Against The Odds: The Rangers Chances According to Vegas

The departures of Brian Boyle, Anton Stalman, and Benoit Pouliot are just 3, of a number of key off-season losses for the New York Rangers.

We’ve spent all summer yearning for the arrival of the new hockey season. We’ve spent hours upon hours looking at free agent signings, off season trades and departures, lingering injuries, contract negotiations, coaching changes, and Corsi ratings. We’ve discussed what this move could mean for that team, and what that signing could mean for this individual player, but at the end of the day, the games will soon be played, and just like any other season, the parts can either fall into place, or on the contrary, the wheels will very quickly (or not so quickly) fall off.

We can speculate all we want, but what about Vegas? What does the mecca of betting think about this upcoming hockey season? Where is the smart money headed this season? And most importantly, where do the Rangers fall within all of this?

Chicago celebrates winning the 2013 Stanley Cup

Well, according to VegasInsider.com, the defending Eastern Conference Champions aren’t exactly the favorites to win the Stanley Cup or even the Eastern Conference for that matter in 2015.

According to the future odds, the Rangers are the 10th most likely team to win the Cup, at 18/1 odds. Ahead of the Rangers are 6 Western Conference teams, and 3 fellow teams in the east. Topping the list however at 8/1 odds to go all the way are 3 teams. Those teams are the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, and the LA Kings, which is really no surprise seeing as those 3 teams have not only retained many important key players through the years, but have also won the past 5 Stanley Cup’s.

Pretty amazing when you step back and think about that.

Boston celebrates winning the 2013 Stanley Cup

Then take a look at the Eastern Conference. At the top of the list, clocking in with 3/1 odds to win the East are the Boston Bruins, followed closely by the Pittsburgh Penguins at 5/1. The Rangers are next, tied with the Canadiens and the Lightning at 8/1 odds. Broadly speaking, it would appear to the naked eye that the Rangers are in a similar, if not identical position to the one that they found themselves in at the end of last season.

Another popular betting site, Sportsbook.ag also has the Rangers in fine position, but just like VegasInsider, they are by no means the favorites. Sportsbook also has the Rangers at 18/1 odds, behind the same 3 Eastern Conference teams, ahead of the Colorado Avalanche, who on Sportsbook fall below the Rangers, where on VegasInsider they fell ahead of New York. Still though, on both sites, the main consistencies remain; Chicago, LA, and Boston make up the top 3, and the Rangers just about round out the top 10.

In reality though, what does this really mean?

Well, it means that if the Rangers are to make another run to the top, they will need to overcome some pretty big odds.

In past articles here on FullTilt, we’ve looked at whether or not the Rangers are the favorites to defend the Eastern Conference, and after detailed deliberation (excluding Vegas odds), we came to the conclusion that due to the number of question marks the Rangers have, especially in comparison to teams such as the Bruins, Penguins, Kings, and Blackhawks, the Rangers are not the favorites. The odds that sites such as VegasInsider and Sportsbook are currently showing, that sentiment is only further confirmed.

Rangers prospect Kevin Hayes looking to make his mark at the 2014 training camp.

While these are of course odds, and only odds, there’s nothing that we can say for sure. Perhaps Kevin Hayes will make the team by a hair and score 40 goals in his rookie campaign. Maybe Henrik Lundqvist will have his best season yet, keeping his GAA below 2. Maybe Rick Nash will even begin to look like a super star again and net 60 this year.

Who knows?

But what we do know is that with all the question marks the Rangers are facing this year, the smart money isn’t exactly heading their way. According to Vegas, the Rangers aren’t at the bottom of the list like teams like the Islanders, Buffalo, Calgary, and Nashville, but they also aren’t quite at the top. Right now the odds are against them, but hey, maybe that’s for the better.

You can never really know for sure, and that my friends, is why they play the games.