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Colorado Avalanche; The only viable Central Division betting pick
Updated September 22, 2022
It didn’t take long for the best NHL sportsbooks to install the Colorado Avalanche as their favorites to win the 2023 Stanley Cup, so it will be no surprise to find that the Avalanche are also the betting favorites to win the Central Division.
The Avalanche defeated the two times defending champions, Tampa Bay Lightning, earlier this year. This finished off the Lightning’s chances of a hat-trick of wins and, more importantly, won their first Stanley Cup since 2001.
In the betting odds to win the 2023 Stanley Cup, the best NHL betting sites make Colorado +400 go back-to-back. They also make Jared Bednar’s team -175 to win the Central Division, and based on the form of last season, that looks a pretty safe bet.
Before we move on, look at the latest betting odds to win the Central Division. The odds are supplied by BetOnline, and you can read more about them in our BetOnline sportsbook review.
The Avalanche looks unstoppable when it comes to winning the Central Division. They are naturally going to miss Darcy Kuemper between the sticks. Still, they have an attacking trio of Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, and Mikko Rantanen, which any head coach would want leading their line.
The goalkeeper position may become an issue in the playoffs. Kuemper was instrumental in some of the tighter matches in the 2022 postseason. But they should be able to get by with Alexandar Georgiev and Pavel Francouz in the regular season. And by the time the playoffs come around, one of those two goaltenders may have established themselves as the number one choice.
If either can step up and replace Kuemper, it makes the Avalanche an excellent bet to win the Stanley Cup again. Either way, I can’t see it preventing them from winning the Central Division.
The Wild have lost Swiss superstar Kevin Fiala, and his 33 goals from the 2021/22 season will undoubtedly be missed. They still have their major asset on the wing, Kirill Kaprizov, and will be hoping he can pick up from where he left off last season.
The Wild finished six points behind the Avalanche last season. But don’t forget that Colorado took their foot off the gas once they clinched the division. Minnesota lost out to St Louis in six matches in the first round in the playoffs.
St Louis Blues +900
The Blues went one round further than the Wild managed in the playoffs. After knocking out the Wild in round one, the Blues came up against the Avalanche and were defeated in six games. They arguably gave Colorado their toughest series in the playoffs.
If you’re looking for an alternative bet to the Avalanche, based on their showing from last season, I would have to say that St Louis at +900 looks the better value second pick to win the division.
The Stars lost John Klingberg, and he will be a big miss. To improve on last season’s fourth-place finish (21 points behind Colorado), the Stars will need the likes of Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn to up their games.
Dallas made a fist of it in the playoffs, going down 4-3 to Calgary, with the Flames needing O|T to see the Stars off. I’m not convinced by Dallas, though, and I wouldn’t be going near them in the betting to win the division.
Nashville Predators +1100
The Predators finished fifth on 97 points last season. This year they recruited Ryan McDonagh from Tampa Bay, so if nothing else, they have signed a player who knows how to win the big matches.
In the playoffs last season, Nashville had the unenviable task of taking on the Avalanche in the first round. They duly lost 4-0 and barely laid a finger on the then champions-elect. I prefer them to Dallas at +1100, but I still don’t see them pushing the Avalanche.
Winnipeg Jets +2000
The Jets needed a winning streak of four to get to 89 points last season, but in all reality, they never looked like challenging the top five. I don’t see that changing much this season, if at all.
Chicago Blackhawks +20000
The Blackhawks had a disappointing 2021/22 campaign, finishing second bottom of the table on 68 points, winning just 28 of their 82 matches. Their only claim to fame last season was not being as bad as the Coyotes.
Arizona Coyotes +25000
Speaking of the Coyotes, they are +25000 to win the Central Division and also +25000 in the betting odds to win the Stanley Cup. An extra zero could be added to both of those markets.
For a team as dominant as the Colorado Avalanche were last season, to be -175 to win the Central Division is good value. It’s odds on, but the Avalanche looked in a different class last term.
So, unless something drastic has changed over the summer which we are not aware of, the Colorado Avalanche at -175 to win the Central Division looks a great bet and is our betting pick.