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Odds to Win the NHL Pacific Division: Sharks, Golden Knights Top the List

Brent Burns #88 of the San Jose Sharks skates on to the ice for their game against the Vegas Golden Knights in Game Six of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at SAP Center on May 6, 2018 in San Jose, California.

After months of waiting, hockey season is finally back. When it comes to odds on which team will capture the NHL’s Pacific Division banner in 2018-19, the race is wide open according to oddsmakers.

At Bovada, the San Jose Sharks are the +240 front-runners, with the Vegas Golden Knights (+260), Anaheim Ducks (+550), Los Angeles Kings (+550), Calgary Flames (+550), Edmonton Oilers (+650), Arizona Coyotes (+4500) and Vancouver Canucks (+5000) rounding out the list.

Golden Knights have already become the darlings of Sin City

The Pacific was the most intriguing division in the NHL a year ago due to the rise of the Golden Knights. In their inaugural season, the expansion Golden Knights – or Gold Misfits, as they were affectionately referred to – had unprecedented success, winning the Pacific with a record of 51-24-7 (109 points) and making a run all the way to the Stanley Cup final before bowing out to the Washington Capitals.

So, how will the Knights follow up their unforgettable first season? After losing James Neal to Calgary in free agency, GM George McPhee signed veteran center Paul Stastny and traded for ex-Montreal Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty to bolster the top-six forward group. With the rock-solid Marc-Andre Fleury between the pipes, the Knights figure to contend for the Pacific once again and could easily win the division for the second year in a row.

Watch out for the Sharks

The Golden Knights were tabbed as the division favorites for the majority of the offseason, but San Jose’s recent acquisition of franchise defenseman Erik Karlsson from the Ottawa Senators has put them in the driver’s seat. San Jose will always have plenty of doubters due to its inability to get over the hump in the postseason, but plenty of people used to say the same thing about the Capitals as well.

Karlsson, Brent Burns, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Joakim Ryan comprise an unbelievable top four on the blue line, while the Sharks’ forward group figures to receive a boost in light of the signing of sharpshooting left-winger Evander Kane. San Jose’s core group is still around and its chances of finally winning a Stanley Cup have never looked better. They deserve to be the favorites, and their +240 price is excellent value in my eyes.

Best of the rest

The Ducks, Kings, Flames and Oilers are the only other teams that have a realistic shot of eclipsing the Golden Knights and Sharks, but Calgary is my pick of the litter to raise some eyebrows in the division this year. The Flames improved much of their roster in the offseason and now have a deep team on paper along with a new head coach in Bill Peters.

Calgary’s forward group is impressive, as Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau are already stars in the league despite their young age. Elias Lindholm, James Neal, Matthew Tkachuk and Mikael Backlund should provide plenty of offense, but the Flames will go as far as 36-year-old goaltender Mike Smith can take them. If Smith plays at a level he has in the past, a shot on the Flames at +550 odds looks like excellent long-shot value to me.

For a full breakdown of Stanley Cup odds, click here. OddsShark’s NHL page has all of the betting information you’ll need to put some extra cash in your pocket on the ice this season.

2018-19 NHL Pacific Division Odds
San Jose Sharks+240
Vegas Golden Knights+260
Anaheim Ducks+550
Los Angeles Kings+550
Calgary Flames+550
Edmonton Oilers+650
Arizona Coyotes+4500
Vancouver Canucks+5000

Odds as of October 3 at Bovada