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NHL Central Division Odds: Defending Champion Blues are Locked In as Favorites

NHL Central Division Odds

After spending decades unable to get over the hump, the St. Louis Blues broke out in a big way a year ago by winning the first Stanley Cup in franchise history. When it comes to the 2019-20 season, the oddsmakers are expecting the Blues to run away with the Central Division title.

The Blues are the odds-on -225 faves to win the Central at Bovada, with the Colorado Avalanche (+350) and Dallas Stars (+650) serving as the main challengers for the banner. The Chicago Blackhawks (+3300), Winnipeg Jets (+3500), Minnesota Wild (+5000) and Nashville Predators (+6000) are all well back at the shop.

Championship Fatigue Hasn’t Hampered Blues

Stanley Cup hangovers have been a real thing in the past, but don’t tell that to the Blues. St. Louis boasted the best record in the Western Conference as of January 29 at 31-12-8 thanks to a stellar 17-4-4 showing at home. The Blues have allowed the second-fewest goals (141) in the division and scored the second-most (164). One area the Blues can improve upon is in the shootout, where they’re 0-3.

The Blues are well-coached, disciplined, loaded on offense and defense and have proven they’re a championship-caliber team. No team will want to face St. Louis in the first round of the NHL playoffs.

Makar’s Ascension Has Been Something to Behold

If any squad is going to challenge the Blues in the Central, it’ll be either the Avs or the Stars. The Avalanche were the trendy pick to win the division prior to the campaign, and they showed why in the first half of the year. Colorado has the top offense in the West (179 goals) and the Central’s third-best defense (143 goals allowed).

The emergence of Calder Trophy favorite Cale Makar has given Colorado a different look on the blue line, while Pavel Francouz (12-4-2, 2.45 goals-against average, .924 save percentage) has outplayed starting goaltender Philipp Grubauer so far. The Avalanche sit eight points back of the Blues in the division, but don’t be surprised if they make a run down the stretch.

Despite Coaching Change, Stars Haven’t Missed a Beat

The major theme of the 2019-20 season has undoubtedly been changes behind the bench, and the Stars were one of the many teams to fire their head coach before the all-star break. With Jim Montgomery gone and replaced by Rick Bowness on an interim basis, the Stars have stayed the course and look like a legitimate threat in the West.

Dallas posted a six-game win streak in late December and early January and was sitting at 28-17-4 as of this writing. The Stars don’t appear to be slowing down any time soon, and while they’ll be in tough to eclipse the Blues and Avalanche in the Central standings, the +650 value on them to win the division is certainly appealing.

For more hockey betting information, head over to our NHL page. Which team do you think is going to win the Central this year? Have your say in the comment section below.

2019-20 NHL Central Division Odds
St. Louis Blues-225
Colorado Avalanche+350
Dallas Stars+650
Chicago Blackhawks+3300
Winnipeg Jets+3500
Minnesota Wild+5000
Nashville Predators+6000

Odds as of January 29 at Bovada