Taking a look at NHL Western Conference futures has proved illuminating. Last week we examined which teams look favored in the East and now we turn our attention to the other half of the continent. Western Conference futures have been very profitable for me over the last few years, most notably taking the Nashville Predators and the San Jose Sharks for solid returns.
Although the Western Conference has looked the better of the two in recent years, I suspect parity is returning the league. The NHL looks more balanced this year with the East posting strong early number. Either way, the profit in hockey future odds lays in getting in on the ground floor early.
Western Conference Futures – Odds to Win
The 2017 NHL season has provided a lot of drama in a short period of time and the Western Conference is no different. In the Central Division the Chicago Blackhawks sit in first followed by the St. Louis Blues in second place. The Blackhawks look like they are returning to old form and could be a serious threat this year. The Blues have the majority of their excellent team from last year and will no doubt make another playoff run. The Blues and Hawks face off tonight in a key early battle with Chicago +1.5\-270 on the pointspread and the Blues a -120 moneyline favorite as the home team. This should be an epic game so make sure to get your bets in!
The Pacific Division is led by the familiar face of the Los Angeles Kings who are off to an unblemished start. However, it is the team in second place that has everyone talking as the NHL’s newest expansion team is ripping up the league. The Vegas Golden Knights are off to a 4-1-1 start and seem intent on competing right off the bat. It is a long season and time will tell- but now still might be a good time to pick them up at +3400 if you are looking at Western Conference futures.
Odds to Win the Western Conference
- Edmonton Oilers +450
- Chicago Blackhawks +500
- Nashville Predators +750
- Anaheim Ducks +750
- San Jose Sharks +1,200
- Minnesota Wild +800
- Dallas Stars +750
- Los Angeles Kings +900
- St Louis Blues+750
- Calgary Flames +1,000
- Winnipeg Jets +1,600
- Arizona Coyotes +8,000
- Colorado Avalanche +2,500
- Vancouver Canucks +6,600
- Vegas Golden Knights +3,500
NHL Best Picks – Chicago Blackhawks
The Chicago Blackhawks have done a phenomenal job of building and maintaining a championship geared team for years. The Hawks have won three Stanley Cups in the last eight years which is an incredible achievement in today’s league. Sure the LA Kings have won two cups in the last seven years, and the Pittsburgh Penguins have won back to back Stanley Cups- but Chicago seems to make it look easy.
The Hawks are currently +500 to win the Western Conference second only to the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers are showing early signs of goaltender issues though so that could hurt them in the long run. Chicago however still has one of the best goaltenders in the game in the form of Corey Crawford, along with offensive stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. I think this is a perennially good team and that their early strong start this year might be a sign of things to come.
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