2021-22 NHL Divisional Futures Betting
After a 56-game NHL regular season and realigning the divisions due to cross-border travel restrictions in Canada, the NHL is set to play a full 82-game schedule this regular season. Opening night will take place on October 12 as we start our first slate of games, with a total of 1,312 games set to take place from now until the end of the regular season. We’ll also see the Buffalo Sabres No. 1 overall pick, Owen Power in action who will not turn 19 years old until a few weeks into the 2021-2022 NHL season.
With the 2021-2022 NHL season underway and so many games ahead of us, it’s never too early to start thinking about the future. Who will win each NHL conference? Who will win the Stanley Cup? These are questions we ask each other at the dawn of every new NHL betting season, but now, with sports betting become more and more legal across the country, we can now start to put our money where our mouths are and make some money doing so.
With that out of the way, we will look ahead to these future bets. Will the Tampa Bay Lightning win their third title in a row? Will last season’s lead scorer and Hart Memorial Trophy winner Connor McDavid lead the Edmonton Oilers to the title? Do the Seattle Kraken come in year one and shock the world? These are all things to keep in mind when futures wagers are made.
What are NHL Divisional Futures?
NHL Divisional Futures are wagers made well in advance of the season’s end. In this case, it’s about each division. You can make these wagers as the season goes along, but there are advantages to betting early. Betting early allows some odds to wager on that may be more favorable versus down the road. These odds to win will change throughout the season (these are not fixed odds), so if a squad you thought would be successful starts to pull away, you begin to lose value on that wager.
The main complaint about futures is that your money is tied up for a long time. In this case, it’s approximately six months. While that is understood, think of it as an investment. If you feel that strongly about a squad now, this could be the only time you’re able to get them for plus odds. Meaning, right now, all of the teams will give you a price at which there’s no juice, with two exceptions (more on that later).
Making futures bets also makes the 2021-2022 NHL season that much more exciting. Maybe you wager on a few divisions and now you start to monitor the league and those divisions in a way you haven’t before. It makes the season that much more enjoyable, you learn more about each squad, and who knows, by season’s end, your choice could have come to fruition.
Now that you’re convinced that futures sports betting could very well be the most profitable type of sports wager to make, with the only sacrifice being time, let’s take a look at each squad and their prospects for winning each division.
Let’s start with the Atlantic Division, home to the back-to-back Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning.
2021-22 Atlantic Division Futures
Looking at the Atlantic Division there is a lot of history, pedigree, and prestige. You have the Tampa Bay Lightning who have won back-to-back titles, the Boston Bruins who have been an NHL mainstay for decades, their rival Montreal Canadiens, the Detroit Red Wings who have seen better days, sure, but also have a rich history in the sport.
Division Winner Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning
Boston Bruins +380
The Boston Bruins are consistently a difficult unit to beat. The squad has made the postseason for the last five seasons straight and has managed to win a round in four of those years. Last season with the realignment, the Bruins managed 73 points, four less than the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals.
What hinders the Bruins heading into this 2021-2022 NHL season is David Krejci going to the Czech Republic and Tuuka Rask dealing with a hip injury.
At the end of the season, the Bruins should still make the playoffs, but the Atlantic Division is going to be a tough one to win with these two major pieces not moving forward with the squad.
But, at +380, these are great odds to try to take a swing on.
Buffalo Sabres +30000
There’s really not much to say. The Buffalo Sabres seem to be one of those teams always stuck. The Buffalo Sabres have had a top-10 league draft pick in each draft since 2014, and multiple No. 1 overall picks since then. There’s a lot of young talent including Power on this roster, but there are also a number of veterans who will be difficult to trade. This season will be another year of developing the young talent. The Sabres are +30000 for a reason.
Detroit Red Wings +10000
Unlike the Sabres, the Detroit Red Wings are moving in a positive direction. The Red Wings won just 19 games last season. With that said, the Red Wings have continued to try to improve the squad, bringing in Nick Leddy and Alex Nedeljkovic. The squad also has Moritz Seider to look forward to in his third season. The Red Wings will improve this season, but we are still feeling the after-effects of a previous era of the squad is now out of sight and out of mind.
The Red Wings fans can now wager on their team through the most popular Michigan Sports Betting sites.
