NHL Futures (04/02/14)

By John Ewing
With less than two weeks and a handful of games remaining in the NHL regular season, teams are jockeying for playoff position. As the postseason approaches, we look ahead by simulating the Stanley Cup Playoffs and find value in hockey futures. Odds courtesy of Bovada.lv.

To setup our NHL Playoffs we used our rest of season projections to determine which teams would make the postseason. Spoiler Alert – the current NHL first-round playoff matchups are not going to change.
After 50,000 simulations of our most likely NHL Playoffs, the Boston Bruins win the Stanley Cup. The Bruins win 31.0% of all simulated tournaments. In the most likely Stanley Cup Finals, Boston defeats the St. Louis Blues. The Stanley Cup Playoffs appear to be a two team race as the Bruins and Blues combine to win 57.0% of all simulated tournaments.
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 win the Cup. For example, Chicago is listed at 13/2 to win the championship, in order for us to feel comfortable wagering on the Blackhawks they would need to win it all 13.3% (which is 2/(13+2)) of the time. We project Chicago to win it all 5.0% of the time, meaning there is no value in placing a bet at 13/2 odds.
Boston Bruins (52-17-6, 110 points, Clinched the Atlantic)
Current odds: 9/2, Odds needed in order to place a wager: 18.2%
Boston wins the Stanley Cup 31.0% of the time
The Bruins sit atop the Eastern Conference with an NHL-best 110 points. Boston clinched the division and a playoff berth with a 15-1-1 record in the month of March. The Bruins offer a unique betting opportunity – lots of value in the odds on favorite to win the championship.
St. Louis Blues (51-17-7, 109 points, Clinched Playoff Berth)
Current odds: 5/1, Odds needed in order to place a wager: 16.7%
St. Louis wins the Stanley Cup 26.0% of the time
The Blues went all-in by acquiring goaltender Ryan Miller and center Steve Ott at the trade deadline. St. Louis has not been to the final since 1970 and has never won the Cup.
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 9/2 18.2% 31.0%
Blues 5/1 16.7% 26.0%
Blackhawks 13/2 13.3% 5.0%
Penguins 7/1 12.5% 10.0%
Sharks 8/1 11.1% 4.0%
Ducks 10/1 9.1% 9.0%
Kings 12/1 7.7% 0.0%
Flyers 14/1 6.7% 1.0%
Avalanche 20/1 4.8% 4.0%
Canadiens 22/1 4.3% 1.0%
Rangers 22/1 4.3% 4.0%
Lightning 25/1 3.8% 4.0%
Wings 33/1 2.9% 0.0%
Blue Jackets 40/1 2.4% 1.0%
Wild 40/1 2.4% 0.0%
Stars 66/1 1.5% 0.0%