Within a crowded playoff field, the New York Islanders are anything but a lock to win the Stanley Cup this season. Now that most of the offseason is complete, it appears that major sportsbooks aren’t high on the Islanders after updating their odds.
The Islanders are typically favored at +5000 odds among most USA online sports betting sites to win it all come next June. Points Bet currently gives them the best odds at +3500. Meanwhile, many of the Islanders’ chief rivals are much more heavily favored.
The Carolina Hurricanes are the betting favorites among most sportsbooks, while the New Jersey Devils round out the top five with the Colorado Avalanche, Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers.
All of those were expected, though, as each is coming off a year in which they qualified for the playoffs. However, even some teams who missed the postseason a year ago are favored over the Islanders.
Adding the reigning Norris Trophy winner in Erik Karlsson gave the Pittsburgh Penguins a nice boost among sportsbooks. The same can be said for the Buffalo Sabres, who, although they didn’t make any significant moves this summer, added to their rosters and addressed at least some of their problems from last season.
As for the Islanders, they barely qualified for the playoffs last year despite issues with scoring and defending in front of their own net, and haven’t made any additions this offseason to fix them. Now, they’re returning with virtually the same roster, and it looks like sportsbooks are starting to notice.
However, while the Islanders may not be betting favorites, they’re still worth throwing a few dollars on. The Florida Panthers made a spectacular run all the way to the Stanley Cup Final last year after making the postseason as the final seed in the Eastern Conference. It goes to show that anything can happen in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
At the end of the day, though, the Islanders don’t have the strongest odds of winning the Stanley Cup this year, so no one would blame you for betting against them.
But maybe that’s exactly what the Islanders want.