Odds to Win the NHL Pacific Division: Sharks, Golden Knights Top the List
Hockey is back. In regards to odds on which team will catch the NHL’s Pacific Division banner 2018-19, the race is open based on oddsmakers.
In BetOnline, the San Jose Sharks will be 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) Figuring out the list.
Golden Knights have already become the darlings of all Sin City
The Pacific was the very fascinating branch in the NHL a year ago as a result of growth of the Golden Knights. In their inaugural season, the growth Golden Knights — Gold Misfits, as they were affectionately known — had unprecedented success, winning the Pacific using a record of 51-24-7 (109 points) and making a run all the way into the Stanley Cup final before bowing out to the Washington Capitals.
So, how can the Knights follow up their unforgettable first season? After losing James Neal into Calgary at no service, GM George McPhee signed veteran centre Paul Stastny and traded for ex-Montreal Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty to strengthen the top-six ahead group. Together with the rock-solid Marc-Andre Fleury between the pipes, the Knights figure to contend for the Pacific once more and could easily win the division for the second year in a row.
Look out for your Sharks
The Golden Knights were tabbed as the division favorites for the majority of the offseason, but San Jose’s recent purchase of franchise defenseman Erik Karlsson in the Ottawa Senators has put them in the driver’s seat. San Jose will always have plenty of doubters because of its inability to get over the hump in the postseason, but a good deal of folks used to say the exact same thing about the Capitals also.
Karlsson, Brent Burns, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Joakim Ryan include an unbelievable top four to the blue line, while the Sharks’ forward collection figures to receive a increase in light of the registering of sharpshooting left-winger Evander Kane. San Jose’s core group is still around and its own chances of winning a Stanley Cup have never looked better. They deserve to be the favorites, and also their +240 cost is exceptional value in my eyes.
Best of the rest
The Ducks, Kings, Flames and Oilers are the only other groups that have a realistic chance of eclipsing that the Golden Knights and Sharks, but Calgary is the pick of this litter to raise some eyebrows in the division this season. The Flames improved considerably of their roster in the offseason and now have a profound team on paper together with a new head coach in Bill Peters.
Calgary’s forward group is remarkable, as Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau are already celebrities 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 so far as 36-year-old goaltender Mike Smith may take them. If Smith plays at a level he has in the past, a shot on the Flames at +550 odds resembles excellent long-shot value to me.
For a complete breakdown of Stanley Cup chances, click here. OddsShark’s NHL page has all of the betting information you will have to put some extra cash in your pocket to the ice this year.
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