There are more ways to bet on hockey than just individual games.
Futures betting allows you to wager on the season-long results of any particular team, often at some pretty juicy odds.
The most popular type of futures bet is who will win the league championship. If you took the favoured Washington Capitals at the +550 odds they are offered at at 5Dimes, you could win $110 on a $20 wager. The Pittsburgh Penguins (+650) and defending champion Chicago Blackhawks (+750) are also tempting propositions with nice paybacks. Even the Vancouver Canucks (+1000), Detroit Red Wings (+1200) and San Jose Sharks (+1300) aren’t ridiculous long shots to win the Cup, but they would still return more than $200 on a $20 futures bet.
There are other types of futures betting options as well. You can bet on who will finish first in either conferences or the divisions, or you can even bet whether a team will finish over or under a projected number of victories.
One proposition that has caught my eye is the Philadelphia Flyers’ season win total.
Last time we saw the Flyers, they lost the Stanley Cup final to Chicago on that ugly overtime goal by Patrick Kane. And that’s a big reason why I think Philadelphia will finish under the season win total of 44.5 this upcoming season.
Over the past 16 seasons, teams that have lost in the Stanley Cup final have struggled mightily the following year. In fact, during that span, only three Cup runners-up have improved their win totals the next season. Six of them didn’t even manage to play .500 hockey a season after reaching the finals.
And there should be an asterisk beside two of those three Cup finalists that improved the following season. The Calgary Flames won four more games the season after losing the Cup final to Tampa Bay, but that season came two years later after the lockout canceled the 2004-05 campaign. And the Red Wings won 62 games a year after losing the 1995 finals, but that 1995 season featured only 49 games.
It seems like the Cup winners get the champagne, while the losers are stuck with the hangover.
That brings us back to the Flyers.
As mentioned earlier, the over/under on Philadelphia’s season win total at Pinnacle Sports is 44.5. In order for Philly to exceed that number, the Flyers would have to win at least four more games than they did last season.
Add in the facts that Chris Pronger is another year older, Sean O’Donnell and Kimmo Timonen are two other greybeards on the blue line, and the Flyers still haven’t exactly got a stud in net. Simon Gagne also left during the summer.
Do you think Philadelphia will actually be better than last year? I don’t, and futures betting allows me to put my money where my mouth is.