NHL Western Conference Betting Update: Central & Pacific Divisions up for Grabs

NHL Western Conference Betting Update: Central & Pacific Divisions up for Grabs
NHL Western Conference Betting Update: Central & Pacific Divisions up for Grabs

The NHL season is about to enter its final month, and plenty of playoff races remain to be decided. We will start in the Western Conference, where the Central and Pacific divisions have three teams vying for the crown.

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NHL Western Conference Betting Update: Central Division

Central Division Standings

The Minnesota Wild currently sit atop the Central with 97 points in 75 games. However, the Stars and Avalanche are right there with 94 points in 74 games.

Central Division Odds

  • Wild +135
  • Stars +210
  • Avalanche +240

Central Division Schedule

This will come down to the wire as all three of the Wild, Stars, and Avalanche have relatively easier schedules in the final two weeks.

The Wild still have to play the West-leading Golden Knights twice but also get the Blackhawks, Blues, Predators, Penguins, and Jets.

The Stars also play the Golden Knights — but only once — as well as a head-to-head clash against the Avalanche this weekend. After that, they have the Predators, Flyers, and Vegas at home before finishing the season in Detroit and a home-and-home with the Blues.

Colorado may have the easiest path. After hosting the Stars (who will be on a back-to-back after playing in Arizona on Friday night), they head to California to play the Sharks twice, Kings, and Ducks. After that, the Oilers and Jets present a tough final homestand before finishing the season in Nashville.

Central Division Pick

Colorado Avalanche +240

The Avalanche showed last season that they know how to win big games en route to the Stanley Cup. However, I think these odds should be much closer than they are, so I’ll happily take the “longshot” at +240.

NHL Western Conference Betting Update: Pacific Division

Pacific Division Standings

The Golden Knights are the only team in the West to clinch a playoff spot as of writing, with 99 points in 75 games. The Oilers have 97 points in 76 games, while the Kings are right there as well, with 96 points in 75 games.

Pacific Division Odds

  • Golden Knights -125
  • Oilers +210
  • Kings +550

Pacific Division Schedule

It may be challenging for the Knights to stay Golden, given their final seven games. They have a home-and-home with Minnesota, a trip to Nashville, then finish out the season against the Kings, Stars and a home-and-home against the Kraken.

The Oilers are red-hot and should be able to keep that going with three of their next four games against the Ducks or Sharks — with the Kings mixed in. After that, they travel to Colorado for their toughest game left before finishing the season with a cupcake game against the Sharks at home. Edmonton has six games remaining, four of which are against the Ducks or Sharks.

The Kings also have a tough schedule but control their own destiny in a way. They play Vegas and Edmonton once each, with games against Seattle, Vancouver (twice), Colorado, and Anaheim to finish it out.

Pacific Division Pick

Edmonton Oilers +210

The Oilers were on fire in March, with a 12-2-1 record in 15 games. Their first loss came on a back-to-back, their second loss was in Toronto, and their overtime loss was against Vegas. They have an easy schedule remaining and should arguably be the favorites.

Follow Ryan Gilbert on Twitter (@RGilbertSOP)

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