NHL Futures Betting
by Mike of Predictem.com
We have many takes on betting NHL futures. Before we get into the pros and con's, we'll explain what an NHL future is. Be sure to read the whole article as at the bottom we give some tips on how to win these bets.
NHL futures are proposition bets that offer a season long wager that has nothing to do with money lines, totals or single game betting. They are bets that come out before the season starts in which you select which team you think will win their division, or conference or the Stanley Cup. If you correctly select a winner, you are likely to get paid handsomely as these pay nice fat odds.
Other wager offerings you may see in the NHL futures sections of sportsbooks are teams to go "over" or "under" a certain amount of wins for the season, player to win certain awards at the end of the season such as the scoring title, the best goals against average, etc.
If you are picking a team to win the Stanley Cup, some really nice odds can be found. I can't imagine what it felt like for bettors who were holding tickets on the Edmonton Oilers or Carolina Hurricanes in 2006. That year, the 8th seed Oilers extended the 5th seed Hurricanes to 7 games in the final round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
There is no doubt the sportsbooks were clinching their pocketbooks to pay out the big juicy plus money that a 5th and 8th seed would have fetched at the start of the playoffs. However, they probably still raked it in on powerhouses such as Detroit - San Jose - Buffalo (that season) & Ottawa were all gone and were probably carrying the majority of the dough.
This is the very essense of smart betting with futures. Of course it is very easy to slap down some cash on a top tier team and hope they survive the war of attrition that is the Stanley Cup playoffs. Or, you can plunk down some smaller amounts on longshot teams and root all season long for a monster payout while laying out minimal loot.
What we don't like about prop bets is that you have to tie your money up from late September or early October until June, a time that spans approximately 10 months. During those 10 months, you could feasibly be taking those same dollars you're risking and multiply them many times over by picking sides/totals/teasers/parlays etc. during the regular NHL season. (Assuming your a sharp NHL gambler.)
Another thing to consider when betting NHL futures bets is that you're laying them at an online sportsbook that is rock solid. One that isn't a fly by night operation and that has been in business for quite some time with a good track history. Our best recommendation for such a bookmaker is 5Dimes.
If you're laying small loot throughout the season as you win games, it's really not that big of a deal, and you can chalk it up to more of an investment.
The key is to look for teams that are being undervalued as the season goes on. At time of print, (in 2009) the Pittsburgh Penguins dropped down to 75-1 after losing games throughout the month of December & January.
After replacing their coach, the Penguins went on a 20-3 run and ended up winning the Stanley Cup.
Tip: When betting over/under on team wins, keep in mind that bad teams always seem to get better (except the Toronto Maple Leafs) as they've worked hard in the off-season to bring in more talent and/or have grabbed some nice draft picks.
Often times, a novice bettor's memory stems back to the previous season, not taking these things into consideration. Many bad teams have their win totals set very low and these can act as low hanging fruit that you can pick off for tasty dividends!
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