- BetOnline has updated odds for the National Hockey League’s 15 Western Conference teams
- The Vegas Golden Knights (+550) are the early favorites to win the West
- The defending champion St. Louis Blues (+700) and the young Calgary Flames (+900) are both contenders
Hockey is by far the most unpredictable of North American pro sports (just ask the Tampa Bay Lightning).
For that reason, it also so happens to be the most fun to wager on (just ask the guy who won $100,000 after betting $400 on the Blues last January).
NHL WESTERN CONFERENCE ODDS
|Vegas Golden Knights||+550|
|St. Louis Blues||+700|
|San Jose Sharks||+900|
|Los Angeles Kings||+3300|
THE FAVORITE: VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
One year removed from making the Stanley Cup Final in their first season in existence, and about three months since they blew a three-goal lead in Game 7 against the Sharks in Round One, the Golden Knights are the betting favorite to win the Western Conference.
Vegas’ depth will be hamstrung for years to come after handing out an ugly contract to Max Pacioretty (four more years at $7M per).
Over the salary cap by $7.5 million after re-signing speedy forward William Karlsson in June, Vegas was forced to sit on their wallet in free agency like a busted-out gambler who was cut off by the casino.
Mark Stone did not win the Selke Trophy, but he’s still living his best life here in VEGAS ??
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) June 20, 2019
While the Knights made an excellent trade deadline acquisition in Mark Stone (the second-best defensive forward in the game according to Selke voting), their depth will be hamstrung for years to come after handing out an ugly contract to Max Pacioretty (four more years at $7M per).
THE DEFENDING CHAMPS: ST. LOUIS BLUES
You heard the story by now. Sitting dead last in the NHL on January 3, the scrappy Blues piled up second-half wins to make the playoffs, then made little Laila’s dreams come true by hoisting the franchise’s first Stanley Cup.
Some frames from my day spend photographing Jordan Binnington and the Stanley Cup pic.twitter.com/VJh9yEo92r
— Thomas Skrlj (@Tskrlj) July 24, 2019
THE YOUNG GUNS: CALGARY FLAMES
Even though it was just a minor swap of bad contracts, the whole hockey world seems in agreement that Calgary got the worse end of the James Neal for Milan Lucic deal with Edmonton.
Now, normally I would side against the son of a wealthy national pizza chain owner for nepotism reasons alone, but I’m not going to deride Flames GM Brad Treliving for bringing in toughness and leadership to a young team that got bounced in the first round of last year’s playoffs.
— CBC Calgary (@CBCCalgary) July 19, 2019
With a shiny new arena finally in the pipeline and a roster loaded with still-improving talent (Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Noah Hanifin), there’s reason to believe that the team that finished first in the Western Conference during the 2018-19 regular season can make another leap this season.
Especially at 9-1 odds.