Now that the 2022 football seasons have kicked off, it means that the NHL and NBA are not far off from their starts. While the NBA is returning in October, the NHL is back in less than two weeks as the preseason games get going on Sept. 24.
As we start to gear up for puck drop, let’s take a closer look at the NHL betting odds on the board and see what are some of the best bets to make in terms of futures.
Best Bet to Win it all: Carolina Hurricanes
Yes, it’s quite clear that many people will be investing in the NHL odds of the Colorado Avalanche. The team is, once again, quite stacked and barring some kind of unforeseen circumstances, they’re going to be a contender.
However, it’s really difficult to go back-to-back in the NHL and the price of +400 simply isn’t that attractive for the defending Stanley Cup champions.
One team to consider is the Carolina Hurricanes, who have been buzzing around the top of the standings in recent seasons. They’ve played at least two rounds of playoff hockey in each of the last four seasons.
In the offseason, the team managed to snap up Max Pacioretty and Brent Burns. That’s adding to a team that won 54 games and earned 116 points last season.
They led the NHL in a number of defensive metrics, including goals per game allowed at 2.44. If their offense is marginally improved, this team should be contending for a Stanley Cup.
Best Bet to Win Hart Trophy: Connor McDavid
This might be a boring pick but as long as Connor McDavid is healthy, it’s hard to bet against this guy. He has had 100 points or more in five of the last six seasons, with the lone miss a 97-point performance. In 2020-21, he had 105 points in just 56 games.
If McDavid retired today, he’d probably enter the Hall of Fame. However, we don’t need to jump ahead of ourselves as he’s only 25 years old.
The key for McDavid is shots on net. He had 240 in his last full season prior to 2021-22, when he upped it to 310. Can he maintain that pace? His career shooting percentage is around 15%, so 300 shots gets him 45 goals.
And he’ll probably pull around 80 to 90 assists in his sleep. That means that around 120+ points is not outrageous to expect – as long as he stays healthy. He’s the best choice for your NHL picks here.
Best Bet to Win Vezina Trophy: Repeat Choice
Taking a look at the Vezina Trophy race, Igor Shesterkin, who won last season’s award, is at +250 while Andrei Vasilevsky is at +450 and Ilya Sorokin is at +800 in the sportsbook. That’s the top three. However, it feels like Shesterkin is still the best bet.
Sorokin is a nice goaltender but the Islanders are changing cultures. Goaltenders tend to shine under Barry Trotz but that coach is gone now. Who knows how they’ll look now?
As for Vasilevsky, he is probably the top backstop on a top team. While he’s likely going to have the wins to stand out, the peripheral numbers might not. He’s had a goals-against average of 2.40 or higher in six of the last seven seasons.
Shesterkin is a young goaltender who is on the rise. The New York Rangers are a young team that is collectively growing together. They had a good showing in last season’s playoffs and should continue to build. While Shesterkin is the shortest price here, he’s a good bet to win it again.