Florida Panthers +425
At +425, the Florida Panthers are a great bet to make. Now, they may not win the division, but the pieces are there to make a strong run at it. By the end of the season is the Florida Panthers are the division winners it wouldn’t be a total shock and you can cash in big at +425. The Panthers finished with 79 points and 37 wins last season. Only the Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche won more games.
This offseason, the squad brought in Sam Reinhart who will add to an offense that scored the most goals in the Central Division last season and ranked fifth in goals overall.
Also, the Panthers will have Aaron Ekblad back for, hopefully, a full season after missing 21 games in the 56-game season.
Expect the Panthers to finish toward the top of the division if not win it all.
By win it all, I mean the Stanley Cup and be the class of the league.
Montreal Canadiens +3500
While the Montreal Canadiens had a great playoff run, it was not all preceded by being a dominant force in the regular season. In fact, the squad finished fourth in North Division, winning just 24 games and a goal differential of nine, favoring opponents. Like the Bruins, the Canadiens are a scrappy bunch, but the chances are slim to win the division (as evidenced by the +3500 odds).
It also doesn’t help that the Canadiens lost Jesperi Kotkaniemi to the Carolina Hurricanes, either.
Ottawa Senators +15000
The Ottawa Senators have some great pieces to work with such as Tim Stützle, but the squad gave up an average of nearly 3.5 goals per game. After winning eight of their last 11 games last season, that could be an indication of improvement, but the Ottawa Senators are a far cry from winning the division.
Tampa Bay Lightning +210
At +210, the Tampa Bay Lightning have the second-best odds to win the division. Coming off back-to-back Stanley Cup titles, it’s hard to bet against them, even in a division that consists of a few powerhouses. Of course, some depth was lost in the offseason due to salary cap issues, but that is to be expected with most championship teams. However, the squad did manage to add some solid veterans this offseason, including Zach Bogosian who was previously with the squad for the first of back-to-back titles in the 2019-2020 season.
What makes the Lightning so compelling, of course, is their superstar goalie and Conn Smythe Trophy winner, Andrei Vasilevskiy who will be just 27 years old and in the prime of his career.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are my pick to win the division. Will they win their third Stanley Cup to representing the Eastern Conference?
Toronto Maple Leafs +195
OK, OK, OK—we won’t talk about how last season ended for the Toronto Maple Leafs. We’ll look ahead to 2021-2022. The Maple Leafs have the best odds for a reason—the offense is stellar and the defense did well allowing less than 150 goals last season. The problem facing the Toronto Maple Leafs, really, is the opponents within the division.
The Atlantic Division is going to be more competitive than the North Division last season and at +195, these odds aren’t bad, per se, but you can aim higher with other teams. Still, though, betting on the Maple Leafs under any circumstance can always be a good idea. While they finally make that Stanley Cup run, though?
2021-22 Metropolitan Division Futures
The Metropolitan Division is setting up to be the most competitive division in not only the Eastern Conference but all of the NHL. Other divisions will have standard-bearers atop them, but the Metropolitan Division could be up for grabs. Currently, the New York Islanders lead sports betting markets at +275 NHL Futures odds to win the Metropolitan Division.
Division Winner Pick: Carolina Hurricanes
Carolina Hurricanes +475
The Carolina Hurricanes are a great buy at +475 NHL Futures odds. The offseason brought many changes for the squad including trading goalie Alex Nedeljkovic and signing his replacements in Antti Raanta and Frederik Andersen. But that wasn’t it.
The unit also signed Kotkaniemi and added some solid veteran depth. After winning a division last season that included the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning, the Hurricanes make sense to wager on at +475. In fact, I’ll say the Hurricanes pull it off and win the Metropolitan Division, narrowly beating out a top contender.
Columbus Blue Jackets +13000
Through changing coaches and trades during last season, things did not fare well for the Columbus Blue Jackets, winning only 18 games last season. That’s not great. The Columbus Blue Jackets doesn’t really have any standout stars, but you’re certainly hoping to see more from Patrik Laine at the least.
New Jersey Devils +1700
The New Jersey Devils have been terrible since the Obama administration, but things may be taking a positive (albeit small) corner. The unit brought in goalie Jonathan Bernier and former Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, and Carolina Hurricanes star Dougie Hamilton. The unit will be better than last season, but win the division? No way. Cannot see that happening. Especially in the Metropolitan.
