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2015 Stanley Cup Contenders
by - 9/26/2014

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Penguins forward Sidney Crosby

The Los Angeles Kings ended last season’s thrilling playoffs with a five-game domination over the New York Rangers and taught NHL bettors and fans that one of the keys to making a title run is by having an elite goaltender in front of the net. The second part of that recipe includes getting hot at the right time, which was exactly what both Los Angeles and New York did midway through the first round. The 2014-15 NHL season will see the same elite teams sitting at the top of the standings as well as receiving the best futures odds from the online sportsbooks.

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The difficult part of handicapping hockey is that regular-season dominance does not necessarily translate into the postseason. The NHL is a league with so much parity that lower-seeded teams make deep playoff runs and win titles on a regular basis. The Chicago Blackhawks are once again expected to be the elite of the elite heading into the season, but that does not mean other squads will have less value in the betting odds. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the 2015 Stanley Cup contenders and their regular-season points totals before the season gets started in October. All odds come from Bovada.

Chicago Blackhawks

Stanley Cup Odds : +650

Season Points Total : 111.5

Chicago suffered a disappointing playoff exit at the hands of the Kings during a Game 7 that it hosted on its home ice. The squad may be the most talented group in the NHL and should be dominant during the regular season once again. Chicago produced 107 points in 2013 and ended up fifth in a tight Western Conference race that saw six teams earn over 100 points on the season. The Blackhawks will continue to have high expectations and play with a target on their back—taking the “under” may be the best option for this bet.

Boston Bruins

Stanley Cup Odds : +1000

Season Points Total : 109.5

Boston suffered the biggest upset of the playoffs against the Montreal Canadians in the second round after producing the most points in the entire NHL during the regular season with 117. The Bruins have talent, and an excellent goaltender in Tuukka Rask, yet could not put a winning effort together when they need it most. Expect the squad to have another excellent regular season, while earning a high playoff seed and going “over” its points total of 109.5.

Los Angeles Kings

Stanley Cup Odds : +1000

Season Points Total : 105.5

Los Angeles is not necessarily a team built for the regular-season grind and already has two Stanley Cup titles from lower seeds under its belts. The team struggles to stay focused during the season as evidenced by its six seed and 100 points earned in 2013. Los Angeles, however, does have the right type of blend both offense and defense to really make some noise in the playoffs. The defending champions will have a target on their back during the upcoming season and will probably struggle to break the 105-point mark.

Anaheim Ducks

Stanley Cup Odds : +1200

Season Points Total : 105.5

Anaheim was a powerhouse last season, producing 116 points and dominating its first-round matchup against Dallas. The team, unfortunately, ran into a red-hot Kings group that may have been destined to win another Stanley Cup title. However, the early postseason exit should not have much bearing on how the team’s 2013 season is viewed. The Ducks had the second-best goal differential in the entire NHL and will be an elite team once again this year; taking the over on its point’s totals feels like a solid play.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Stanley Cup Odds : +1200

Season Points Total : 105.5

Pittsburgh has produced a string of disappointments and early playoff exits over the last few years. The squad is full of talent and has maybe the best player in all of hockey in Sidney Crosby, yet it fails to meet its title expectations year after year. In Pittsburgh’s defense, the squad did run into a red-hot New York Rangers team that was downright stingy on the defensive end. The Penguins’ produced the fourth most points in the NHL last year with 109 and should be a solid bet to be in that range again. Wagering on the over is the way to go.

New York Rangers

Stanley Cup Odds : +1600

Season Points Total : 95.5

New York should enter the season with a newfound confidence in the belief that it can compete with any team in the league. The Rangers are certainly not the most talented group in the Eastern Conference, but they know that getting hot at the right time, mixed with some solid defense, can lead to big accomplishments in the NHL. Do not expect New York to be a powerhouse by any means, but taking the over on 95.5 points, especially when the team scored 96 points last season, is an excellent spot to gamble on.

Doc’s Sports has a great offer for new clients. You can get $60 worth of picks from any Advisory Board handicapper for any sport he handicaps. All with no obligation and no credit card needed. Claim your free picks today .

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