August 20, 2020
Let's be clear right off the top. The Flyers are a damn good hockey team. And really, aside from their Game 2 stinker against Montreal, they haven't been bad at all in the bubble in Toronto.
But their inability to close out the 12-seeded Canadiens in Game 5 seems to have many, at least those who set betting odds, a bit concerned. As we all learn the hard way sometimes, sportsbooks seems to almost always be right. Which makes their concerns Flyers' fans concerns.
First the numbers.
When the postseason started, the Flyers entered the bubble with +1000 odds to win the Stanley Cup, according to consensus odds at TheLines.com. After their domination in the round robin and ascension to the No. 1 seed, the Flyers saw their odds jump to +600, tied for the best in hockey via FanDuel (at TheLines.com).
Philly went ahead 3-1 after back-to-back Carter Hart shutouts, but then faltered Wednesday night in an eventful 5-3 setback in Game 5. Philly's consensus odds now stand at +714 — down to fifth in the NHL.
Do their decreasing odds have as much to do with them as they do with other teams?
|Team||Round 1||Cup odds|
|Las Vegas||Won, 4-1||+353|
|Tampa Bay||Won, 4-1||+449|
Of the team's yet to clinch, Philly has the best title odds (the other three ongoing series have teams with worse odds that Philadelphia does). In Friday's Game 6, Philly is favored at -1.5, via TheLines.com.
If Flyers fans are confident, this might be the time to get in on things. With one more win, the Flyers will advance to face either the Bruins, Capitals or Islanders and be favored to win. Philly has yet to get a single goal from any of their top five regular season goal scorers and many may argue they have not played their best hockey yet.
It might also be a good time to hop on them to win the Eastern Conference, as they currently trail the Lightning and Bruins in that category as well.
There is a little more uncertainty on Thursday than there was on Wednesday, but the Flyers are still one of the best teams in the NHL and have all the tools necessary to make a run at a championship. If there are any silver linings, it's that their temporary loss of momentum does give gamblers a chance to cash in.
And if you aren't into that, just take solace in knowing that the Flyers have defied the odds before — this season at that:
All along the way, the Flyers have seen their Stanley Cup odds continually improve. Back in February, they were barely projected to make the playoffs, and their odds of winning the whole damn thing were long. As they begin to move up, they saw their odds climb to the +2500 range, and by the time the calendar turned to March, the Flyers were up into the ninth best odds in all of hockey at +1600.
The season was halted about two weeks later, with the Flyers going 3-1-0 over their final four games. And by the time they reconvened for training camp, their odds had improved to +1000 at FanDuel, according to PlayPennsylvania.com. [Matt Mullin]
The puck drops for Game 6 at 7 p.m. Friday night.
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