Odds to Win the NHL Central Division: Jets are Primed for Takeoff

When it comes to the odds on which NHL team will win the Central Division from the 2018-19 campaign, it’s strictly a two-team race at sportsbooks.
The Nashville Predators are the slight +150 favorites to claim the bragging rights in BetOnline, together with the Winnipeg Jets directly behind them in +160. The St. Louis Blues (+850), Dallas Stars (+850), Minnesota Wild (+850), Colorado Avalanche (+1800) and Chicago Blackhawks (+2000) around things out in the store.
Who has the advantage: Jets or Preds?
While the Predators have been a perennial contender at the Central for quite some time, the Jets burst onto the scene in a huge way in 2017-18 by posting a 52-20-10 album — a substantial leap from their 40-35-7 showing two years ago. The development of goaltender Connor Hellebuyck supplied Winnipeg with all the franchise netminder it’s been missing since the group arrived in Manitoba in 2011. Because of this, the Jets signed the Vezina Trophy runner-up to some six-year, $37-million deal in the offseason.
It’s hard to find many weak places on the Jets roster, and a run to the Western Conference finals that led to a loss to the Vegas Golden Knights has convinced the largest non-believers that Winnipeg is the actual thing. While the Predators remain an elite group, longtime goaltender Pekka Rinne is starting to show his age at 35, and I believe Winnipeg is the better pick here in order to win the Central.
Blues spent the summer making moves The Blues, who missed the playoffs by a single point in 2017-18, were in need of a shakeup, and general manager Doug Armstrong did exactly that in a dramatic roster overhaul that has his team poised to vastly improve on its 44-32-6 record.
Ryan O’Reilly, David Perron, Patrick Maroon and Tyler Bozak were introduced in to jump-start an offense that boasted Brayden Schenn, Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko. The goaltending stays a bit of a question mark, however when Jake Allen can return to form for the entire season, expect St. Louis to get back to the postseason following spring.
What happened to the Blackhawks?
Contemplating that the Blackhawks have won three Stanley Cups since 2010, their fall from grace is difficult to believe, yet the +2000 price on them to acquire the Central speaks volumes. Last season was a nightmare for the’Hawks, as an injury to starting goaltender Corey Crawford at December effectively ended any hope Chicago lovers had of the team becoming competitive. What followed was a 33-39-10 document along with a last-place revealing from the Central.
It is no secret Chicago has had its own fair share of salary cap problems, yet general manager Stan Bowman has begun to make some moves to free up some space that is badly needed. Barring a miracle, the Blackhawks will not be in the dialogue of Central contenders for the foreseeable future.
Click here. OddsShark’s NHL page has all the betting information you will have to place some extra money in your pocket on the ice this year.

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