After a Utah Jazz player tested positive for the coronavirus in March, pausing the regular season became a straightforward choice. It also made the Stanley Cup seem like a lost cause for 2020.
However, the NHL came up with a new plan to award the Stanley Cup in 2020. After a qualifying round, 24 teams would compete for the Stanley Cup in a round robin fashion. That left 189 un-played games in 2020, but it was the NHL’s best compromise between health and sports. Since the NHL rescheduled, Colorado’s sportsbooks had futures bets on the special tournament matches and the Stanley Cup winners. Here’s which sportsbooks have the best futures odds.
Colorado’s Sportsbooks NHL Special Tournament Odds
If bettors compare lines on the upcoming series of NHL games, they’ll quickly find a couple standout sportsbooks for betting on different lines. There are exceptions to the following trends, but the patterns hold across dozens of lines and all of Colorado’s sportsbooks.
Although there are eight lines, here’s one table that represents the important trends across Colorado’s sportsbooks:
There are two important trends this set of lines represents. The first is that DraftKings and BetRivers tend to have the bests odds on the underdog across these bets. That’s true for five of the eight series lines. The second is that BetMGM tends to have the best odds on the favorite to win. That’s true for six of the eight lines.
The Five Sportsbooks Without Series Lines
Only four of the nine Colorado sportsbooks (at the time of this writing) offer lines on the upcoming NHL series. Where are the other five?
Sky Ute Sportsbook and Circa Sportsbook don’t offer lines on hockey right now. SBK and BetMonarch have futures on Stanley Cup winners, but no lines on the series winners that’ll lead to the Stanley Cup playoffs. Finally, Fox Bet has lines on the seeding round winners and the outright winners, but only one set of series odds.
DraftKings also has one more set of lines on the upcoming NHL series. In addition to the lines above, DraftKings also has a three-way bet that includes a draw. The odds are better, but there’s a catch. Betting on an NHL draw implies a bettor’s belief that the game will go into overtime. The chances are slimmer, so the odds are higher. DraftKings is currently the only sportsbook with that option, but the other five could offer similar bets if the Stanley Cup tournament resumes at the end of July.
Colorado’s Sportsbooks Stanley Cup Futures
Diehard fans who believe in their teams can bet on their team going all the way and winning the Stanley Cup. Colorado’s sportsbooks are optimistic about the Avs’ chances at the Stanley Cup this year. (The Avs futures range from 700 to 880 points.) However, there are 23 other teams that people care about. That makes 24 futures lines across six sportsbooks. How are bettors supposed to decide where to bet?
Some sportsbooks have the best odds on a bunch of different teams. Other sportsbooks have the best odds on only a handful of teams. Here’s how many lines each of Colorado’s sportsbooks has the best odds on:
|Sportsbook||Number of Top Lines|
BetMonarch has the best odds on 13 futures lines. FanDuel comes in second with eight winning lines, leaving the other four sportsbooks in the dust. The total number of lines don’t add up to 24 because there are some lines where sportsbooks have the same odds. DraftKings and BetRivers both offer +650 odds on the Bruins winning the Stanley Cup. Those are better odds than the other four sportsbooks, so DraftKings’ and BetRivers’ odds are both counted in the table.
This doesn’t guarantee that sportsbooks have the best odds on one particular team. BetMonarch still only has the best odds on about half the lines. However, if bettors want to pick a sportsbook for futures at a glance, BetMonarch and FanDuel are competitive choices.
What About The Other Three Sportsbooks?
Once again, there are a few sportsbooks who haven’t offered Stanley Cup futures. Sky Ute Sportsbook and Circa Sportsbook don’t have hockey lines at all. That makes some sense, since they’re both recent entrants to Colorado’s sportsbook market.
However, BetMGM doesn’t have Stanley Cup futures up yet. BetMGM has lines on:
- NHL series winners–the odds from the previous section.
- Europe’s Champions Hockey League.
- The 2021 Men’s World Championships.
It’s unclear why BetMGM has futures on every competition besides the Stanley Cup. It could be that their oddsmakers haven’t gotten to it yet–that seems unlikely. It’s also possible that they’re unsure whether the Stanley Cup will be awarded in 2020.
If that’s one of BetMGM’s concerns, it’s a legitimate one. The Denver Nuggets had to close their practice facility because staff members and Nikola Jokic tested positive for the coronavirus. That crisis is unlikely to remain isolated to Colorado basketball. Sports teams across the country are filled with people who could be carrying the virus. If teams continue to struggle with the virus, it’s possible that the upcoming NHL series–and all rescheduled sports–could be delayed further.
Where To Bet For Colorado Futures
The best odds depend on what types of lines bettors are interested in. Here are the best sportsbooks for different kinds of futures:
|Series Underdog Bets||DraftKings & BetRivers|
|Series Favorite Bets||BetMGM|
|Stanley Cup Winner Futures||BetMonarch|
The pickiest bettors will still have to compare sportsbooks up to the minute to make sure they’re getting the best odds. However, these are good starting points and good choices for bettors who just want to pick a sportsbook.
Hopefully, the NHL resumes safely this year. But if it doesn’t, these will be the sportsbooks to watch when the next round of NHL futures are set.