Hockey betting handicappers look to have a wide open race in the NHL’s Eastern Conference with several top online hockey betting contenders to choose from.
Last year’s Eastern Conference Champion Philadelphia Flyers were a surprise winner as the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins were upset losers in the 2010 playoffs.
It is interesting to note that the Flyers opened as a +1400 longshot at Sports-Gambling to win the 2011 Stanley Cup while the Caps were a +500 favorite in the Eastern Conference to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup with Pittsburgh a second choice at +650.
No other Eastern Conference team opened at less than +1400 as the Boston Bruins, who blew a 3-0 series lead to Philadelphia were at that price at Sports-Gambling.com while the New Jersey Devils opened at +1500 to win the Stanley Cup.
Philadelphia’s strength has always been their offense and they have a solid blue line to compliment the attack.
The Flyers big weakness is goaltending as neither Michael Leighton nor Brian Boucher commands a lot of confidence from ice hockey betting handicappers and it was goaltending that proved to be Philadelphia’s downfall in the Stanley Cup Finals against winner Chicago last year.
The Capitals won the President’s Trophy as the best regular season team last year before suffering a huge 7-game playoff upset loss to the Montreal Canadiens.
Washington remains a popular betting hockey commodity because of their big game talent and explosive offense which is headlined by Alex Ovechkin, arguably the best player in pro hockey. Center Niklas Backstrom is another key asset along with defenseman Mike Green.
Washington has excellent ownership and management that is committed to doing whatever it takes to win. The big question is whether or not Ovechkin can handle the increasing pressure that is building on this team to close the deal and hoist the Cup.
Pittsburgh is looking for a special year as they move into a sparkling new arena and have a star-studded lineup that is one of the most productive in all of hockey betting.
Superstar center Sidney Crosby is the marquee name but Evgeni Malkin, and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury are also attractions to gamblers.