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Pacific Division Preview: Best Bets

Anaheim held on to win the Pacific last year but Connor McDavid and the Oilers made things very interesting down the stretch. Deemed favorites to overtake the Ducks and win a division crown for the first time in nearly 30 years, a lot is expected from the Oilers in the NHL’s 101st campaign.

Here are my best bets for every team in the Pacific Division for the 2017-18 season:

Best Bet to Win the Division: San Jose Sharks (+425)

Everyone is ready to write off the Sharks and I’m not sure why. They still have one of the most talented rosters in the NHL and they’re just one season away from a Stanley Cup finals appearance. I’m not positive the Sharks win the division but at +425 they’re easily worth the gamble as I expect a tight finish in the Pacific.

Best Stanley Cup Bet: Anaheim Ducks (+1400)

Until proven otherwise, the Ducks are the best playoff team in the Pacific. They edged the Oilers out in the second round of Lord Stanley’s postseason last year and they’re returning basically the same roster. It makes no sense that Edmonton is being offered at +800 and I like the Ducks for the value alone.

Anaheim Ducks (46-23-13, 105 Points): UNDER 104.5 Points (-115)

While I expect the Ducks to make their way back to the postseason, I think they’ll take a page out of the Cleveland Cavaliers handbook and rest their stars in the regular season with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry both now on the wrong side of 30. The Pacific could also be extremely competitive and I think 105 points will be tough for any team in the division to achieve.

Line available at Bovada.

Edmonton Oilers (47-26-9, 103 Points): Connor McDavid to Win the Hart Memorial Trophy (+140)

I’m not really going out on a limb on this one but at +140 this line has to be bet. Connor McDavid is very tangibly the best forward in the NHL and might lead the league in points by a wide margin in his third season. He and Leon Draisaitl developed an undeniable chemistry in the playoffs last year and if they’re paired up again, Connor could put up some Gretzky-esque numbers.

Line available at Bovada.

San Jose Sharks (46-29-7, 99 Points): OVER 43 Wins (-115)

This is an easy bet. The Sharks have finished 12 of the last 13 full NHL seasons with 43 or more wins and as I outlined already, I still really like this team. They’re deep at both ends, they’re coached well and they have a solid No. 1 netminder. San Jose will finish second or third in the division with close to 100 points – it’s as sure as death and taxes.

Line available at Bovada.

Calgary Flames (45-33, 4, 94 Points): Not to Reach the Playoffs (+110)

Unfortunately for the Flames, I see a regression coming. Off-ice distractions are never good for a young team and Calgary definitely has that right now with ownership holding the city hostage for a new rink. Mike Smith is also not a good solution to the Flames’ goaltending issues. Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau will grind out some results but this team is not deep enough to compete for a Pacific Division title.

Line available at Intertops.

Los Angeles Kings (39-35-8, 86 Points): Not to Reach the Playoffs (-111)

This season is shaping up to be a good one for the Central Division and because of that, I think only three teams from the Pacific make the playoffs. The Los Angeles Kings are not one of them. Dean Lombardi was canned in the offseason with the dynasty he helped build crumbling around his ankles. The team is nearly set for a complete rebuild and while there’s still enough talent for the Kings to compete, there’s not enough for them to get into the postseason.

Line available at Intertops.

Arizona Coyotes (30-42-10, 70 Points): OVER 33.5 Wins (-115)

I actually don’t hate the makeup of the ’Yotes. They’ve got sneaky depth everywhere you look and I think Antti Raanta is a major upgrade over Mike Smith. Arizona can’t suck forever and this is a season where they look like they could leapfrog the Kings and Flames. It’s not outrageous to peg this team for 40 wins – take the OVER.

Line available at Bovada.

Vancouver Canucks (30-43-9, 69 Points): UNDER 72.5 Points (-115)

The only thing keeping the Canucks from finishing dead last in the division this season is the Vegas Golden Knights. Vancouver is going to be laughably bad once again and with almost no young talent, they could be bad for a long time. Expect them to ship the Sedins when they find an acceptable suitor.

Line available at Bovada.

Vegas Golden Knights (0-0-0): UNDER 30.5 Wins (-130)

If you think the Knights are going to be anything but awful in their first campaign, you absolutely should not be betting on hockey. Marc-Andre Fleury could earn a few wins but this team was constructed to finish in last place. The Knights want the No. 1 overall draft pick next year and there’s a good chance they’ll get it.

Line available at Bovada.

I’ll be previewing and making my best bets for every division so keep your eye on the NHL tab in the coming days in the lead-up to puck drop.

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