The 2015-16 NHL ice hockey season got underway on the 7th October and the 30 teams must battle through their 82-game regular season matches before the best make it through to the Stanley Cup playoffs with the hope of becoming champions. Here we take a look at the leading contenders in the Stanley Cup outright betting market and we give our tips and predictions about what will transpire. We also have the latest live betting odds to ensure you get the best price, whichever side you decide to back for glory.

Last season it was the Chicago Blackhawks who won their second Stanley Cup in three years as they conquered the Tampa Bay Lightning by four games to two in the finals. They thus emulated the Los Angeles Kings’ achievement of winning two in three (as they won in 2012 and 2014) and we have a sneaking suspicion that the Blackhawks might just have it within them to make it three Cups in four years. Moreover, after a less than convincing start to the campaign – Chicago lost five of their opening 12 matches in the Central Division – they are also looking like excellent value in the outright betting market at betting odds of 23/2 with 10Bet.

Of course, for the Blackhawks to put themselves in with a chance of winning the Cup again, their form needs to start resembling that which they showed last season when they smashed all before them, getting past Nashville, Minnesota and Anaheim on the way to the finals against Tampa Bay.

If Chicago continue to meander in their somewhat sluggish manner in the Central Division, however, there are plenty of teams who look ready and willing to put themselves in contention to win the Stanley Cup. Chief amongst them has to be the Montreal Canadiens who won 11 of their first 13 matches of the 2015-16 NHL season and who could tempt plenty of punters at betting odds of 9/1 with Sky Bet to win the Stanley Cup. They are taking the Atlantic Division by storm as things stand, so much so that the odds of 13/10 with BetVictor for them to finish top is starting to look worth grabbing, and the 5/1 for them to win the Eastern Conference might also appeal.

The New York Rangers might well prove to be the big stumbling block to the Canadiens progressing to the finals from the Eastern Conference. A steady – rather than spectacular – start to the current campaign has shown us signs of a return to the effectiveness of the side that lost in the finals to the Kings in 2014, and if they can add a bit more consistency to their game, the Rangers will have a great chance of building up the necessary momentum to get into, and then progress through, the playoffs.

One side who might just have enough to challenge for their first ever Stanley Cup is the St Louis Blues, who are out at the 23/2 mark with 10Bet and who we predict could be the surprise package of the 2015-16 season. With a fine mix of dynamic players and a coaching team who are imaginative and great motivators, the Blues could even give the Blackhawks a run for their money when it comes to the playoffs.

Overall though, we feel it is the Blackhawks, who have been there and done it so well and so recently, that are the team to back in the outright Stanley Cup betting market. We predict they will grow as the season progresses and as soon as they hit their stride the other sides had better watch out because – at their best – the Blackhawks are simply unstoppable.


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