NHL 2016-17 Winner predictions & preview:
The 2016-17 NHL starts tonight and to get you a good picture of who the viking’s favourites are for this season we’ve compiled this preview with our winner predictions for the 2016-17 Stanley cup aswell as the conference winners. Last season gave us one of the most predictable Stanley cup finals that we’ve seen in a while as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the San José Sharks in 6 games (4-2). The Penguins had a much harder route to the finals as they faced the Rangers, the Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning which are all top 7 teams (to be a bit modest) and each and every one of those team could’ve won the 2016 Stanley Cup. The Sharks on the other hand were only really impressive in their series against the Saint Louis Blues as the Sharks managed to avoid all the other heavy favourites in the in western conference as the Blues managed to defeat both the Dallas Stars and the Chicago Blackhawks. Though needless to say it was a much deserved victory for the Pittsburgh Penguins aswell as for the team legend Sidney Crossby. The team showed throughout the season that they were going to battle their way through every game, one of the highlights of their tremendous team spirit was in their game versus the Canadiens when Fleury got injured by Tyler Kennedy. Fleury who was bleeding from his face manned up and remained on the ice for the rest of the period.
NHL lock of the 2016/17 season:
This pick seems like a clear missprice as the bookmakers are currently valuing the pens below Tampa Bay and Washington. With such a close top-tier battle in this conference and with Pittsburg’s experience in mind aswell as the fact that the team remains almost completely intact there is at least +50 in value in this pick, though the team is currently ranked 1 on the power rankings from most of the major sports sites and the viking agree. This should probably be valued at around +300 and with the extra +150 of value you can easily pair this pick with one of the other favourites and one of the underdogs for a sweet payday before the final. The viking recommends locking Pittsburg and Tampa Bay at 1 unit each aswell as Florida Panthers at 0.5 units, this would make your total investment 2.5 units for a potential return of 4-5.5 units (for 250$ this would mean 400 – 550$).
Pittsburgh Penguins to win the eastern conference @ -185
Please note that this prediction features us friendly odds from the us friendly online sportsbook BetOnline.
NHL 2016-17 winner predictions:
As we said in our NBA winner predictions it’s important to look at the conference’s first before making any finals winner picks. Though one thing that is quite different from the NBA is that in the NHL it’s not only about the big star players but more about team depth and play-off experience. Well there is one thing that’s extremely important and that’s a good starting keeper, though there are quite a few elite goalkeepers in the league but as NHL is a sport where injuries are prone to happen it’s important to also have a top-tier secondary keeper. Now with all this mind it’s also important to consider the fact that the NHL is a much more even league than the NBA as both conference’s has at least 4 favourites to win the conference and 2-3 underdogs that are more than capable of winning the conference. With this in mind the best way of betting on the NHL play-offs for value is selecting a few favourites and betting 1 unit aswell as selecting 1-2 underdogs for 0.5 units (all the reasonable underdogs will have a betting odds that equal to 2x of the favourites). As we saw last year with the Sharks winning the western conference these things can and will happen. Now before we select our picks for the 2016-17 NHL season we need to examine the favourites aswell as the underdogs for each conference and determine which picks hold betting value.
NHL 2016-17 conference winner predictions:
The eastern conference favourites are the Pittsburg Penguins, Tampa Bay lightning and the Washington Capitals. A common denominator for all of those teams is that they all remain almost completely untouched since last season, furthermore all 3 of the teams went deep into the play-offs and all 3 will surely be at least top-10 teams this season aswell. Though with 3 very even favourites one thing that really stands out here is the Penguins acquisition of Mike Condon from the Canadiens, Condon really stepped up last season for Montreal and surely takes of some of the pressure that a potentially play-off injured Fleury could create, in contrast both the Capitals and the Lightning only runs with 2 goalies (though the goaltending stats from 2015-16 are extremely close for all 3 teams especially considering both GA and SA).
Why Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburg Penguins?
Well Pittsburg Penguins holds quite a bit of value this season (as we explained earlier in this article) as they should at least be at +400 but more realistically at +300 with their 2016 regular season and Stanley cup run in mind, they were the best team last season and they look to be the best team on paper this season aswell. Now the Capitals was arguably the second best team last season, however the viking feels like Tampa Bay just has more depth in their strengths than Washington.
