Shane Lambert takes an early look at the 2017 NHL season and he likes bets on the Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs at big prices ante post.
Early-market odds are out for the 2017 Stanley Cup. Not surprisingly the Pittsburgh Penguins have opened as favourites with their recent championship still fresh in everyone's mind. For example, Paddy Power have opened the Pens at 17/2 to win the Stanley Cup straight up.
However, I have a simple policy with early markets - don't tip the favourites. My reasoning is that anything at short odds can take a pretty big bet in order for it to get interesting. I think punters that bet big on markets that won't be settled for a year are in danger of overly committing their bankroll to such a market and then having to redeposit due to the far-off settle date. Furthermore, my experience is that the odds on the favourites aren't likely to shorten any time soon as they are usually close to the ceiling when it comes to potential for improvement.
However, I have no problems looking at some longshots in this market and, for starters; I'm not hating the Edmonton Oilers at 75/1 with each-way terms of half odds at 1-2. The Oilers had a disappointing season to start the Connor McDavid era, but I can attribute a lot of that to their point-per-game centre missing half the season with injury. Furthermore, Edmonton will be under pressure to do well this upcoming season as they move into a new building.
I also think that head coach Todd McLellan will be determined next season as he could come under the gun if he's not. McLellan left San Jose following 2014/15 and the Sharks then made the Stanley Cup Finals in their first year without him. That doesn't make him look good and the pressure in Edmonton could cause some off-season improvements oriented around McDavid.
I don't actually like Canadian-based franchises in the mixed North American leagues as I believe there might be a bias against them due to the need to present these sports to partisan American viewership. However, that's just one dimension of the market and 75/1 on the Oilers sure as heck solves that concern for me.
I also think that Toronto might get it in gear soon. Even without a great line-up, Mike Babcock is still the head coach and Toronto have the top pick in the draft, possibly to barter. There's been plenty of buzz about the Leafs and transaction rumours of late and that's a good thing. Right now they are last favourites, so if things shake up they can only improve. At 90/1, that's good for me with each-way options recommended.
1.5 point each way on Edmonton at 75/1 with Paddy Power
1 point each way on Toronto at 90/1 with Paddy Power