A new calendar year and the halfway point of the NHL season are rapidly approaching. As such, we’ll explore the futures betting lines for which team will win the Western Conference.
Injuries and different types of surprises, including some of the betting favorites, headline our NHL Conferences Betting projections review of the NHL’s Western Conference.
NHL Betting Projections for Western Conference Winners
Colorado Avalanche (+240)
Injuries have plagued the Colorado Avalanche since before the season began. As of publication, the Avs have been without captain Gabriel Landeskog all season and have had extended periods with Nathan MacKinnon, Samuel Girard, Valeri Nichushkin, Bowen Byram, and Josh Manson. Despite these injuries, Colorado has a 17-11-2 record, ranking them seventh in the Western Conference and fourth in the Central Divison.
However, the reigning, defending Stanley Cup champions are still the betting favorite to win the Western Conference and have the second-best betting odds to win the 2022-23 Stanley Cup.
Joe Sakic’s gamble on goaltender Alexandar Georgiev is paying off. When the Avalanche is healthy, they will be a force to reckon with and shoot up the standings, living up to their favorite status.
Vegas Golden Knights (+310)
Injuries defined the Vegas Golden Knights‘ 2021-22 season and left the Golden Knights out of the playoff picture. Injuries are again a story for the Golden Knights, but Vegas is winning despite these injuries.
Vegas’ number-one goalie Robin Lehner was ruled out for the season before it began, while the number-two goalie on the depth chart to start the season, Laurent Brossoit, dealt with his injuries and is currently in the AHL.
Calder Trophy candidate Logan Thompson has emerged from third on the depth chart to leading the Vegas Golden Knights to the best record in the Western Conference (22-11-1) and fourth overall in the NHL.
At the moment, the Golden Knights don’t have the level of competition in the Pacific division as other betting favorites. They will have the easiest route to the Western Conference finals and potentially a second Stanley Cup appearance in franchise history.
Dallas Stars (+660)
The Dallas Stars have Jason Robertson, Roope Hintz, and Jake Oettinger as their core pieces for the future, who are driving the team forward in the now. Dallas leads the Central Division with a 19-8-6 record, is one point behind Vegas for the number one ranking in the Western Conference, and is ranked sixth in the NHL.
Yes, Dallas will have to deal with a healthy Colorado Avalanche squad to win the Western Conference. Still, Oettinger almost single-handedly defeated the Calgary Flames in the first round of the 2021-2022 playoffs. Dallas has a very good chance of making it back to the Stanley Cup finals.
Alberta’s Teams: Calgary Flames (+870) and Edmonton Oilers (+950)
While you might have been surprised to find the injury-laden, seventh-overall in the conference Colorado Avalanche as the betting favorite in the Western Conference.
What’s more surprising is the fact that both Alberta teams, despite their struggles and flaws, are still among the betting favorites to win the Western Conference.
As of publication, Calgary has a 15-12-6 record after recently beating up on the struggling San Jose Sharks in back-to-back games to end a five-game losing streak. The Flames are ranked ninth in the Western Conference standings and fourth in the Pacific Division, tied on points with Edmonton.
The Flames should be a better playoff team than a regular-season team. The only problem for Calgary is that you need to make the playoffs to prove that you are a playoff team, and right now, Calgary is not in the playoffs.
As for the Connor McDavid’s – or Edmonton Oilers as they are more commonly known, they have a 17-14-2 record and are ranked eighth in the Western Conference. McDavid and Leon Draisailt lead the league’s most potent offense and powerplay, but Edmonton’s fatal flaw remains on defense and in the net. Jack Campbell has been a free-agent bust, while Stuart Skinner has been good enough to earn a new contract but not good enough to push the Oilers into true Stanley Cup contention.
However, if there is one player in the NHL who could take a team from the edge of the playoff picture to the Stanley Cup final, he wears the number 97 and resides in Edmonton.
Winnipeg Jets (+1025)
The Winnipeg Jets are seriously being overlooked as potential Western Conference champions. The Jets have a 21-10-1 record and are currently second in the Central Divison and third in the Western Conference, one point behind the Dallas Stars. Connor Hellebuyck seems to have recovered his 2020 Vezina Trophy-winning form, while the Jets seem reinvigorated with a new coach and system.
Don’t sleep on the Jets, and don’t buy into the Alberta team’s better odds to win the Western Conference. The Jets are the best Canadian team in the Western Conference and should have higher odds of winning the Western Conference. To do that, Winnipeg will have to go through Dallas, Colorado, Minnesota, and St. Louis, but they have the goaltending and depth to do just that.
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