The NHL season is almost upon us. We are less than one month away and as is standard for BetNHL.ca we’re going to be looking at futures bets and making some betting predictions.
The first set of futures we are going to do are the Divisions. I’m handling the Central and Pacific Divisions and Scott is covering the Metropolitan and Atlantic Divisions although we discuss it all together prior to posting.
In this article we’ll be looking at the Central Division. I’ll give you what I feel the best betting tip is, as well as provide insight in the others.
The Central Division features the Dallas Stars, St. Louis Blues, Chicago Blackhawks, Nashville Predators, Minnesota Wild, Colorado Avalanche and Winnipeg Jets.
It was one last year by the Dallas Stars with 109 points. St Louis were just behind them at 107, with the Blackhawks at 103. That was a far cry the year prior where the Stars came 6th. You have to go back to the 2012-2013 season for when the Chicago Blackhawks last won it.
Central Division Betting Odds:
I’ll provide the best odds later in the article but here’s the average odds:
Chicago Blackhawks: +290
St. Louis Blues: +325
Nashville Predators: +325
Dallas Stars: +325
Minnesota Wild: +900
Winnipeg Jets: +1200
Colorado Avalanche: +1400
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Central Division Winners Betting Tips:
The team I am predicting to win the Central Division are the Nashville Predators.
I’ll analyze the other teams later in the article but the one thing I want to say is that the top contenders have lost some key players and there’s a lot of question marks. The Predators meanwhile picked up one of the best defenders in the league in P.K. Subban. Rinne was poor last season but I’m banking on him having a similar season to a couple of years ago, especially with P.K. there. I like Colin Wilson to play well this year and get more goals, and I believe Forsberg can hit that 40 mark.
A large part of it for me though is the question marks on the others – the Predators are a proven team who have made some great additions and I see them taking the Central this year.
Best Odds for the Predators to win the Central Division:
Central Division Winners Betting Analysis:
Chicago Blackhawks: As seems to be the case every year – a decent amount of changes have been made at the Hawks. They’re going to be there or thereabouts most likely – they always are.
Honestly if you don’t feel good betting the Predators, the Blackhawks would be my next bet. It doesn’t matter who they lose they all seem to gel together and always pull out surprises such as Panarin.
They’d be my second choice easily.
Best Odds on the Blackhawks winning the Division:
St. Louis Blues: I mentioned question marks above and one of the big ones is right here with the loss of David Backes, who has signed with the Bruins. He was a leader at the Blues and a major player.
It’s nice to see Perron return but I can’t see him being a big factor for the Blues. They’re still a strong team but I think Backes is going to be too big of a loss and can’t back them to win the division.
Best Odds on the Blues winning the Division:
Dallas Stars: Seguin struggled with injury the last couple of seasons and he’s already been injured during the World Cup of Hockey. They just can’t count on him. The blueline changes concern me. It’s a lot of responsibility for these youngsters and I find it a risk.
Their goaltending is crap and I’d be extremely surprised to see the Stars repeat and win the division this year.
Best Odds on the Stars winning the Division:
Minnesota Wild: At the odds, I’ll be recommending a small bet on the Wild.
What can I say – I love to believe in coaches, and I’d love to see Boudreau get things rolling here. The dudes killed it when it comes to winning divisions. Granted that was with the Caps and the Ducks but I love a story like that.
Obviously this is an aging team, but hey experience is a good thing right? They clearly believe in Eric Staal – and if he can come close to recapturing his early NHL form then they’d be worth it.
If you’re a fan of long shot bets, this is one I’d recommend.
Best Odds on the Wild winning the Division:
Winnipeg Jets: It was a tough season for them last year – they managed to finish last in their division while being just 9 points out of the playoffs. That’s a testament to how difficult this division is. They have been pretty darn quiet during the Summer which is interesting – basically letting their team as it is gel a bit more and hoping that works.
For the Jets to stand a chance they’d need to have one of those crazy momentum runs right from the get-go, and see confidence surge through the side. The sort of run the Flames had 2 years ago(even though they never won their division). I just can’t see it myself. I think this is going to be a long season for the Jets and people in Winnipeg. I know we’ve got a lot of Winnipeg fans reading that will be upset at that, and I’ve heard a lot in the off-season about how Laine is dynamic and Scheifele is “for real” – but I still can’t see them contending this year. Especially if they don’t give Hellebuyck the shot.
Best Odds on the Jets winning the Division:
Colorado Avalanche: Remember when the Avs actually won this division three years ago? Now they’re expected to finish last. What a mess of a team.
I fell in love with the Avs that season – with Roy coaching and then players like Landeskog and MacKinnon firing on all cylinders. There’s a lot of pressure on this team and I see them succumbing to it. I think the odds of them finishing last are correct – and the coaching change won’t matter.
Best Odds on the Avalanche winning the Division: