- BetOnline still has the Vegas Golden Knights (+150) as the favorite in the Pacific
- The Coyotes (+175) trade for Taylor Hall has made them contenders in the division
- The Oilers (+900) are fading fast after a hot start to the season
Stuck on losing teams for the entirety of his career, Taylor Hall was acquired by one of the NHL’s losingest franchises in a move that could be a big win for both parties.
The Coyotes are seeking their first playoff berth in eight seasons while the 2018 Hart Trophy winner hopes to land a lucrative free-agent payday this summer.
Will the new partnership lead to a Pacific-division title? Let’s check the latest odds at BetOnline and place our bets.
NHL PACIFIC DIVISION ODDS
|Team||Current Odds||Trending||Oct. 29, 2019|
|Vegas Golden Knights||+150||↔||+150|
|San Jose Sharks||+3300||↓||+1400|
|Los Angeles Kings||+50000||↓||+5000|
When you land a former league MVP without losing any players off your active roster, oddsmakers are going to adjust.
At +450 about two months ago, Arizona’s odds to win the Pacific jumped to +175 after the Taylor Hall acquisition; the club’s Cup odds also halved from +2500 to +1200.
Taylor Hall snipes his first goal with the Coyotes pic.twitter.com/eDV3bDUACq
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) December 23, 2019
The Coyotes are 2-2 since the trade, but will have to make do without Darcy Kuemper for the foreseeable future. In the midst of a career year (15-8-2 record, 2.17 GAA, .929 Sv%), the 29-year-old netminder suffered a lower-body injury before the holidays.
Journeyman backup Antti Raanta has been equally impressive with a .921 save percentage through 12 starts, but it’s worth taking a wait-and-see approach with the desert dogs.
Speaking of guys stuck on losing teams… it’s increasingly looking like Connor McDavid will be watching playoff hockey from his couch for the fourth time in five years. A goddamn tragedy.
The Oilers’ odds to win the division surged to +400 following a 7-2-1 start to the season, but have since recorrected to +900 after the team went 3-6-1 in their last ten.
Battle of Alberta kicks off for season amid who won the trade debate #calgary https://t.co/yzXQNJ3oqt
— Calgary WhatsOn (@OnInCalgary) December 27, 2019
Edmonton and Calgary play in the year’s first Battle of Alberta on Friday night, a game that will hold a little extra meaning thanks to the James Neal-Milan Lucic summer swap.
The Flames are still a strong longshot bet at +550, but they’re in the midst of an ugly 1-3-1 stretch after winning their first seven games under interim head coach Geoff Ward.
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
After a sluggish start to the season, Vegas is riding a hot streak (9-3-2 since November 27) that has them tied in points (46) with Arizona atop the division.
So, what changed exactly? Well, pucks started to find the back of the net as the team’s shooting percentage normalized and backup goalie/Lindsey Vonn’s soon-to-be brother-in-law Malcolm Subban finally found his groove over the past month, going 6-2-1 with a 2.52 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage.
Max Pacioretty giving us full deja vu here… ? pic.twitter.com/wV1rHc9bqQ
— NHL (@NHL) December 16, 2019
Even better news for the Knights has been the rebound season from Max Pacioretty, who is on pace to score more than 30 goals and a career-high 70 points.
With “Patches” and Mark Stone forming one of the best second units in hockey, along with a strong top line featuring William Karlsson, Reilly Smith and Jonathan Marchessault, Vegas should have all the firepower they need to win a weak Pacific division.
Best Bet: Vegas Golden Knights (+150)