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NHL Betting: Early Surprises and Disappointments

NHL Betting: Early Surprises and Disappointments

NHL Betting: Early Surprises and Disappointments

Every game counts in the lockout-shortened NHL season and, believe it or not, we’re nearly a quarter of the way through the campaign already.

Here’s a look at three surprise teams that are off to a great start and three squads bettors didn’t expect to be disappointed in early on.

Surprise teams

Montreal Canadiens (6-2-0 SU, 3-5 ATS, 4-4 O/U)

Stanley Cup futures - Opened: 40/1, Now: 40/1

The Canadiens were expected to be the basement dwellers in the East this season, but the Habs have surprisingly skated to a strong start. Bettors on the puckline aren’t enjoying much success, though, and Montreal hasn’t had an early edge on totals. The Habs’ schedule has been home-heavy and they’ll have to prove to oddsmakers they can win consistently on the road before they consider moving Stanley Cup futures.

Tampa Bay Lightning (6-3-0 SU, 7-2 ATS, 5-3-1 O/U)

Stanley Cup futures – Opened: 25/1, Now: 25/1

The Lightning have also benefited from a ton of home games early on, resulting in a league-best 7-2 record on the puckline. Tampa Bay dropped the first contest of a four-game road swing in Philadelphia Tuesday. It won’t get any easier for the Lightning with visits to New Jersey, Boston and New York up next.

Anaheim Ducks (6-1-1 SU, 6-2 ATS, 3-5 O/U)

Stanley Cup futures – Opened: 30/1, Now 20/1

The Ducks have earned points in seven of their eight games this season and are winners of three straight. Backup netminder Victor Fasth is off to a red-hot start, boasting a perfect 3-0 record with a 1.30 GAA behind Jonas Hiller. The Ducks are also having success finding the back of the net, averaging 3.5 goals per game – the second-best mark in the league.

Teams not meeting bettors’ expectations

Los Angeles Kings (3-3-2 SU, 2-6 ATS, 4-3-1 O/U)

Stanley Cup futures – Opened: 9/1, Now: 16/1

The Stanley Cup hangover wasn’t supposed to be a factor for the Kings because of the lockout, but it appears as though they’ve succumbed to the curse. Injuries to Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene on the back end haven’t helped the cause and bettors certainly aren’t happy with the team’s results on the puckline. Los Angeles seemed like a steal when it opened at 9/1 value in Stanley Cup futures and now bettors can buy in at 16/1 if they aren’t afraid of the team's slow start.

New York Rangers (4-5-0 SU, 3-6 ATS, 3-6 O/U)

Stanley Cup futures – Opened: 8/1, Now: 9/1

The Rangers dropped three of their first four contests to put them behind the eight ball and have failed to string together more than two consecutive wins to get back on track. New York’s early schedule was jammed with tough divisional games, but some weaker opponents are on the horizon. The Rangers will have the chance to beat up on the Islanders (twice) and the Capitals in their next five games.

Detroit Red Wings (4-4-1 SU, 4-5 ATS, 5-4 O/U)

Stanley Cup futures – Opened: 12/1, Now: 30/1

The Red Wings have been the model of consistency in the NHL for years, but now they're dealing with the loss of franchise defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom. Detroit was cruising along slightly above .500 before dropping back-to-back contests to the lowly Flames and Blue Jackets. Injuries to key penalty killers Darren Helm and Mikael Samuelsson have really hurt the Wings, who have the third-worst PK in the league at 69.8 percent.

All futures odds are courtesy of the LVH. Stats are prior to action Feb. 6.

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