Some of the NHL’s divisions this season are going to be close, but the Central is not likely to be one of them.
The Colorado Avalanche (-260) are clear favorites in 2021-22 NHL Central Division odds, and every other team is basically fighting for second — if oddsmakers are right. Following the Avs in odds to win the Central Division are the Minnesota Wild (+700), Dallas Stars (+800) and St. Louis Blues (+1200).
Here is a look at what Bovada has on its complete 2021-22 NHL Central Division futures board:
Who Will Win The 2021-22 Central Division?
|St. Louis Blues||+1200|
Odds as of October 13 at Bovada
Why The Avalanche Are The Central Division Lock
The Avalanche’s dominance starts and ends with their first line. Colorado has solid depth scoring, a great young defensive corps and good goaltending, but the top forward group of Gabriel Landeskog, Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon is all the Avs need to position themselves on top of the NHL Central Division odds.
All three of the first-line forwards scored at a point-per-game clip last season, with Rantanen leading with 66 points in 52 games. Behind the top forwards, the Avs bring back Andre Burakovsky, who scored 44 points in 2020-21, and Nazem Kadri.
The one significant new face for this Colorado team is goaltender Darcy Kuemper. Kuemper posted a .907 save percentage with the Coyotes last year, but has flashed elite production before and can be reasonably expected to flourish on a much better team in Colorado.
Top Central Division Contenders and Value Picks:
Winnipeg Jets +1300
One of many teams who got shocked by the Montreal Canadiens last year, the Winnipeg Jets enter 2021-22 healthy and aiming to topple Colorado. Though the defensive corps is weak, the Jets have elite goal scoring and goaltending.
A forward group built around Blake Wheeler, Mark Scheifele, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Kyle Connor and Nikolaj Ehlers can go up against any other top six. If Winnipeg can keep the group healthy, a tough task given recent history, they may have the best forward group in all of hockey.
With Connor Hellebuyck remaining the best goalie in the Western Conference, the Jets have the ingredients to play spoilers this year.
Chicago Blackhawks +1800
The Chicago Blackhawks have a lot of question marks heading into this season. Will Jonathan Toews lose a step? Will Marc-Andre Fleury ever age? Is Seth Jones enough to stabilize the defense?
But, the unknown isn’t always a bad thing, especially when you’re looking for NHL Central Division odds value picks.
If healthy and rolling, Chicago’s forward group of Toews, Patrick Kane, Kirby Dach and Alex DeBrincat can supply the goals. With a solid goalie tandem of Fleury and Kevin Lankinen, the biggest uncertainty about this Hawks squad is the defense past Jones. But if Calvin de Haan and Connor Murphy step up and everything else goes right, the Blackhawks could present great Central Division odds value.
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. You can bet on these odds using one of our top NHL sportsbooks, and use our Odds Calculator to figure out how much you’d win.
At Odds Shark, we use American odds, meaning the top-ranked team in Central Division odds might be +500 odds to win. That means you would earn $500 for every $100 wagered if that team goes on to win the division. However, a long-shot team may be +11000 to win the division, meaning you win $11,000 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.
Doc's Picks Service
Need more winning picks? Get $60 worth of premium member picks from Doc’s Sports – a recognized leader and trusted name in sports handicapping since 1971.
Odds Shark Staff Thu, Aug 11, 2:31pm