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NHL Futures: Which Teams Are Set To Roll or Roll Over?

Metropolitan and Pacific Divisions Share Spotlight

With the NHL All-Star Game all wrapped up, the 2022-23 NHL regular season is about to ramp up. This is when contenders begin to make a run while everyone on the bubble decides whether to move up or down. With the NHL Trade Deadline just a month away, there are several teams worth keeping an eye on, as evidenced by how their regular-season win totals are trending on the NHL betting odds.

Let’s check the latest NHL news, stats, injury reports, and NHL lines. We’ve got plenty of NHL picks for you to consider.

Martin Necas #88 of the Carolina Hurricanes
Martin Necas #88 of the Carolina Hurricanes skates against the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena - Dustin Bradford/Getty Images/afp

Storm Surging: Carolina Leads Contenders

  • Carolina Hurricanes: Over 116½ Points (-140)
  • New Jersey Devils: Over 109½ Points (-115)
  • New York Rangers: Over 102½ Points (-130)
  • Seattle Kraken: Over 102½ Points (-120)

The Hurricanes are becoming what the Red Wings were to the NHL in the 1990s and 2000s: a team that consistently dominates the regular season. Carolina is on pace for 122 points, has seven straight wins, and has been the best team in the NHL (24-3-3) since November 26.

Carolina dominated Boston and is the runaway favorite (-450) to win the Metropolitan Division. The Devils are a distant second (+400) but are still expected to finish above 100 points. This will be the first time for the franchise since its last Stanley Cup run in the 2011-12 season.

The Devils’ Hudson River rivals, the Rangers, are also on pace to hit 100+ points. Like New Jersey and Carolina, the Rangers have been on a roll and are 6-2-2 in their last 10 games. They have been the NHL’s fourth-best team since December 5 (17-8-2).

Over on the Western side, the Kraken are not expected to “come back to Earth.” The surprising outfit has overtaken Vegas (+400) and Edmonton (+225) as the likely winners of the Pacific Division. They also have the second-easiest remaining schedule, thus why they get plenty of bets online.

Flame On? Where Bubble Teams are Headed

  • Calgary Flames: Over 97½ Points (-120)
  • Washington Capitals: Over 94½ Points (-120)
  • Las Vegas Golden Knights: Under 97½ Points (-130)
  • Los Angeles Kings: Under 97½ Points (-120)

Speaking of the PacificDivision, this is the one to watch, just like last season. While the Kraken remain monstrous, the other “contenders” will be fighting for the final two spots. In fact, one win can alter the top four between Seattle, Los Angeles, Vegas, and Edmonton. Calgary sits in fifth with 57 points, but bettors are bullish on their online sports betting.

Calgary is on pace to finish with 93 points, but its backers expect the team to make a run. The Flames have the fourth-easiest remaining schedule and still have seven games left against the terrible trio of Anaheim, Arizona, and San Jose. A critical three-game set against Vegas will determine its fate.

Vegas, on the flip side, is expected to continue sliding down the standings. The Knights are just 2-6-2 in their last 10 games and have dropped four straight. Logan Thompson’s play in net has also declined. He went 14-7-0 with a 91.8 save percentage (SV%) in his first 21 games. Since then, he’s dropped to 5-6-3 with a 90.4 SV% in his last 14. To compound issues, Vegas has the hardest strength of schedule left in the division.

As for the Kings, they are on pace to finish with 97 points. But bettors are not buying it, as this team has a -10 goal differential and has some of the worst netminding.

No Tanks: The NHL’s Worst Get Better?

  • Anaheim Ducks: Under 59½ Points (Ev)
  • Chicago Blackhawks: Over 57½ Points (-115)
  • Montreal Canadiens: Over 66½ Points (-115)

As it stands, the Columbus Blue Jackets have the best NHL odds to win the Connor Bedard sweepstakes. But the Anaheim Ducks, the third-worst team in point percentage, could just overtake them. Anaheim is abysmal and ranks in the bottom three of the league in most categories.

The Ducks will have “tough competition” with Chicago. The Blackhawks are being bet on to gain more than 57½ points, a risky bet since they’re on pace to barely finish with 58. However, this team has not looked as bad recently and is actually 7-4-0 in its last 11 games.

Montreal briefly flirted with playoff contention but it’s back to being bad. Since December, the Canadiens are just 9-17-3 and have the fourth-worst point percentage in this span. The team’s defense has gone from bad to nonexistent. But they could still win enough to bring their total points over 66½.

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