If you gamble, you know that you’re going to be looking hard for an edge in the upcoming betting season. In the coming weeks, it will become a betting haven for all the sharps and the average joes out there. The National Football League’s season is about to get into full swing. College football is a full out roll tide. Major League Baseball is in its stretch run to the “fall dance”. Basketballs will be bouncing coming mid-October. And for the puck heads out there, the NHL’s regular season will be firing up in the spooky month of October. Since this is Last Word On Hockey, wouldn’t it be fun to talk about some cheap thrills? Maybe a nice NHL Future bet?
NHL Future Bet That Is Worth A Shot
Although there are many casuals hopping onto the betting train for the thrill-seeking ride, most are looking to turn a profit. After all, isn’t that what gambling is about?
Today, Christian Holmes, the head honcho of everyone’s favourite macho The Gambler’s Corner and Last Word On Hockey editor, will discuss one NHL Future bet that he likes. Future bets aren’t guaranteed and merely just educated shots in the dark that could hit or consequently miss.
Now before we take a walk with the sharp, let’s quickly review what futures bets are.
What Are Future Bets?
According to TheSpread.com, a future bet is:
“any bet made for some time in the future. Most future bets are related to winning some sort a championship but a future bet can be made on almost anything that will occur at a future date. Odds are set by an oddsmaker based on the potential outcomes. The more likely the chance of an event happening, the worse the payout is for the bettor. The less likely the chance of an event happening, the bigger the payout is for the bettor.”
Essentially it’s a bet you make on a future outcome happening. If it happens, you get the money, if it doesn’t, you lose it. The less likely the event seems, like let’s say the Montreal Canadiens winning the Stanley Cup, the higher the odds will be. If the event is more likely to happen, like let’s say the Toronto Maple Leafs making the playoffs, the lower the odds will be.
So with that being said, let’s look at an NHL Future bet and figure out some of the favourites.
Toronto Maple Leafs Win the Eastern Conference at 9/2 Odds
*Odds according to OddsShark.com*
Now, this won’t be a long shot play where you’ll bring home tons of money, but it’s safe to say out of the bets I’ll be talking about, that this one is probably the most likely to happen.
The Maple Leafs have changed a lot since the 2018-19 season. They brought in Tyson Barrie amongst others. They shipped out Nazem Kadri and as of writing this, have yet to sign star winger Mitch Marner to a contract extension. Marner should re-sign before the start of the season if level heads prevail. It’s most likely just a game of chicken at this point, with both sides bickering on the salary and the term. Once that gets figured out, Marner will be playing with John Tavares and helping pucks put pucks in the back of the net.
In terms of winning the conference, it not a long shot for the Leafs. They’re one of the deepest teams forward wise in the East. Their defence didn’t greatly improve, but on paper right now, it’s better than last year’s, even with Jake Gardiner gone to Raliegh.
The Leafs haven’t really gotten much better or worse upfront. That’s depending on the contract status on Marner. A full season of Auston Matthews and William Nylander playing together could do wonders. Marner and Tavares are a lethal duo. Newly-acquired Alexander Kerfoot should fit in well on the third line with whoever Babcock decides to stick with him.
In net, everyone knows Frederik Andersen can hold his own. He will need someone to step up and become a reliable backup goalie so he can have a break once in a while.
The Maple Leafs Major Competitor
The Maple Leafs immediate threat will be the Tampa Bay Lightning. Let’s not kid ourselves, they will be a great team again this year. Their defensive core is solid with Victor Hedman leading the way and Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov putting pucks in the back of the net. Andrei Vasilevskiy is still in the prime years of his career.
Tampa Bay is going to come out gunning like a quarter horse in a 300-yard dash. The question is when there’s a 100 yards left to get, will they rise to the challenge or will they finish a nose short?
It is a possibility they fall short. Why? It’s not easy to be the best team in the league and get beaten out of the playoffs in the first round by a team that was just happy to be there. It’s not something a team can just forget and it’s not something to take lightly. That could easily affect confidence. It’s possible that Tampa might not be who they thought they were when they were at their peak. Much like Toronto, they’re pretenders until they can prove they’re contenders.
Who else can take a hold of the Atlantic if Tampa falls? Toronto seems like the logical option. The Leafs are a team that has a lot to prove and the right group of players to do so. Which is why Toronto winning the Atlantic Division is my favourite NHL future bet.