On Sunday evening, the Colorado Avalanche clinched their first Stanley Cup title since 2001. Not only was Jared Bednar’s team the betting favorite entering the playoffs, but it also was at the top of the Stanley Cup odds board (+600) at the beginning of the 2021-2022 campaign.
How frequently does the preseason betting odds favorite in pro sports claim a championship? For this exercise in particular, we’ll examine the title winners from this century.
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Stanley Cup Betting Odds
|2020-21||Tampa Bay Lightning||+900||No|
|2019-20||Tampa Bay Lightning||+675||Yes|
|2018-19||St. Louis Blues||+3000||No|
|2013-14||Los Angeles Kings||+1200||No|
|2011-12||Los Angeles Kings||+1600||No|
|2007-08||Detroit Red Wings||+700||No|
|2003-04||Tampa Bay Lightning||+2500||No|
|2002-03||New Jersey Devils||+1200||No|
|2001-02||Detroit Red Wings||+450||Yes (Co-Favorite)|
|1999-2000||New Jersey Devils||+800||No|
NHL Market Value Evaluation
These Avs, along with the 2019-20 Lightning, 2014-15 Blackhawks and 2001-02 Red Wings, proved that favorites ending the season as the last team standing isn’t a simple task. But more importantly, this timetable showcases that there’s value to be had beyond the odds on favorite. The 2018-19 Blues are the prime example, with their midseason betting odds sitting as high as +15000 before they knocked off the Bruins to win their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
As of June 27, Colorado is the favorite to repeat across legal U.S. sportsbooks. FanDuel supplies the Avalanche’s best price tag ().
Super Bowl Betting Odds
|2021-22||Los Angeles Rams||+1200||No|
|2020-21||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+1000||No|
|2019-20||Kansas City Chiefs||+600||No|
|2018-19||New England Patriots||+600||Yes|
|2016-17||New England Patriots||+600||Yes|
|2014-15||New England Patriots||+650||No|
|2011-12||New York Giants||+2200||No|
|2010-11||Green Bay Packers||+1100||No|
|2009-10||New Orleans Saints||+2000||No|
|2007-08||New York Giants||+3000||No|
|2004-05||New England Patriots||+600||No|
|2003-04||New England Patriots||+1500||No|
|2002-03||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+1200||No|
|2001-02||New England Patriots||+6000||No|
|1999-2000||St. Louis Rams||+15000||No|
Potential For Longshots
Similar to the NHL, three of this century’s Super Bowl favorites attained the Lombardi Trophy at season’s end. Ironically enough, the 2016-17 Patriots could’ve been had at a cheaper price during the Big Game, as their live moneyline odds were +1100 while trailing the Falcons 28-3.
But unlike the other leagues mentioned, there’s more an opportunity to cash in sizable preseason odds because of the potential variance in a one-game scenario — juxtaposed to a series. The 2017-18 Eagles, 2007-08 Giants, 2001-02 Patriots and 1999-2000 Rams all won the Super Bowl with futures odds of +3000 or better.
The Buffalo Bills () are currently the betting odds favorite this time around. View the rest of the Super Bowl odds.
NBA Finals Betting Odds
|2021-22||Golden State Warriors||+900||No|
|2019-20||Los Angeles Lakers||+450||No|
|2017-18||Golden State Warriors||-190||Yes|
|2016-17||Golden State Warriors||-130||Yes|
|2014-15||Golden State Warriors||+2800||No|
|2013-14||San Antonio Spurs||+1200||No|
|2009-10||Los Angeles Lakers||+225||Yes|
|2008-09||Los Angeles Lakers||+350||Yes (Co-Favorite)|
|2006-07||San Antonio Spurs||+450||No|
|2004-05||San Antonio Spurs||+400||Yes|
|2002-03||San Antonio Spurs||+1100||No|
|2001-02||Los Angeles Lakers||+200||Yes|
|2000-01||Los Angeles Lakers||+180||Yes|
|1999-2000||Los Angeles Lakers||+400||No|
Depreciated Betting Worth
In contrast to the aforementioned leagues, 10 of the previous 23 NBA champions were the preseason betting odds favorite. Moreover, the Lakers (2019-20 and 1999-2000), Spurs (2006-07) and Heat (2005-06) were all priced within a dollar or less than top team in the title market that season. Hence, a bettor is rarely going to find much value when it comes to this sport.
With that being said, the runner-up in each of the last three seasons (Celtics, Suns and Heat) was +2000 or better to win its conference. So there still are longer team futures odds worth considering.
The Warriors () are favored to repeat as champs next season. See the rest of the NBA title odds.
World Series Betting Odds
|2020||Los Angeles Dodgers||+385||No|
|2018||Boston Red Sox||+1150||No|
|2015||Kansas City Royals||+3300||No|
|2014||San Francisco Giants||+2500||No|
|2013||Boston Red Sox||+2800||No|
|2012||San Francisco Giants||+2000||No|
|2011||St. Louis Cardinals||+2500||No|
|2010||San Francisco Giants||+2500||No|
|2009||New York Yankees||+500||No|
|2007||Boston Red Sox||+700||No|
|2006||St. Louis Cardinals||+700||No|
|2005||Chicago White Sox||+2200||No|
|2004||Boston Red Sox||+400||No|
|2000||New York Yankees||+250||Yes|
Favorites Rarely Cash In
Among the four leagues under the spotlight, MLB possesses the fewest preseason favorites to win a championship this century — the 2016 Cubs and 2000 Yankees. Hence, there’s occasionally betting value in World Series futures at or near the All-Star break. That’s a product of the unexpected hiccups over the course of a 162-game campaign.
For instance, the Braves were +5000 to win it all in August 2021 while the Nationals were +6000 in June 2019. Both of those teams were +1600 or better before the start of the regular season, and they also delivered at least a pair of starting pitchers who could carry them in October.
Unsurprisingly the Yankees are the odds on favorite () to win the 2022 World Series. Check in on the rest of the World Series odds.
Betting Odds Conclusion
What’s the biggest takeaway from this breakdown? Among these 67 World Series, Super Bowl and Stanley Cup winners (with the NBA representing the lone outlier), only nine of them (13.43%) were preseason favorites. Don’t always go searching at the top of the betting market.