NHL hockey betting for the 2017 season is underway and there are some interesting things right out of the gate. Firstly, hockey always sneaks up on me as I am usually in the middle of handicapping NFL. However, NHL hockey betting has always been pretty good to me so it is time to start breaking down the 2017 season.
As always there are a couple of things to keep in mind when figuring out your NHL hockey betting picks. Team and player form is huge in hockey, and of course paying close attention to the injury list is critical as well. The NHL isn’t shy on rule changes either so make sure to be up to speed on those for sure.
At the end of the 2015 season I previewed 2016 NHL Futures and that worked out extremely well. I haven’t had a chance to do that for this season, but in the next few weeks we should get a sense of who is ready to make a run for the Stanley Cup. Let’s take a look at some of the teams and their NHL hockey betting odds starting with the Eastern Conference.
NHL Hockey Betting Odds – Eastern Conference
The Eastern Conference is setting a torrid pace along with giving us a few surprises. The defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins are off to a 2-1-1 start, and sit 3rd in the Metropolitan Division behind the always competitive Washington Capitals and the surprising 1st place New Jersey Devils.
Added to the surprising list are the Toronto Maple Leafs who currently sit atop the Atlantic Division followed by the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers. For the purposes of NHL hockey betting lets take a look at where the Eastern Conference Futures stand for our top contenders.
Odds to Win the Eastern Conference
- Pittsburgh Penguins +400
- Washington Capitals +550
- Tampa Bay Lightning +550
- Toronto Maple Leafs +650
- New York Rangers +850
- Montreal Canadiens +900
- Columbus Blue Jackets +1000
- Boston Bruins +1400
- Ottawa Senators +2000
- New York Islanders +2000
- Philadelphia Flyers +2200
- Carolina Hurricanes +2200
- Florida Panthers +2500
- Buffalo Sabres +3500
- Detroit Red Wings +4000
- New Jersey Devils +4000
It is really mixture of some of the usual suspects and some newcomers e.g. the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New Jersey Devils. Still, it is going to be hard to outpoint the Washington Capitals or out gut the Pittsburgh Penguins throughout the entire length of the season- much less the playoffs.
NHL Best Picks – Toronto Maple Leafs
This might be the year the formerly great, and recently forlorn, Toronto Maple Leafs make it deep into the playoffs. Every Toronto team has always had swagger and grit but you still need to add some talent to that. With the recent drafting of Auston Matthews, the Leafs have turned into a team of young guns with speed and lots of firepower. They currently sit 1st in the league with 5.5 Goals Per Game and also 1st in the Power Play. Challenges will be handling the defensive side of the game as well as player maturation – but at +650 to win the Eastern Conference they might just be the best NHL bet you make this year. The Leafs take on historic rivals the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night which is always a great game- check out the NHL odds here.
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