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Morning Coffee: A FanDuel Best Bet for Friday’s NHL action

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Feeling a little bit down after your bracket got busted? You’re not alone.

More than 99 per cent of March Madness bracket fans learned a difficult lesson on Thursday.

Per the NCAA, less than one per cent of brackets remain intact this morning.

Who among us knew that Atlanta Falcons star running back Bijan Robinson is better than most at both football and March Madness bracketology?

Meh. I’ll be impressed when he leads my fantasy football team to a league championship next season. Until then, he’s still got a lot to prove.

Speaking of a lot to prove, I promised the return of the FanDuel Best Bets to this column this month.

Promise made, promise kept.

The bad news is that your bracket is busted. The good news is that my FanDuel Best Bet has a better chance to cash than a potential perfect March Madness bracket at one in nine quintillion.

This is the Morning Coffee for Friday, March 22, 2024.

A FanDuel Best Bet for Friday’s NHL action

The final stretch of the NHL regular season is important to some.

There is a lot left to be determined in both the Eastern and Western Conference playoff races.

We also have three of the best teams in the NHL competing for first place in the Central Division.

The Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, and the Winnipeg Jets are all among the top 10 choices to win the Stanley Cup at FanDuel.

As of late Thursday night, those three contenders are once again tied for the Central Division lead.

Winnipeg, Colorado, and Dallas are tied with 93 points.

The Jets and Avalanche have 13 games left on their regular-season schedules. The Stars have 12 games remaining.

The division winner will get home-ice advantage for at least the first two rounds of the playoffs. The other two teams will be forced to go head-to-head in the opening round.

Only five NHL teams have a more difficult remaining stretch of schedule than Dallas, based on combined points percentage.

However, the Stars have also played one more game than both teams they are competing with for the division title.

On the flip side, only five NHL teams have a more difficult remaining strength of schedule than Winnipeg.

Ten teams have a more difficult remaining strength of schedule than Colorado.

I know this won’t go down well with Jets fans, but I’m tempted to bet on both the Avalanche and the Stars to win their division at FanDuel this morning.

Colorado is +130 to win the Central. Dallas is +280 to win the Central.

If I bet one unit on both teams to win the division right now, the worst-case scenario would be if Winnipeg overcomes the toughest remaining strength of schedule, wins the division and I lose two units.

If either Colorado or Dallas win it, I’d be guaranteed at least a small profit.

The Avalanche and Stars are both in action tonight.

That brings me to my FanDuel Best Bet.

Colorado is the biggest favourite on the board at -385 against an opponent that is tied for the third-worst record in the entire NHL in the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Only the Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks have fewer road wins than Columbus this season. Meanwhile, the Avalanche have won seven in a row and are 26-6-0 on home ice.

Colorado -1.5 is currently -154 at FanDuel.

While I’m tempted to take the Avalanche on the puck line, I’m going to keep it simple and parlay Colorado to win outright with Dallas to win outright.

The Stars are currently a -200 favourite against the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins.

Dallas has outscored its previous two opponents a combined 9-3 in back-to-back wins on home ice.

The Stars have won seven of their previous nine games overall and will be motivated to stay hot against the visiting Penguins before heading out on a four-game trip.

A traditional parlay with Colorado -1.5 and Dallas to win outright would get me +147 odds at FanDuel.

A parlay with the Avalanche and Stars to both win outright gets me -112 odds.

I’ll lock in the latter option as my FanDuel Best Bet for Friday’s NHL slate.

Hopefully, the FanDuel Best Bet turns out better than your March Madness bracket.

At the very least, we get better odds than one in nine quintillion.