New York Islanders +275
The New York Islanders are going to be a unit to be reckoned with this season. The unit is chock full of depth, has excellent goaltending, and their captain Anders Lee will be back after missing 35 of 56 games last season. You’re not going to talk me out of taking them to win the division, but of course, variance could swing against them in a division with so many other tough squads. Still, though, even at +275 NHL Futures odds, the New York Islanders are going to be an elite unit in the league.
New York Rangers +425
Gerard Gallant will be taking over head coaching duties for the New York Rangers this season. This comes after finishing just fifth in the East last season and 27 wins. The team will look for their forward play to lead the way, partnered with their young goaltenders coming into their own at just 25 years old. The New York Rangers should make the playoffs, but at +475 NHL Futures odds, I’d prefer to bet the Hurricanes.
Philadelphia Flyers +900
The Flyers allowed over 200 goals in 56 games last season. Yikes. The team did improve its defensive unit, but not the goaltending, which still rests in the hands of Carter Hart. Behind Hart is Martin Jones, who has also been less than stellar over the past few years. There’s no way the Flyers win the division with such lousy goalie play.
However, if you still believe the Flyers are worth the money, visit some of the top sports betting sites in PA and get in on the betting action.
Pittsburgh Penguins +475
Starting off the season without Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin could put the Penguins in the hole which could prove to be insurmountable when it comes to winning the division. Because of these two notable injuries and the quality of the division, betting on the Penguins would be a difficult bet to consider.
Washington Capitals +600
After a quality regular season last year, the Washington Capitals will have essentially the same team back for another go-around. The offense, headed by Alexander Ovechkin should be fine, but the defense needs to step up this season. Could we be in for a rebuild if the Capitals don’t live up to expectations? By the end of the regular season, the Capitals should make the postseason, but winning the division doesn’t seem plausible.
2021-22 Central Division Futures
The Central Division features one of two teams in the entire NHL to have “-“ odds in the Colorado Avalanche. This really speaks to the quality of the Central Division overall, with none of the teams looking like a valid threat. There’s a reason why there is a runaway favorite, after all. With that said, is there any hope for a different team other than the Colorado Avalanche to take home the division?
Division Winner Pick: Colorado Avalanche
Arizona Coyotes +30000
The Arizona Coyotes are in the midst of a massive rebuild. To add to their draft capital, the team could look to trade even more pieces by the deadline. There is no shot the Arizona Coyotes win the division. We repeat—the Arizona Coyotes—no shot.
Chicago Blackhawks +1800
Whenever you have Jonathan Toews on your team, there is always a reason for optimism. However, the Chicago Blackhawks are still looking to develop young talent in the midst of bringing in Marc-Andre Fleury and Tyler Johnson. The Chicago Blackhawks offense will need to massively improve to have a shot at winning the division, but ultimately, the Chicago Blackhawks will be lucky to make the postseason.
Colorado Avalanche -250
While the final standings could end up being closer than what the -250 odds indicate, still, it’s difficult to imagine the Colorado Avalanche not winning the division. Also, keep in mind that Colorado Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar could be looking for a new job by next season if expectations are not met. That all starts with the regular season, headed by a line that any NHL team would love to have. The Colorado Avalanche will win the Central Division, but ultimately fall short of the Stanley Cup or even getting there to represent the Western Conference.
We also have some great news for those looking to get in on the action with the Avalanche: Colorado sports betting recently kicked off in the state, so if you’re an Avs fan and want to put a few bucks on them to win the division, you’re in luck
Dallas Stars +1200
At +1200 NHL Futures odds, the Dallas Stars are a great bet to make. The Stars have a team that is largely unknown since the team was wrought with injuries last season. Forward Tyler Seguin will be back and the team brought in defender Ryan Suter. With a fully healthy squad, look for the Dallas Stars to make a fun comeback this 2021-2022 NHL season.
Minnesota Wild +650
The Minnesota Wild will be dealing with the ramifications of the Suter and Parise buyouts this 2021-2022 NHL season. Where it really hurts the Minnesota Wild is in the depth department. The starting lineup will only carry the Minnesota Wild so far and at +650 NHL Futures odds, there are teams in the +1000 NHL Futures odds territory that are better bets to make from a value standpoint.
