avatar Written by Scott on Tuesday, January 12th, 2021

The Tampa Bay Lightning are overwhelming favourites to win the NHL Central Division.

Not a surprise. We know what they are capable of. The question is whether they will end up being a let down considering their win last season for the cup. It happens.

However they can likely phone it in and still win this division. Sure there is solid enough competition in the Hurricanes and Stars but the Hurricanes are an odd team who even though advanced metric wise can put up the numbers can’t translate it to wins consistently. The Stars have a few key players missing.

Here’s my thoughts and analysis for the NHL Central Division.

NHL Central Division Winners 2020/21 Betting Odds:

  • Tampa Bay Lightning: 2.40
  • Carolina Hurricanes: 5.00
  • Dallas Stars: 6.50
  • Nashville Predators: 11.00
  • Columbus Blue Jackets: 10.00
  • Florida Panthers: 11.00
  • Chicago Blackhawks: 26.00
  • Detroit Red Wings: 61.00


NHL Central Division 2020/21 Team Betting Analysis:

Tampa Bay Lightning:

Looking at this division I don’t see the Lightning having any problems winning the Central Divison.  My pick is the Tampa Bay Lightning to win the Central.

Kucherov, Point, Stamkos, Palat and Coleman will do the heavy lifting offensively.

On defense Hedman is a beast and McDonough is a steady veteran presence.  Sergachev is good and still young.

Vasilevskiy is one of the best goalies in the league and McElhinney is a great backup.

I see no weaknesses for this team and as long as they can stay healthy they shouldn’t have a problem winning the Central Divison

Canada: 2.40 Odds at BetOnline.
USA: +140 Odds at BetOnline.
Everyone Else: 2.40 Odds at BetOnline.

(Odds correct as of 2021/01/12 7:55:12 PM EST but are subject to change.)


Carolina Hurricanes:

If any team is going to challenge the Lightning its the Hurricanes.

This team has a good mix of veterans throughout the lineup.  Aho is amazing and having him with Teravainen and Svechnikov makes them a lethal top line.   Trocheck, Dzingel, Necas and Staal give this team the abilty to roll four lines.

On defense they have one of the best groups in the league.  Hamilton, Slavin,
Skjei, Pesce and Gardiner gives them a strong group and allows the youngsters like Fleury and Bean time to improve.

In goal is fairly solid with Mrazek and Reimer.  It’s the goaltending here versus the Lightning where the Lightning have the edge big time .

Canada: 5.00 Odds at Bet365.
USA: +400 Odds at BetOnline.
Everyone Else: 5.00 Odds at Bet365.

(Odds correct as of 2021/01/12 7:55:12 PM EST but are subject to change.)


Dallas Stars:

The Stars are going to be without Tyler Seguin and Ben Bishop to start the year as they deal with injuries.   When your number 2 center and starting goalie are out, its going to hurt the team.

They still have Benn, Pavelski and Radulov but it thins out after them.

On defense the team looks good.  Heiskanen is great and only getting better. Lindell and Klingberg are also improving.   The Stars have no weaknesses on the backend.

With Bishop out Khudobin is the starter.  It’s up in the air who will be his backup but Oettinger seems likely to gain that role.

Too many questions about this team for me to view them as one of the top teams in the Central Divison

Canada: 6.50 Odds at Mr. Green
USA: +500 Odds at Bovada..
Everyone Else: 6.50 Odds at Mr. Green

(Odds correct as of 2021/01/12 7:55:12 PM EST but are subject to change.)


Nashville Predators:

The Predators are ranked low and I’m not sure why.  I don’t see them winning the Central but they have the team that could challenge.

They have Johansen, Forsberg and Arvidsson on there top line.  Duchene is a great 2nd line centre.

Defense has always been the Preds strong point and this year it won’t be any different.   Josi, Ellis, Ekholm and Fabbro are a strong top 4.  Their other two defensemen are some combo of Borowiecki, Tinordi and Benning.

In goal they still have Rinne but hes getting older so they may have to use two goalies with Saros splitting the starts and that seems like the safest play for them.

Canada: 11.00 Odds at Sports Interaction (SIA) + free $20 bet.
USA: +700 Odds at BetOnline.
Everyone Else: 9.00 Odds at Mr. Green

(Odds correct as of 2021/01/12 7:55:12 PM EST but are subject to change.)


Columbus Blue Jackets:

This team has lots of players who can chip in offensively.  Dubois, Domi, Foligno, Bjorkstrand and Koivu are all good players but not in the upper ranks in the league.

On defense they really shine.  Jones and Werenski are incredible. Savard and Gavrikov should be the 2nd line.  There are a handful of players competing for the final pairing.

In goal the have Korpisalo and Merzlikins should split starts after the year Merzlikins had last season.

A good team but they are a middle of the pack in the standings in my opinion.

Canada: 10.00 Odds at Sports Interaction (SIA) + free $20 bet.
USA: +850 Odds at Intertops.
Everyone Else: 10.00 Odds at Mr. Green

(Odds correct as of 2021/01/12 7:55:12 PM EST but are subject to change.)


Florida Panthers:

The Panthers have a bunch of new faces which may give them some issues to begin the season.

New faces include Wennberg, Duclair and Hornqvist who join Barkov and Huberdeau  to make up their top 5.

On defense the have Yandle, Ekblad, Weegar and Stralman so they are fine there.

Bobrovsky is the starter and as long as he stays healthy they will be fine in nets.

A middle of the pack team.

Canada: 11.00 Odds at Mr. Green
USA: +1000 Odds at Bovada..
Everyone Else: 11.00 Odds at Mr. Green

(Odds correct as of 2021/01/12 7:55:12 PM EST but are subject to change.)


Chicago Blackhawks:

Well as a Hawks fan I can say that it’s time to start a rebuild.  They still have Kane who is one of the best in the league.  But the other stars and parts of the core are aging out.  Toews is off with an injury,  Keith is still amazing but his best days are behind him. 

Debrincat and Strome are young and should be part of the new core moving forward.  Same for Dach, Kubalik and Nylander.

On defense the Hawks have issues.   Seabrook isn’t the same as he used to be.  But they will allow Boqvist and Mitchell to learn and earn their playing time and should be given every chance to become part of the core.

In goal it’s a mess.  Subban and Delia have never been a starter but one of them is going to be this year.

Hawks will be a basment team.

Canada: 26.00 Odds at Mr. Green
USA: +2200 Odds at Bovada..
Everyone Else: 26.00 Odds at Mr. Green

(Odds correct as of 2021/01/12 7:55:12 PM EST but are subject to change.)


Detroit Red Wings:

Well what can we say.   The Wings are in a rebuild so much isn’t expected from them this year.

Larkin, Bertuzzi and Mantha are decent line but behind them they need work.

Not any better on defense.  Dekeyser, Hronek and Staal are their top 3 so it’s looking like a rough year for this squad.

Greiss and Bernier are their goalies for this season.  Not much to be excited about with the Red Wings this season but its expected as they are rebuilding

Canada: 61.00 Odds at Bet365.
USA: +5000 Odds at Intertops.
Everyone Else: 61.00 Odds at Bet365.

(Odds correct as of 2021/01/12 7:55:12 PM EST but are subject to change.)




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