NHL Training Camps Open: Early NHL Betting Odds
Hello Canadian wagerers, welcome to the start of 2022-23 NHL training camps.
Preseason starts over the weekend with the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs playing split-squad games. The Global Series, which kicks off the regular season, is a little over two weeks away.
It is hard to believe that just three short months ago, the Colorado Avalanche defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games to win the Stanley Cup.
How U.S. NHL Teams Look as Camp Opens
By now, in parts of the Northern Tier, one can feel the crisp Autumn air setting in. When most people start to read this, the fall season will be upon us.
For the Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning, the break was just a bit over three months. The Avalanche won the Stanley Cup in six games over Tampa Bay.
The inevitable question will come for the favorites who are expected to repeat. How do you combat the dreaded Stanley Cup hangover?
Colorado stands around +400 to +450 to win again and their division odds are in the -125 to -150 range. As for their playoff odds, they are about as much of a lock as possible.
It does look like Florida and Tampa Bay will battle for the Atlantic Division with Toronto trying to nose their way in. The appearance of things suggest the Panthers and Lightning should be the bigger favorites. However, the Maple Leafs are for now after Colorado.
What does that table look like for the contenders? OK, here we go.
How do Canada's Teams Look as Training Camp Opens?
It has been 29 years since a team north of the 49th parallel won the Stanley Cup. The first thing asked is, what are some of the odds for the Canadian teams? Here they are below.
U.S. NHL Observations
Again, some of the teams on this list probably are considerably overvalued. Some might be a bit undervalued. For example, everyone knows about Toronto. However, how much are the Penguins getting mentioned because of reputation (Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, etc.)? Pittsburgh could be in some trouble this season. That team did not improve much.
The same can be said for the Vegas Golden Knights, who got worse in goal. The Knights lost Robin Lehner for a long while and the defense and goaltender may suffer once more much like late last season. Even the Minnesota Wild at +1800 have questions on the penalty kill and goaltending as well. Can their defense stay healthy enough to help out their offense?
The early portion of the season is going to be very telling as much as the later stages. Now, when it comes to New York, the Rangers will advance as far as Igor Shesterkin and their special teams take them. The Rangers’ power play became more and more of a weapon last season. That will only improve in 2022-23. It is partly why New York’s division, conference, and even Stanley Cup odds are shortening.
If St. Louis can stay reasonably healthy and find a suitable replacement for Marco Scandella, they will be a threat at +3000. Then, there is Boston at +2800. If the Bruins can tread water long enough, can Brad Marchand and company get back in form quick enough?
U.S. Contenders and Their Odds
Again, the time will come for the fun stuff when we look at props for points, division picks, and much more. For now, let’s pick a few Stanley Cup futures to throw small wagers on.
- Colorado Avalanche at +425
- New York Rangers at +1800
- St. Louis Blues at +3000
- Los Angeles Kings at +3500
- Nashville Predators at +4000
NHL Picks and Observations
There is always that team or two who just come out of nowhere and pull off something improbable. Who could be those teams from the American side of the equation?
If one wants to go off the wall, why not the New Jersey Devils? Yes, New Jersey could still wind up finishing near the bottom of the Metropolitan Division. However, if Mackenzie Blackwood and Vitek Vanecek can hold it together in goal, New Jersey has a deceptively good offense.
The key will be Jack Hughes and Jesper Bratt. Hughes needs to play at least 70-75 games. He had a 94-point pace last year and has been working on strengthening and shot speed in the offseason.
Again, it is the ultimate of long shots but some forget the 1988 New Jersey Devils were one game from the Stanley Cup Final. They went on a late run, got hot, and nearly had a chance to pull off the improbable. At +6600, the Devils are worth a tiny bet.
The other team might just be the Kraken. In a Pacific Division, Seattle made several additions including acquiring Oliver Bjorkstrand and signing Andre Burakovsky.
If the Kraken can get any improvement in goaltending, they might just be the team some pundits expected last year. Again, if the point projections inch down a little in the West, Seattle might have a chance. Once a team is in, anything can happen. At +15000, Seattle is the longest of long shots.
- Our two longest early shots for the Stanley Cup are the New Jersey Devils (+6600) and the Seattle Kraken (+15000) from the American side.
How We Pick the Canada Side
If the Vancouver Canucks or Ottawa Senators can get it together defensively enough, one or both of those teams could sneak into the playoffs.
Most forget that Vancouver, under Bruce Boudreau, was on a playoff pace. Then, there is Ottawa. It acquired Alex DeBrincat and made some quality moves to get closer. The Senators will be a team to watch.
Finally, our best bets here from the Canadian side for Lord Stanley’s Cup.
- Edmonton Oilers at 16.48 and a long shot with the Vancouver Canucks at 43.67.
It figures to be a fun couple of weeks as training camps and the preseason gets underway. Watch out for injuries and any unexpected changes from now until Oct. 7.
The NHL will be in full swing before we know it and those nightly picks and even videos/podcasts will hopefully be helping out bettors everywhere.
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