Updated NHL Futures: Feb. 26

With most teams having played around 20 games so far this season, we are about 40 percent of the way through the lockout-shortened 2013 NHL campaign. As to be expected, not all of the futures odds favorites from the beginning of the season have panned out, while other contenders have emerged as the season has gone along. With less than 40 games remaining for many squads, it’s time to start making a move towards the postseason. Here is a closer look at a couple of the Stanley Cup favorites at this point in the season, as well as valuable dark horse pick.

Favorites – Chicago Blackhawks – 5/1

The Chicago Blackhawks have gotten off to the best season start in NHL history, so naturally they have zipped up the futures charts to the top spot at 5/1 odds. After amassing 35 points in just 19 games with a 16-0-3 record, the Blackhawks are certainly the team to beat right now and they’ll likely be very popular in the futures wagers. The fact is they are one of the league’s best teams, but they are also hot right now and no one can expect them to keep this up all year. The real task will be maintaining this level of play come playoff time. It’s safe to say they have overachieved so far, but I would wait to take this bet until they are tested by some losses. The way in which they bounce back and respond to defeat will be more of a indication of their title worthiness.

Favorites – Pittsburgh Penguins – 15/2

The Penguins began the season as the odds-on favorite to win the 2013 Stanley Cup and they haven’t dropped far from that perch, as they currently stand as the No. 2 team on the list at 15/2. The Penguins are among the points leaders in the Eastern Conference, proving they deserved the preseason hype with a 13-6-0 record so far this season.

The Penguins are pacing themselves, but of course the biggest thing they have going for them is their talented roster, which is the reason they have been so highly-touted all year long. When you have Sidney Crosby, James Neal and Marc-Andre Fleury all playing well, you can beat just about any team on any given night. Bottom line: The Penguins are still a strong pick at 15/2 odds.

Dark Horse – Nashville Predators – 33/1 

The Predators are in an ugly slump over their last few games, but they have one of the best defenses and goaltending teams in the league and as we all know, it doesn’t matter what sport you are in, defense wins championships. The Predators are giving up around two goals per game, so as long as they keep that up and begin to see a little more production on the offensive end, they could climb up the standings and secure a good playoff spot at the end of the year. Despite only scoring around two goals per game, the Preds have managed to go 9-6-5 this season. A little good fortune, and they could be a top contender out West. Plus, you are getting great value for this club at 33/1.

Here is a look at the rest of the Futures Odds, courtesy of Bovada.lv.

Chicago Blackhawks
5/1
Pittsburgh Penguins
15/2
Boston Bruins
10/1
St. Louis Blues
10/1
Vancouver Canucks
10/1
Anaheim Ducks
12/1
New York Rangers
16/1
Montreal Canadiens
20/1
San Jose Sharks
20/1
Los Angeles Kings
22/1
New Jersey Devils
22/1
Carolina Hurricanes
25/1
Minnesota Wild
25/1
Detroit Red Wings
30/1
Toronto Maple Leafs
30/1
Edmonton Oilers
33/1
Nashville Predators
33/1
Ottawa Senators
33/1
Philadelphia Flyers
33/1
Tampa Bay Lightning
33/1
Dallas Stars
40/1
Phoenix Coyotes
50/1
Washington Capitals
50/1
Winnipeg Jets
66/1
Calgary Flames
75/1
New York Islanders
75/1
Buffalo Sabres
100/1
Colorado Avalanche
100/1
Florida Panthers
150/1
Columbus Blue Jackets
250/1

 

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