Playoff Value Bets (04/15/14)

John Ewing, Director of Research and Analytics, @johnewing
After 50,000 simulations of the 2014 NHL Playoffs, we look for some value in the Stanley Cup future odds. Odds courtesy of

To determine if a team has value we look at what their current odds are to win the Stanley Cup and compare that to our projected odds that they hoist the Cup. For example, St. Louis is listed at 6/1 to win the championship, in order for us to feel comfortable wagering on the Blues they would need to win it all 14.3% (which is 1/(1+6)) of the time. We project St. Louis to win it all 5.8% of the time, meaning there is no value in placing a bet at 6/1 odds.

Boston Bruins (54-19-9, 117 points)
Current odds: 7/2, Odds needed in order to place a wager: 22.2%
Boston wins the Stanley Cup 26.6% of the time

There is a lot to like about this Stanley Cup contender. Boston has one of the best goalies in the league, Tuukka Rask, a candidate for this season's Vezina Trophy. By winning the President's Trophy, the Bruins will have home-ice advantage for the entire playoffs. The Bruins offer a unique betting opportunity – value in the odds on favorite to win the championship.

Anaheim Ducks (54-20-8, 116 points)
Current odds: 9/1, Odds needed in order to place a wager: 10.0%
Anaheim wins the Stanley Cup 13.7% of the time

The Ducks set franchise records in points and winning percentage to earn the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. Anaheim was upset last year in the first round but don't expect that to happen again. The Ducks join the Bruins as the only two teams projected to win their opening series more than 70% of the time.

Chicago Blackhawks (46-21-15, 107 points)
Current odds: 8/1, Odds needed in order to place a wager: 11.1%
Chicago wins the Stanley Cup 12.4% of the time

The defending Stanley Cup champions expect to have Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane back for the first round series against the reeling Blues. Our simulation was run under the assumption that the Blackhawks' stars would play. If Toews and Kane struggle to return from injury, this bet and Chicago's playoff hopes go out the window.

Below are the odds for each team to win the Stanley Cup. Plus, odds needed to place a wager and our projected odds for each team.

Team Stanley Cup Odds Odds Needed Projected Odds
Bruins 7/2 22.2% 26.6%
Blues 6/1 14.3% 5.8%
Penguins 7/1 12.5% 8.5%
Blackhawks 8/1 11.1% 12.4%
Ducks 9/1 10.0% 13.7%
Sharks 9/1 10.0% 8.4%
Kings 10/1 9.1% 4.2%
Avalanche 14/1 6.7% 5.4%
Red Wings 20/1 4.8% 0.7%
Canadiens 20/1 4.8% 1.8%
Rangers 20/1 4.8% 4.5%
Flyers 20/1 4.8% 1.1%
Lightning 25/1 3.8% 3.4%
Wild 40/1 2.4% 0.9%
Blue Jackets 50/1 2.0% 1.8%
Stars 50/1 2.0% 0.8%


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