The Central Division is the toughest in the NHL’s Western Conference. The Pacific Division just hasn’t been competitive for years now. Meanwhile, six different teams have won the Central over the past 10 seasons if you count the COVID-realigned 2020-21 campaign when Carolina won it.
With a 51-24-7 record and 109 points, the Colorado Avalanche captured the Central Division for the second season in a row.
Who Will Win The 2022-23 Central Division?
2023 Central Division Champions: Colorado Avalanche
For the second season in a row, the Avalanche have come out on top in the Central Division. And while their opening odds suggested they'd win it again in 2023, that wasn't always the case. By January 13th, the Avalanche sat sixth in the Central with a 20-17-3 record.
|St. Louis Blues||+1000|
Odds from October 7, 2022
But with half of the season left to play, the sleeping giant woke up. With a combination of stars returning to form after missing time with injury, the Avs went nuts on the league. Through their next 42 games, Colorado went on a 31-7-4 run for 0.786 points per game.
They averaged 3.86 goals per game and only allowed 2.57 per game. It was absolute domination.
Sure, they got to play Chicago and Arizona (three times) in that stretch, but if beating either of those teams was so easy, Pittsburgh would have made the playoffs and not the Florida Panthers.
2023 Central Division Best Dog
I like to look back over the year and see where we were all wrong. What team was given no chance and surprised?
Dallas Stars (+1400)
The Stars held the fifth-best odds to win their Division. And while they obviously didn't win the division, they came in second. The team from the Lone Star State was only a single point worse than the division-winning Stars.
I'm not sure why we were so down on Dallas. Jake Oettinger was trending to be a solid number-one keeper in the league. Jason Robertson was only 22 last year and scored 41 goals, he was going to get better. The same for Finnish forward Roope Hintz.
Last 10 Central Division Winners
|Year||Team||Opening Odds||Final Stage|
|2023||Colorado Avalanche||-165||Lost in First Round|
|2022||Colorado Avalanche||-225||Won Stanley Cup|
|2021||Carolina Hurricanes**||+325||Lost in Second Round|
|2020||St. Louis Blues*||+385||Lost In First Round|
|2019||Nashville Predators||+158||Lost In First Round|
|2018||Nashville Predators||+365||Lost In Second Round|
|2017||Chicago Blackhawks||+300||Lost In First Round|
|2016||Dallas Stars||+800||Lost In Second Round|
|2015||St. Louis Blues||+300||Lost In First Round|
|2014||Colorado Avalanche||+2000||Lost In First Round|
*Winners based on pts% due to COVID
**Division reshuffled in COVID-shortened year
When it comes to the odds, there aren’t too many surprises here. Colorado in 2013-14 is the one team that bucks the trend here. The Avs went from a .407 points percentage the previous season to a .683 points percentage thanks to a strong goaltending duo of Semyon Varlamov (2.41 GAA, .927 SV%) and Jean-Sebastien Giguere (2.62 GAA, .913 SV%).
How To Bet On NHL Central Division Odds:
Oddsmakers set and move lines during the NHL season for all divisions, awards and the Stanley Cup.
We use American odds, and the top-ranked team in Central Division odds might have +400 odds to win. That means you would earn $400 for every $100 wagered if that team goes on to win the division.
However, a long-shot team may be +10000 to win the division, meaning you win $10,000 for every $100 bet. It’s a better payout, but the line is set like that for a reason. If you’re betting on Central Division odds or any hockey bets, it’s important to weigh that big payout with the probability of the team actually winning.
NHL Central Division FAQ
Who won the Central Division in 2022-23
The Colorado Avalanche won the Central Division in the 2022-23 season. They finished with a 51-24-7 record to earn 109 points.
How many divisions are in the NHL?
The NHL breaks up the Eastern and Western conferences into four different divisions: Atlantic, Pacific, Metropolitan and Central. Each division holds eight teams.
Which Team Has Won The Central Division The Most?
Since being formed in 1993, the Detroit Red Wings won the division 13 times. As of last year, the Red Wings have moved to the Atlantic Division. Out of the current Central teams, the St. Louis Blues have claimed the division four times.