The eastern conference underdogs picks:
Well for the underdogs of the NHL eastern conference there are really only two teams that are worth considering to bet on, namely; the New York Rangers and the Florida Panthers. The Rangers will remain one of the viking’s favourite underdogs as long as they have Lundqvist in the goal, one could argue that the same could be said about the Canadiens but with the departure of PK Subban it feels like Montreal will be an up and down team. The Panthers really stepped up last season with Jaromir Jagr leading the team into the play-offs (yes he will be playing this season aswell as surprising as that may seem) and they look to do even better this season with the acquisition of Keith Yandle and Jason Demers.
Betting on the eastern conference:
The viking’s recommendation for betting on the eastern conference winner is a 3-way split with 1 unit on Tampa and Pittsburg aswell as 0.5 units on Florida. Your total investment at 100$ units will be 250$ and you will win 400$-550$ if the selection hits. If you’re looking to bet big money this is the best alternative, however a medium-high stake on the Panthers or on the Penguins could also prove to be a smart route as you can start hedging out the value of those bets if either team makes it to the second round or (preferably) the conference finals (just bet on the other side to win and guarantee some of your profit, preferably at least 2x your initial bet for it to be worthwhile).
Pittsburgh Penguins to win the eastern conference @ +450
Tampa Bay Lightning to win the eastern conference @ +400
Florida Panthers to win the eastern conference @ +1100
The western conference has 4 even favourites in the Sharks, the Blackhawks, the Blues and the Stars. However the viking believes that the Sharks line is a bit misspriced due to their last Stanley cup final appearance and should be at least +200 higher (which makes the Sharks quite a bad bet). Now all 3 of Dallas, Chicago and Saint Louis are 3 very strong teams and it’s quite likely that one of those teams will win the conference. Dallas looked like they would win it all in last year’s regular season but in the play-offs it’s all about experience which made the feel rather lackluster in their play-off run, with last year’s lessons learnt and the core still in the team this should be their year. Now we have the Blues which out of the 3 got furthest last season but they traded away Elliot which means that Allen will be their new no.1 keeper this season, though they did knock-out the Blackhawks out of the Stanley cup last year and that’s sure to give them a big boost heading into this season (one could say it eases the disappointment from loosing the conference final as that series was way more conference final worthy). Finally there’s the Blackhawks; a team that has won 3 out of the last 7 Stanley cup finals, as with the other big teams there not much to changing a winning concept but the Blackhawks did make one major trade which was Andrew Shaw to the Canadiens, though did they acquire Brian Campbell to strengthen their defense which might just be what they need to avoid loosing to the heavily offensive Blues yet again.
The lone underdog Nashville Predators:
The only underdog pick that seems to hold value here is the Predators. The young and offensive team acquired PK Subban during the transfer window to boost their already strong offense. With their recent play-off run in mind to add to the team experience it feels like this could be Nashville’s year.
Betting on the western conference:
The best way of betting on the western conference would yet again be a 3-way split on either the Stars, Blues and the Blackhawks or at the Stars, Blackhawks and the Predators. 3 units on the first combo would yield 500$-650$ for a 300$ investment and 2.5 units on the second combination would yield 600$ for a 300$ investment. To gain the most value here you should really bet on the Stars and the Blackhawks here for 500$-650$ on a 200$ investment, that selection has an implied value of 1/3 on hitting and with that in mind it’s clear that the combination holds a lot of value (not 100% but at least 50%). If you’re going with only 1 pick here then consider the taking Blackhawks, this is the team with the most play-off experience in the entire NHL pair that with the fact that they’ve a star offensive, strong goaltending in Crawford and an elite defense.
Chicago Blackhawks to win the western conference @ +600
Saint Louis Blues to win the western conference @ +650
Nashville Predators to win the western conference @ +600
Dallas Stars to win the western conference @ +500
Not sure where to watch the games live? Head over to our Livestream page to find a suitable stream now!
NHL 2016-17 Stanley cup winner predictions, picks & odds:
Now for the 2016-17 Stanley cup winner we recommend that you yet again go for a 3-way selection; The Penguins + the Blackhawks + the Stars. For a 3 unit 300$ investment that would yield 900$-1400$. If you’re looking for pure value here then consider placing singles on either the Blackhawks, Stars or the Panthers as all 3 of them are a bit underpriced (holding value).
Pittsburgh Penguins to win the 2016-17 Stanley cup @ +900
Tampa Bay Lightning to win the 2016-17 Stanley cup @ +800
Florida Panthers to win the 2016-17 Stanley cup @ +2200
Chicago Blackhawks to win the 2016-17 Stanley cup @ +1200
Saint Louis Blues to win the 2016-17 Stanley cup @ +1200
Nashville Predators to win the 2016-17 Stanley cup @ +1400
Dallas Stars to win the 2016-17 Stanley cup @ +1400