By Adrian Dater | | 6 mins
3 Intriguing Stanley Cup 2020 Longshots To Pounce On Now
Ah, the darkhorse. In the NHL playoffs, it is the not-so-mythical creature that often gallops away with all the favorites’ money, leaving those in its wake wondering how it pulled it off. Last season, the top four seeds entering the NHL postseason lost to the bottom four seeds in the first round. The league’s last-place team on Jan. 1, 2019, the St. Louis Blues, went on to win the Stanley Cup.
That’s what makes betting on the NHL so fun, and backing the favorites so nerve-wracking. Upsets can, and often do, happen. Let’s take a close look at the latest NHL futures odds and find three dark horses NHL bettors should consider for the revamped 2020 playoff format.
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Note: Odds current as of publication.
Dark Horse 1: Chicago Blackhawks
At +7500 to win the Cup at BetRivers, the Blackhawks face the steepest odds of any team entering the playoffs. To win it all, they will have to win five rounds instead of the usual four (a best-of-five play-in round against Edmonton, then four more “regular” rounds).
Why do I like a team that went just 32-30-8 in the regular season? Because, I like the thought of veterans who have won Cups before (Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Corey Crawford) getting what might be one last collective kick at the can.
To me, Chicago looks dangerous in a short series against Edmonton. They’ve still got that tough veteran core, and I don’t love the Oilers’ goaltending. If Crawford can find some of the form that won him Cups in the past, I think this team could be a Blues-2019-style dark horse that does a lot of damage.
And hey, let’s not forget the team that won a Cup the last time a season was shortened (Chicago, in 2013). Make the bet at BetRivers.
Dark Horse 2: New York Rangers
They may not have nearly the depth of the top teams, but in some short series — including a best-of-five play-in round against Carolina — I think the Rangers will be dangerous.
First off, how cool is it to imagine Henrik Lundqvist, at 38, turning into Ponce de Leon and drinking from that Fountain of Youth for this thing? Hank seems well past his prime as a goaltender, but in a weird year already, isn’t it possible he could shock the world with some kind of great playoff run?
With forwards Artemi Panarin (95 points in 69 games), Mika Zibanejad (75 in 57) and solid top-six guys Chris Kreider and Ryan Strome, this is a team that I wouldn’t want to play in a short series. At +3000 to win the Cup at FoxBet, this is the kind of dark horse that’s worth a wager. Jump on those odds with FOXBet.
Dark Horse 3: Columbus Blue Jackets
Despite being among the top eight in the East at the time of the shutdown, the Blue Jackets’ playoff prospects didn’t look too good. Injuries, including a lengthy absence for top defenseman Seth Jones (ankle), was the major reason.
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Jones is healthy again, as are key, formerly injured guys such as Cam Atkinson and Oliver Bjorkstrand. It’s possible that imposing power forward Josh Anderson could be ready by the start of the playoffs, too. At +4500 to win the Cup at DraftKings, I like that potential return for a team that, let’s not forget, shocked Tampa Bay in the first round last year.
Columbus plays a tough, defensive game and have two calm, excellent puck-carriers in Jones and Zach Werenski. Columbus went 3-5-6 in games after Jones’ injury, but he’ll be back for a best-of-five play-in series against Toronto. Grab them at DraftKings.