by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
Bookmakers appear to be fading the Winnipeg Jets in Stanley Cup betting futures after their playoff stumbles in recent seasons.
The Jets are sitting at an early +3300 on the 2021 Stanley Cup odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The reigning champion Tampa Bay Lightning (+750) are listed as the favorite, followed by the Colorado Avalanche (+800), Vegas Golden Knights (+800) and Boston Bruins (+1200). The Toronto Maple Leafs (+1800), Edmonton Oilers (+2200) and Vancouver Canucks (+2500) are the only Canadian-based teams with a lower price than Winnipeg at online betting sites.
Last season, Winnipeg finished with a 37-28-4 record, good for 80 points across 71 games and 15th overall in the 31-team NHL. They lost in four games against the Calgary Flames in a best-of-five qualifying series in August. Goalie Connor Hellebuyck was the main reason the Jets remained competitive, fashioning a 2.57 goals-against average and .922 save percentage in 58 games to become the franchise’s first winner of the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goalie.
Since free agency opened on October 11, they have made one major signing, re-acquiring center Paul Stastny to add to a forward corps that featured five 20-goal scorers during the pandemic-shortened regular season, including Kyle Connor (38 goals, 73 points) and Mark Scheifele (29 and 73).
It is reasonable to believe the Jets will hold their place as a playoff team. But they have a tough road ahead in a Central Division that includes the aforementioned Avalanche, Dallas Stars (+2000) and St. Louis Blues (+2200). A 15th-overall finish is not exactly auspicious. Six of the NHL’s last eight Stanley Cup champion teams had a top-10 overall finish the season prior, with an average finish of 8.8.
Tampa Bay will have its nucleus intact, which means the Lightning should be given an excellent chance of being only the second team to win it all back-to-back during the salary cap era. Bettors who prefer looking for a team that has been knocking at the door for the past couple seasons might want to consider the Nathan MacKinnon-led Avalanche, who were one goal away from the Western Conference Final last season. Vegas will also be a popular play after signing star defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, who helped the Blues win the 2019 Stanley Cup.
Any fan considering a Boston wager on the NHL odds will have to take the surgeries that first-line wings Brad Marchand (sports hernia) and David Pastrnak (hip) underwent in September. Both stars face a recovery period and that could affect the Bruins’ regular-season prospects in 2020/21.
The Pittsburgh Penguins (+1800), Maple Leafs, and Washington Capitals (+1800) form the next rung of teams on the Stanley Cup futures board. There might be more value farther down with the likes of the Philadelphia Flyers (+2000) and Carolina Hurricanes (+2800). Both Metropolitan Division teams had a taste of success recently with relatively young lineups.