The best bet in hockey today? That most of the Chicago Blackhawks are still actively celebrating Monday night’s Stanley Cup-clinching victory.
The second best? The Hawks will repeat as champs in 2016.
That’s the word from Bovada, anyway. The online bookmaker wasted no time setting the odds on the 2015-16 NHL season, installing Chicago as 7/1 favorites to hoist the old mug again next June.
The Tampa Bay Lightning earned some respect after putting on a good show in the final, but at 12/1 they’re not the favorites coming out of the Eastern Conference. That honor goes to the team they knocked out in seven games during the East finals, the New York Rangers, who are listed at 8/1 right behind the Hawks.
The most surprising line? How about the Edmonton Oilers at 33/1, equal to the Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets and ahead of 13 other teams, including three that qualified for the 2015 playoffs? Apparently Bovada is buying into the Connor McDavid hype, or at least they believe that gamblers will.
Here’s how the field lays out:
Blue Jackets: 33/1
Red Wings: 33/1
Maple Leafs: 66/1