Who says hockey can’t be a summer sport? We are just two days away from the NHL’s return to the ice, with eight qualifying series and two round-robin tournaments in store.
In the qualifying round, 16 teams will compete in best-of-five series with the winners advancing to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Four Eastern Conference matchups are taking place in Toronto: No. 5 Penguins vs. No. 12 Canadiens, No. 6 Hurricanes vs. No. 11 Rangers, No. 7 Islanders vs. No. 10 Panthers and No. 8 Maple Leafs vs. No. 9 Blue Jackets.
Meanwhile in Edmonton, four Western Conference showdowns are occurring: No. 5 Oilers vs. No. 12 Blackhawks, No. 6 Predators vs. No. 11 Coyotes, No. 7 Canucks vs. No. 10 Wild and No. 8 Flames vs. No. 9 Jets.
Over the past month, no series price has shifted as much as Hurricanes-Rangers. The favored Hurricanes have dropped from -145 to -135, while the Rangers have seen their odds improve from +125 to +115.
The move can be attributed to the fact that no team participating in a qualifying series has been generating more action than New York.
The Rangers have received 91% of the total number of tickets and 92% of the total dollars wagered to win their matchup, which leads all teams in both categories. That includes one New Jersey bettor who put down $8,407 on Rangers +115 for a total potential payout of $18,075.05, which is the largest total potential payout as of now on any qualifying series bet at William Hill.
Besides the Rangers, there are a couple of other underdogs that have caught the attention of bettors. The Blue Jackets (+150), Wild (+110) and Jets (+105) have all captured the majority of both the total number of tickets and total dollars wagered in their respective qualifying series.
In fact, despite Columbus’s price as the second-biggest underdog in any qualifying series (only the Canadiens are higher at +200), the Blue Jackets rank second in total dollars wagered (83%) and third in total number of tickets (70%) among all teams.
Check out William Hill’s latest odds and trends for the NHL’s qualifying round below, which is available to bet in Nevada, New Jersey and Iowa.
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