Nashville Predators +7500
The Nashville Predators have always been an excellent squad, making the postseason season after season, but a rebuild could be on the horizon. After trading Ryan Ellis and Viktor Arvidsson, the team did not in any way replenish that talent. The Nashville Predators will not win the division or make the playoffs. Thus, a rebuild will be underway shortly.
If you are looking to get in on the betting action, check out some of the best Tennessee sports betting sites.
St. Louis Blues +1800
The St. Louis Blues are a fine team. Of course, the team could still be dealing with the Tarasenko trade drama. The team lost some pieces, but also added new pieces this offseason, too. Overall, the St. Louis Blues will be a middling team in the division but will make the playoffs and be a tough out.
Winnipeg Jets +1400
While the Winnipeg Jets have a strong defensive unit, the team will need the goaltending to keep up. Overall, the Winnipeg Jets have a solid roster, but likely a team that finishes third or fourth in the division. There is a shot of winning the division and at +1400 NHL Futures odds it’s a great bet, but if regression sets in, the Winnipeg Jets could start to tumble.
2021-22 Pacific Division Futures
Well isn’t this exciting! The Pacific Division features the last two expansion teams, the Vegas Golden Knights and the new Seattle Kraken. The Pacific Division features the other team with “-“ odds—the Golden Knights.
Seeing the success the Golden Knights have had with so few seasons of being a team could also rub off on the Seattle Kraken, too. With that said, the Pacific Division is the weakest division in the NHL and is definitely the weaker link in the Western Conference from a sports betting perspective.
Division Winner Pick: Vegas Golden Knights
Anaheim Ducks +25000
The Anaheim Ducks may be able to make some big splashes down the line, but right now that is not the case. It would take a miracle for such a young squad to win the division. The Anaheim Ducks could be a contender for the worst record in the Western Conference.
Calgary Flames +1000
The fate of the Calgary Flames are coming off quite a rambunctious season in 2020. The team has great forward play in Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, and Matthew Tkachuk, but outside of that, there’s nothing to be excited about. The Calgary Flames will be a bottom three team in the division.
Edmonton Oilers +380
Whenever you have Hart Memorial Trophy winner (most valuable player) Connor McDavid on your side, anything is possible. This offseason, the team also made plenty of additions. In doing so, the salary cap is absolutely maxed out. Will McDavid, Draisaitl, and new additions via free agency be enough? It’s possible. Take a chance on the Edmonton Oilers with such unique odds for a team of their star power. Maybe they make a run at the Stanley Cup?
Los Angeles Kings +5000
There are worse bets to make at +5000, but the Los Angeles Kings need a lot of things to go massively in their direction to win the division or make the postseason and represent the Western Conference. The young players on the squad will need to develop quickly and the veterans will need to play in a way that is likely unattainable. While there is a path, it’s a bit of a Hail Mary to playoff contention for the Los Angeles Kings, who are partnered with the CallHOPE Crisis Counseling Program.
San Jose Sharks +5000
With a below-average offense and a bad defense, the San Jose Sharks look lightyears away from being a contender in the Pacific Division/Western Conference, especially with all of the Evander Kane news likely being a massive distraction. The San Jose Sharks are a “no“ from me.
Seattle Kraken +750
While it would be quite an incredible story for the expansion squad Seattle Kraken to follow in the footsteps of the Golden Knights’ early success, this squad doesn’t have that same immediate appeal, anyway. Taking Jordan Eberle and Jaden Schwartz are solid first moves, but this is a squad that may need another NHL season or two before becoming a contender in the Western Conference.
Vancouver Canucks +2000
The Vancouver Canucks will always be a squad that may make the postseason, but winning the division with a squad that heavily relies on veterans and experience seems like a far cry for the Vancouver Canucks. Add to this a front office that loves to make change after change, the Vancouver Canucks should get into NHL Playoffs, but not by winning the division.
Vegas Golden Knights -160
After writing up every other squad in this division, I was actively finding reasons to fade the Vegas Golden Knights. The Edmonton Oilers make a compelling case, but bringing back a team that was an elite offense and defense across the entire league is hard to do. The Vegas Golden Knights will win the Pacific Division, but the Oilers will give them a run in this league. The Golden Knights and Nolan Patrick have a real shot to win the Stanley Cup Final and be the class of the Western Conference this NHL season.
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