The NHL season is less than two weeks away before the first puck drop. Preseason is already underway and we are getting a much better feel for the season that’s about to unfold before us.
The final countdown is on, so check out our Eastern and Western Conference previews below.
- Carolina Hurricanes Eastern Conference Winner (+475) at Bet365
- Tampa Bay Lightning Eastern Conference Winner (+900) at Unibet
- Dallas Stars Western Conference Winner (+750) at Bet365 (check our Bet365 Review)
Eastern Conference Preview
Following last year’s record-breaking 135 regular season points total, it very much seems the Boston Bruins won’t be getting anywhere near that this season with the loss and retirement of such strong players.
The Eastern Conference is arguably the more competitive of the two, with 7 of the 12 favorites to lift the Stanley Cup coming from within the Eastern Conference.
This season, we have a three-way tie for favorite with the Toronto Maple Leafs, New Jersey Devils and Carolina Hurricanes all coming in at +475 NHL betting odds to top the conference. What’s scary is the teams behind this lot are the Boston Bruins (albeit weakened) the Pittsburgh Penguins (vastly improved), New York Rangers, Buffalo Sabres, and finally last year’s Stanley Cup runners-up, the Florida Panthers.
The Eastern Conference is going to be super competitive this season and very hard to predict which team can come out on top. For our money, these two teams are worth looking into.
Carolina Hurricanes (+475)
The Carolina Hurricanes made it as far as the Conference finals last season, and that was minus both Max Pacioretty and Andrei Svechnikov. This time around, they have the added addition of Michael Bunting and Dmitry Orlov.
This team has the potential to go all the way and lift the Stanley Cup, so it’s very possible they win the Eastern Conference this season. Hence the reason the Hurricanes are the 4th favorite to win the cup this year.
Last season, the Hurricanes finished second in the conference behind the Boston Bruins’ record-breaking first, but with the Bruins coming into this season significantly weakened, we are more than prepared to stake our money on the Hurricanes to claim the top spot in the Conference at +475 with Bet365.
Carolina Hurricanes Season Total Points: 117
NHL Pick: Carolina Hurricanes Conference Winner (+475) at Bet365
Tampa Bay Lightning (+900)
This is an outside pick but nonetheless, we do like the odds at +900. Its as simple as this: yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning are without number one goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy until December, but if they can ride this period and come out the other end relatively unharmed, this team is capable of putting a strong run together as we have seen in the past.
They are not as strong as their triple Stanley Cup finals run and back-to-back Stanley Cups, but they still have the core of their team remaining, and they’re not all past their prime. At the very least Tampa Bay should make the post-season and could be a treat from there.
Tampa Bay Lightning Season Total Points: 112
NHL Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning Conference Winner (+900) at Unibet
Western Conference Preview
There aren’t many teams who have the potential to win the conference in the West, with just four teams on everybody’s lips, the Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Vegas Golden Knights, and Edmonton Oilers. It is going to be one of these four, that we are almost sure of, and it shows as these are the top four in the betting market.
Last season, it was very tight between their top four as only three points separated 1st from 4th. Again, all teams included were the four favorites this season. The Vegas Golden Knights came out on top with 111 points, but this season we believe they will be dethroned by the Dallas Stars.
The Edmonton Oilers at +400 seems to low for us to want to get involved; their goaltending is subpar and they lack depth defensively. An injury to Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl could be a major blow.
As for the Colorado Avalanche, it baffles us as to why they remain the favorites to win the division. Personally, we don’t think they will make the top two.
Dallas Stars (+750)
The Dallas Stars showed us what they can do last season, going 8-2 in the final 10 games to almost catch the Golden Knights to win the conference. This Stars team is better than the one last season and as far as strength in depth, this is one of the top teams in the entire NHL.
We truly cannot believe the Dallas Stars are +750 and ranked as the 4th favorite to win the Conference this year. Honestly, we can make cases for the other three teams as to why they might not win the Conference, but with Dallas, there are really not many weak points to exploit.
This is not only a team of strong players, but they also know how to win games and get the job done, from their forward line to their goaltending.
The offseason additions have vastly improved the team, and +750 to win this Conference is too good to pass on in our eyes.
Dallas Stars Season Total Points: 117
NHL Pick: Dallas Stars Conference Winner (+750) at Bet365
*The line and/or odds referenced in this article might have changed since the content was published. For the latest information on line movements, visit OddsTrader’s free betting odds tool.