DENVER (KDVR) — The money is on Colorado to win the Stanley Cup this year, though early season betting lines aren’t always the best predictor of the eventual winner.
“They’re the most popular team not only in the odds and being the favorites, but also in terms of bettors’ eyes as well,” said Geoff Ulrich, the National Hockey League analyst for betting site DraftKings. “Nobody can really pick another team right now that’s got that sort of momentum just in terms of the volume of bets that’s coming in.”
Simply put, Ulrich said the Avalanche have been consistently good for too long, and with too few weak points, to not be the favorite.
“What makes the Colorado Avalanche a favorite team and a favorite in the betting odds and just a favorite for people to bet on is the fact that they’re good,” he said. “This is a team that’s been very solid for a few years now and people can see.”
According to DraftKings’ sports book, $1 in $3 bet on the 2021-22 NHL champions has it for the Avalanche, 33% of the Stanley Cup handle in total.
The amount of cash placed on a Colorado Avalanche Stanley Cup is far beyond any other NHL team. The next most heavily-bet team, the New York Islanders, has only 11% of the Stanley Cup handle.
Odds themselves also heavily favor the Avalanche.
Colorado’s odds in the DraftKings sports book are +475, meaning a bettor would win $475 on a $100 bet.
The NHL’s other top favored teams don’t come close to those odds. The Tampa Bay Lightning and Vegas Golden Knights both have +700 odds.
Ulrich said it’s unusual to see that big a difference between favorites.
“You don’t see that necessarily every year,” he said. “I think Colorado, with their roster and just how consistent they’ve been in terms of the top teams, this is a team that people have expected to break through. They’ve got the big star in Nathan McKinnon.”
Despite the early hype, though, Ulrich said early betting favorites don’t always accurately predict who eventually wins.
“If we’re being dead honest, the percentage isn’t great,” he said. “I’d be lying if I had the exact number in front of me, but it’s not over 50%. Typically, the betting favorites don’t get there. Generally, we do see a lot of teams coming from not necessarily way back in the pack. Even if you go back to last year, Tampa wasn’t the betting favorite. You can take it further back with Tampa – they were in the Colorado Avalanche spot for a few years in a row, and they had a ton of trouble getting to the finals, even.”