Ranking the 16 NHL playoff teams by futures value

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After a delightfully confounding NHL season, complete with ridiculous scoring, a historically great top team and some desperation bids to claim the final playoff spots, the field for the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs is sure to provide entertainment value. But what is it going to provide bettors?

Courtesy of the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, the odds to win the Stanley Cup offer plenty of intrigue. With an eye on helping you parse through the legitimate value bets and which landmines to avoid, NHL writers Greg Wyshynski and Chris Peters got together to rank all 16 teams, from the best value bet to win the Cup to the worst.

Wyshynski provides the details on the Western Conference, with Peters taking on the East.

16. Columbus Blue Jackets (30-1)

After clawing their way into the playoffs, the Blue Jackets earned the privilege of going toe-to-toe with the best NHL team of the past 20-plus years. Barring a stunning performance from Sergei Bobrovsky, who carries an .891 career postseason save percentage into the playoffs, it's hard to see any scenario where the Jackets escape the first round, let alone win the whole thing.

15. Colorado Avalanche (25-1)

The problem with the Avalanche is a bit like the problem the "Ocean's 11" crew faced in their heist: Once they get into the cage, through the security doors there and down the elevator they can't move, and past the guards, into the vault they can't open ... they're still in the middle of the flippin' desert. That's essentially what beating the Flames, the winner of the Sharks and Golden Knights, the winner of the Central and then either the Lightning or the team that slayed Goliath is like.