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Have you ever ended a relationship out of boredom to go in search of something new, only to realize what a great thing you had with your ex?
The early stages of the relationship were new, exciting, and passionate. Then, over time - it could have been weeks, months, years - you got bored for no real reason and ended things so you could chase that feeling again?
Now you're back on the open market looking for someone to give you exactly what you just had. But once you realize that, it's too late. What you had is gone and your ex is doing great. They're onto bigger and better things while you sit with the lights off in your basement listening to Radiohead, wondering how you could be so naive.
The Washington Capitals are that ex.
Following a first-round playoff exit and a quiet offseason, the Capitals began the year at a very reasonably priced 20-1 to win the Stanley Cup. Nine teams had shorter odds than the 2018 champions and perennial cup contenders.
Instead of capitalizing on that value by betting on a squad that's always among the last handful of teams still playing in late-April, people were too busy searching for something new and exciting. One of the most heavily bet teams this offseason, because of all the moves they made, was the New Jersey Devils. The price got driven all the way to 25-1. There's not one person holding a Devils futures ticket that doesn't have a considerable degree of regret.
Essentially, the betting public was digging for the next Washington Capitals, only the current Washington Capitals hadn't gone anywhere. The market was slow to adjust and now all the value is gone.
The Capitals are the current Cup favorites in most spots, with their odds shortening to as low as 5-1 in some places following a scorching 13-2-4 start to the season - the best in the league.
While you missed the boat with Washington, there's still time to hitch your wagon to few other teams before the value is gone.
Dallas Stars (25-1)
The price on the Stars was too short in September with them being somewhat of a popular preseason pick, but the value has been restored after they stumbled through the first few weeks of the season. Dallas has since battled back, winning seven of its last nine, and is just three points back of third place in the Central Division. The Stars are a deep team with experience, good puck movers on the blue line, solid goaltending, and good coaching. They could be 15-1 before long.
Montreal Canadiens (30-1)
At what point will the Canadiens start getting the love they deserve from oddsmakers? Hopefully, the answer is never. The Habs have taken 13 of a possible 16 points over their last eight games to move just three back of the Bruins for the division lead. And there's a lot to like about this Montreal team when it comes to its chances of winning in the playoffs.
The thing about the Habs is they can beat you in so many ways. They're capable of playing with speed and skill, but also won't back down from a fight. They have a deep group of forwards and can be exhausting to play against when they're rolling all four lines. Shea Weber is healthy and playing at an elite level, while Carey Price is zoned in and remains a front-runner for the title of world's best goaltender. The Canadiens also have the cap space and assets to make a splash at the trade deadline if they're in a position to do so.
Arizona Coyotes (30-1)
The Coyotes are constructed similarly to the Canadiens in the sense that they are a deep team that relies more on committee scoring than a few high-end skill guys. Nick Schmaltz and Clayton Keller have been excellent, among others, and it's only a matter of time before Phil Kessel starts scoring. Darcy Kuemper has been excellent and Antti Raanta is one of the league's best back-up goalies.
In a weak Pacific Division, the Coyotes a strong bet to secure a playoff berth. Once there, depth scoring and disciplined defensive play will make them a tough out.
Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.
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