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 in sportsbooks.
The Nashville Predators will be the little +150 favorites to claim the bragging rights in BetOnline, together with the Winnipeg Jets directly behind them at +160. The St. Louis Blues (+850), Dallas Stars (+850), Minnesota Wild (+850), Colorado Avalanche (+1800) and Chicago Blackhawks (+2000) round things out in the store.
Who has the edge: Preds or Jets?
While the Predators are a perennial contender in the Central for quite a while, the Jets burst on the scene in a huge way in 2017-18 by submitting a 52-20-10 record — a substantial jump from their 40-35-7 showing two decades back. 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 up the Vezina Trophy runner-up into a six-year, $37-million deal in the offseason.
It is difficult to find many weak places on the Jets roster, and a run to the Western Conference finals that resulted in a loss to the Vegas Golden Knights has convinced even the biggest non-believers that Winnipeg will be the real thing. While the Predators stay an elite team, longtime goaltender Pekka Rinne is starting to show his era at 35, and I believe Winnipeg is the better choice here in order to win the Central.
Blues spent the summer making motions The Blues, who missed the playoffs by a single point in 2017-18, were in need of a shakeup, also general manager Doug Armstrong did precisely that at a stunning roster overhaul which 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 into jumpstart a crime that already boasted Brayden Schenn, Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko. The goaltending remains a bit of a question mark, but if Jake Allen can return to form for the entire season, expect St. Louis to contact the postseason following spring.
What happened to the Blackhawks?
Considering that the Blackhawks have won three Stanley Cups since 2010, their fall from grace is difficult to believe, however the +2000 price on them to win the Central speaks volumes. Last year was a nightmare for the’Hawks, as an injury to starting goaltender Corey Crawford at December effectively ended any hope Chicago fans had of the team becoming competitive. What followed was a 33-39-10 record and a last-place showing in the Central.
It’s no secret Chicago has had its fair share of salary cap problems, however general manager Stan Bowman has begun to make some moves to free up some badly needed space. Barring a miracle, the Blackhawks won’t be in the conversation of Central contenders for the foreseeable future.
For a complete breakdown of Stanley Cup odds, click here. OddsShark’s NHL page has all of the betting information you will need to put some excess cash in your pocket on the ice this season.

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