2023 NHL Pacific Division Picks: Oilers or Flames?

  • BetOnline’s NHL Pacific Division Futures have the Oilers (+240) and Flames (+250) as co-favorites
  • The Kings (+375) brought in 33-goal-scorer Kevin Fiala from Minnesota this offseason
  • Vegas (+385) hired former Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy after missing the playoffs for the first time in franchise history

The Pacific division is shaping up as a two-horse race between two clubs in Alberta, Canada with championship aspirations. While the Edmonton Oilers subtly tweaked their roster around an NHL MVP core of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, the Calgary Flames improvised on the fly, replacing star players Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk with Jonathan Huberdeau and Nazem Kadri.

Who will win out West? Before we look at the odds and make our picks, here’s where you can find the best Stanley Cup betting sites and the top betting sites for NHL hockey in 2022-23.

2023 NHL Pacific Division

BetOnline
Edmonton Oilers+240
Calgary Flames+250
Los Angeles Kings+375
Vegas Golden Knights+385
Vancouver Canucks+1000
Seattle Kraken+3300
Anaheim Ducks+5000
San Jose Sharks+5000

Flurry of activity for Flames

The city of Calgary (+250) was up in the arms after superstar winger Johnny Gaudreau bolted for Columbus in free agency. When young forward Matthew Tkachuk asked for a trade shortly after, all hope was lost for last year’s division champions. Until, Brad Treliving pulled off the impossible.

First, the Flames general manager shipped Tkachuk to Florida for Jonathan Huberdeau and promptly re-upped the 115-point scorer on a eight-year, $84 million extension. He then signed 2022 Stanley Cup winner Nazem Kadri on a seven-year, $49 million deal. While both contracts are bound to age poorly, Treliving’s impressive improvisation skills should keep Calgary near the top of the Pacific in 2022/23.

Edmonton remain slight favorites

Edmonton (+240) signed former Maple Leaf Jack Campbell to man their net, but handing a 30-year-old UFA a five-year, $25 million pact may prove to be yet another mistake by management. While locking up rough-and-tumble forward Evander Kane for four years at $5.125M annually will provide much-needed depth, the Oilers still look thin behind Connor McDavid and Leon Draisiatl.

Can they build on their momentum after advancing to the Western Conference Finals last season or is more playoff disappointment ahead in Edmonton?

Edmonton Oilersto win Pacific Division
★★★★★
+240
Bet now
Los Angeles Kingsto win Pacific Division
★★★★★
+375
Bet now

Other contenders

Los Angeles (+375) traded for 26-year-old forward Kevin Fiala after snapping their three-year playoff drought last season. The Kings are trending in the opposite direction of the Golden Knights (+385), who only got worse after missing the postseason for the first time in franchise history.

Vegas lost first-line winger Max Pacioretty and starting goaltender Robin Lehner. So, any improvements will have to come from new coach Bruce Cassidy and improved health from Jack Eichel and Mark Stone.

Possible sleepers?

Vancouver (+1000) is brimming with young talent like defenseman Quinn Hughes and center Elias Pettersson, and Bruce Boudreau has a history of getting the most out of his teams in the regular season.

Otherwise, the Pacific is pretty much a dumpster fire after the Canucks with bottom-feeders such as the Seattle Kraken (+3300), Anaheim Ducks (+5000) and San Jose Sharks (+5000).

Best Bet

While likely worse off for the long haul, the Flames (+250) are primed for another Pacific division title this season under hard-nosed coach Darryl Sutter.

Calgary Flamesto win Pacific Division
★★★★★
+250
Bet now

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Steve Starr

Steve is one of the many Americans who spends Sunday watching football on the couch and gorging on delicious eats. He describes himself as a good father, great dog owner, and mediocre gambler and husband.

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