As we approach the start of the 2022-23 NHL training camps, anticipation for the season is growing rapidly. Along with that anticipation come the first odds of the year and after a crazy league-wide offseason, we’re going to focus on the best lines to add some cash to your wallet.
Each category will consist of two of the two, a higher risk “dormant” selection and a lower risk “shoe in” selection. A reminder that all choices discussed in this article are personal opinions and TWC is not responsible for any financial loss associated with bets placed following the recommendations below.
Regular season points (team)
Futures prop betting is about the long game and going into Bedard’s year of draws, team point totals are a particularly desirable line. Most of the teams heading into the draw this season have already made their intentions for the season clear. On the other side of the coin, few league-wide teams have retained their core and head coach, which makes for some interesting overs and unders at the start of the season.
Shoo-in – ARZ Coyotes (U/65.5pts) -120 odds
I don’t know what I really need to say here that you don’t already know. This team arguably won’t even be the best team playing in ASU’s 5,000-seat barn this season. After an extremely lackluster offseason, it’s clear Arizona is gearing up for a low point total this year and as many lottery balls as possible next July.
As disappointing as last season was for the Yotes (ending with 57 points), a bad case of deja vu will likely ensue this season. To expect this team to win more than 25-28 games would be amazing to me, even with Chicago in the same division.
Sleeper – EDM Oilers (O/102.5pts) +100 odds
The odds are good for an Oilers team that has retained much of its roster, added a starting goaltender who remains within 10 feet of his crease and re-signed the head coach who took them to the Western Conference Finals. All in all, it’s a recipe for a strong regular season.
In a Pacific Division with a new Flames team and the injury-riddled big-money player slot machine that is Vegas, the Oilers finishing in roughly the same place they did last season (104pts) is very realistic. Personally, I don’t like to applaud Oilers success as a Flames fan, but if that means doubling my money and seeing another Alberta battle in the playoffs, count on me.
Regular Season Awards
Regular season awards, or for bettors, everyone’s favorite part of the season that means absolutely nothing unless you bet on it. The season’s awards are extremely difficult to choose, outside of Art Ross, Rocket Richard, among other performance-based awards, due to writers association voting. Obviously, subjective opinion is a tough thing to bet, but my Hart Memorial shoo-in is the most confident pick I have of all the futures picks discussed today.
Shoo-in – Hart Memorial Trophy – Connor McDavid +250 odds
Honestly, Connor McDavid could play all season shorthanded 3-5 and I’d still put him in the top 3 to win the Hart next year. Last season’s playoffs sparked a new level that no one has seen from the generational superstar. a full season alongside Leon Draisaitl and Evander Kane – if he manages a full season – will push monstrous numbers over 82 games. McDavid is the obvious pick, but with odds of +250 there’s still plenty of money to be had here.
Sleeper – Vézina Trophy – Juuse Saros +1000 odds
Juuse Saros showed incredible flashes of play last season on a Nashville team that seemed to bounce back in the standings all year. Arguably, Saros was the reason the team made the playoffs at the end of last season. If it hadn’t been for a knee injury that took him out of the first round, I think Nashville would have held up better against Colarado’s unstoppable offense.
Saros is vastly different from most NHL starters today, standing just 5’11”. Height certainly doesn’t measure the heart in Saros’ case as he looks to sign up for more 65 starts this season Last year, he finished the season with a GAA of 2.64 and an SV% of 0.918 while leading the league in starts.
Nashville will face a slightly less competitive Central Division this season and the Finnish product will be looking to have a big break and solidify as one of the league’s elite starters.
Stanley Cup Champions
After Colorado took an offensively dominant team to the top last season, we enter 2022-23 with a very different group of teams from last season. Picking a cup contender in August certainly isn’t the easiest bet to take on, but having seen the odds for these two teams open the year, consider dropping some spare change here.
Sleeper – Calgary Flames +1500 odds
Where do I start? After an emotional roller coaster of an offseason, Brad Treliving pulled off something no one imagined when he opened free agency on July 13. The Flames’ roster destined to look like Swiss cheese quickly turned into a better all-around team on paper after a month and a half of jaw-dropping moves.
The point totals of Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk were almost exactly replaced by the addition of Nazem Kadri and Jonathan Huberdeau, as well as high-caliber first pair defensemen in MacKenzie Weegar. Re-signing the rest of the young defensive core and replacing Erik Gudbranson with Weegar makes the Flames look better than they did in the offseason.
This pick might be skewed, but with the sixth-highest odds leading up to the season, I’m not the only one who thinks this team could go far.
Sleeper – Boston Bruins +2500 odds
The entire city of Boston breathed a big sigh of relief this offseason when they re-signed Patrice Bergeron and added David Krejci from their glory days in the early 2010s. It may sound crazy, but a new head coach and retention of their leadership group could be enough to get this team over the hump this year. Obviously, the Eastern Conference is packed with powerhouses like the Carolina Hurricanes, Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers, but Boston’s veteran core might surprise everyone. The odds on this one are too good not to take a chance, but remember to tread lightly.
Summary of Recommendations
This year comes with tons of excitement around the league ahead of the first real post-pandemic season schedule. Ideally, there won’t be any breakouts or breakouts in the league, which means there’s plenty of good hockey in store.
The new wave of talent and style of play in the NHL is here to stay, so strap in and get ready for a rollercoaster season. Bet as you wish, but I recommend placing $$$ (3 units) on shoo-in selections and $ (1 unit) on dormant selections.
Stay tuned as the regular season approaches for weekly game picks and an updated futures selection midway through the season.
Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire