The Flyers are one of four teams that can win the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed. And despite having played extremely well against their competitors, they are the longest shot on the board to emerge with that dainty little prize.
Of course, having the No. 1 seed doesn’t translate into home-ice advantage in this upside down season, but it should mean more than maybe having the closest hotel to whatever arena is hosting games. It also should mean avoiding the Penguins as long as possible.
The Flyers, Boston, Washington, and Tampa Bay will play a round-robin for the No. 1 seed whenever play resumes (late July?) as part of the modified playoff system the NHL unveiled on Tuesday. Overtime rules will be the same as the regular season, with three-on-three play for five minutes followed by a shootout.
The Westgate in Las Vegas was the first to release odds for the quirky prop. It opened Boston at 2-1, Tampa Bay 9-4, Washington 7-2, and the Flyers 4-1.
The Flyers remain 12-1 to win the Stanley Cup at William Hill’s sportsbooks, which is where they were when play was halted March 12. They’re as high as 14-1 at Caesars and as low as 17-2 at FanDuel in a sampling of area 'books.
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DraftKings had the Flyers at 14-1 to win the Stanley Cup before the stoppage of play. They are 10-1 today.
Westgate, also 12-1 on Philadelphia to win it all, has the Flyers at 5-1 to win the Eastern Conference.
This makes that 4-1 price for the No. 1 seed seem generous given how well the Flyers played against the other three teams (5-3-1). Important to note that those three all hold the only tiebreaker over the Fightin’ Girouxs: points scored during the 2019-20 regular season.
Boston had 100 to lead the NHL. Tampa Bay had 92, Washington 90, and the Flyers 89.
“They were hot coming in, but now they’re just like every other team,” Jeff Sherman, the VP of risk management at Westgate, said of the Flyers. “Who knows how anybody is going to come out of this? We looked at the health perspective, which is going to be interesting. We priced them as the longest shot at 4-1.”
In head-to-head games among the four teams, the Flyers had the highest points percentage at .611, followed by Washington at .600, Tampa Bay at .563, and Boston at .500.
But stuff like past performance or the Flyers mediocre record away from South Philly did not factor into Westgate’s odds.
“All the teams will be in the same boat,” Sherman said. “We didn’t take into account home records. We priced everything based on spectator-less arenas.”