By Adrian Dater | | 3 mins
Avalanche A Great Value Bet to Win Cup After Smart NHL Draft
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At one point last season, the St. Louis Blues were +25000 to win the Stanley Cup. Bet $400, as one guy did, and you would have won $100,000. Based on the latest NHL futures odds, there are some good early betting opportunities for hockey fans looking for the next Stanley Cup dark horse.
While not a long shot, fans of NHL betting should take a long look at the Colorado Avalanche and their attractive +1700 odds.
Avalanche Load Up in NHL Draft
The Avalanche went into the draft with picks 4 and 16 in the first round, and they didn’t disappoint with the selection of defenseman Bowen Byram and center Alex Newhook, respectively.
Byram, the best defensive prospect in the draft, has a good chance at making the Colorado roster this fall. A lefty D-man, he should become a fixture on the Avalanche blue line opposite young righty phenom Cale Makar for years.
This is the biggest reason to believe Colorado now could become a perennial Cup contender. When a team has a reliable 1-2 defensive combo, it makes everything so much easier. When you don’t have to worry about the puck being in your own zone for long, when your top two are on the ice, winning becomes much easier.
The Avalanche already has one of the top lines in hockey, with Gabe Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. Add a top two defensive combo such as Makar and Byram to those three, and there should be plenty of dominant shifts ahead.
Building for the Long Haul
Newhook almost certainly won’t play in the NHL this season, but he shouldn’t be too far away from potentially being the team’s needed No. 2 center. He’ll play at Boston College in the interim.
Colorado also has a ton of money ($35.5 million) to play with under the league’s $81.5 million salary cap. They should be active on the free-agent market. This team already was young and a threat. After the draft, it’s younger and even more of a threat.
If they can add a top free agent (Artemi Panarin anyone?), Colorado becomes that much better. The Avalanche reportedly explored trading defenseman Tyson Barrie at the draft, but as of yet it hasn’t happened. If the Avs don’t land a big fish free-agent forward, a Barrie trade could be the vehicle that brings one.
The Avs made it to Game 7 of the second round, so +1700 aren’t longshot odds. If the payout becomes higher with this team moving forward, look at them as a potential buying opportunity. As we saw with the Blues, just because a team’s odds went way down doesn’t mean it’s a hopeless situation.