these teams have been in rebuild mode for a few seasons (with exception to Ottawa’s magical Eastern Conference Final run in 2016-17) and are still stagnating near the bottom.

66/1: Detroit, Buffalo – They’re getting there slowly but surely. They just don’t have the right pieces, yet.

50/1: NY Rangers, NY Islanders, Montreal, Carolina – Rangers are the sneaky value pick here. A few roster tweaks (looking at the defense) and they’re a legitimate contender. If the Islanders lose Tavares this summer they might drop to the 100/1 range. Montreal and Carolina are playoff bubble teams, not Cup bubble teams.

40/1: New Jersey, Florida – Neither team is ready for a Cup run in 2018-19. The talent and potential are there, but just not next year.

33/1: St. Louis, Colorado – The Blues’ window is closing so if they can make some offseason acquisitions I like this value a lot. I think this line is too low for the Avs. Not to say I don’t think they’re good, but I feel a correction will come later in the summer and you can get them at the 40-50/1 range by the beginning of the season.

The “We Think We’re Riiiight There” Teams

28/1: Philadelphia – Skilled and experienced forwards? Check. Defensemen that can play both sides of the puck? Check. Goaltending? Ohh, this explains the number… They had a rollercoaster season with huge streaks, both hot and cold. You can’t be doing that and considered a contender. The Metro is also stacked, meaning that it’ll be hard to get past everyone come playoff time.

25/1: Minnesota, Los Angeles, Dallas, Columbus, Calgary – Columbus is the big name here. 25/1 odds? Take it. Take it now. Minnesota, LA, and Dallas feel appropriately priced. They have all the pieces; it’s just making the motor run. I have no idea why Calgary is this low. Even when they made the playoffs two years ago they weren’t a contender.

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk (57) and Minnesota Wild left wing Jason Zucker (16) during the second period on Sunday, March 12, 2017 at the United Center in Chicago, Ill. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/MBR) *** Please Use Credit from Credit Field ***

22/1: San Jose, Chicago, Anaheim – If this was 2014, you’d jump on these immediately. However, all three teams have their glaring issues. San Jose is getting old and Chicago’s cap management is a disaster. You can talk me into Anaheim, but their recent struggles in the playoffs don’t give off an air of confidence.

18/1: Edmonton – If you have McDavid, then you have a chance. It might not be a very good chance, but a chance nonetheless. If Chiarelli is smart he’ll grab a defenceman in the draft for the future and make a move for an experienced one via either free agency or trade. At 18/1 you’re looking at a solid return for not much risk.

14/1: Vegas – Idfk. Sure. Why not right? Next, please.

The “We Only Have One Goal This Year” Teams

12/1: Winnipeg, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Boston – Let’s do some simple math here. If you put $100 on all of these teams, that’s $400 to still walk away with $1200, a profit of $800. Economics, people. All four can do it. I know it, you know it.

11/1: Nashville – Have you seen their roster? This team is in win NOW mode, especially given that they traded so many picks and are currently making their first draft pick this year near the end of the 3rd round (#89). They have arguably the deepest defence in the league, three forward lines that can play a 200-foot game, and two solid goaltending options.

10/1: Washington, Tampa Bay – It’s not shocking that the two Eastern conference finalists are co-favorites. Washington deserves to be a favorite, but are at risk of losing key pieces of their Stanley Cup run. Tampa has made deep playoff runs for the past few seasons, it’s now about finding that final gear to get them to the promised land.

My Picks (again, these are based off the price to get what I believe is the best value, not predictions for who will win the Cup)

Columbus (25/1): $100 to win $2500

Winnipeg (12/1): $100 to win $1200

Nashville (11/1): $100 to win $1100

Think you’re smarter than me? Let me know who you’d take and why on Twitter @RyPir213.

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