With the official start to the NHL’s Christmas break just days away, little has changed at the top of the odds to win the NHL’s Western Conference. As was the case on opening night, the Colorado Avalanche continue to lead the way as short +250 chalk at BetOnline. They are closely followed by the red-hot Vegas Golden Knights, who now sit as a +375 bet. However, it is tough to look past teams that have made steady gains. The Minnesota Wild have surprised few observers with a fast start that has put them in contention to win the Central Division crown. The Wild have been rewarded at the sportsbooks, where they now are knotted with the Edmonton Oilers at +800. But perhaps the biggest surprise in the West has been the Anaheim Ducks, who have rocketed to a respectable +2500 bet after opening the campaign near the bottom of the odds board at +10000.
MyTopSportsbooks takes a look at all the trends and bet bets on the fast changing Western Conference odds. Sports bettors getting in on hockey action for the first time should refer to our online resources, including our Stanley Cup betting guide, and tips on how to take advantage of the best NHL hockey betting sites.
|Odds to Win NHL Western Conference|
|Vegas Golden Knights||+375||+375|
|St. Louis Blues||+1400||+1600|
|San Jose Sharks||+4000||+4000|
|Los Angeles Kings||+5000||+6000|
Avs, Golden Knights Overcome Slow Starts
The Avalanche were enjoying their hottest stretch of the season when they saw their schedule paused until after the Christmas break due to a Covid-19 outbreak. Consistency eluded the club during a middling 4-5-1 start. However, Colorado has been dominant since, going 13-3-1 in 17 outings before shutting things down.
Can’t wait for TOTY Nazem Kadri pic.twitter.com/3RqVJ3rygD
— Declan (@OwnTheBlue) December 15, 2021
The Avalanche continued to rack up the wins despite being without star Nathan MacKinnon for most of the month of November, due to injury. The likes of Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog have contributed as expected. But the team has received a real boost from the stellar early-season performances of leading scorer Nazem Kadri, and role players like Andrei Burakovsky and Valeri Nichushkin.
The Golden Knights are 16-4 in games decided in OT/SO since Pete DeBoer took over as head coach. They even lost their first two under him, so they’ve won 16 of their last 18
— Justin Emerson (@J15Emerson) December 18, 2021
Like Colorado, the Golden Knights also took some time to get going this season. Outright losers in four of their first five outings, the club has steadily rounded into form since. The Golden Knights have posted consecutive losses just once during an impressive 19-7-0 run that has vaulted them into a two-way race with the surprising Anaheim Ducks for first place in the Pacific Division.
Ducks Bearing Fruit of Rebuild
After finishing well out of playoff contention in each of the past three seasons, the Ducks have enjoyed a resurgence this season. Anaheim’s return to respectability has been fueled by the steady play of youngsters enjoying breakthrough seasons. Drafted by the Ducks in the fifth round of the 2015 NHL Draft, Troy Terry has quickly established a point-per-game pace through his first 30 appearances.
Troy Terry wins the game with a penalty shot in overtime pic.twitter.com/lUotpMP9zY
— Hockey Realm (@hockey_realm) December 13, 2021
Trevor Zegras has put himself squarely in contention to claim Calder Trophy honors as the NHL’s top rookie with 25 points in 30 games, while Sonny Milano has established himself as a legit NHL player by recording 21 points in 27 outings.
Wild Maintain Form
While the Ducks have surprised, the Wild have maintained the high performance level that won them 35 games last season. Poised to celebrate Christmas in first place in the Central Division standings, the Wild have been a dominant force on home ice, where they have compiled a 10-2-1 record.
Cam Talbot. pic.twitter.com/fyNQrW9COJ
— Spoked Z (@SpokedZ) December 17, 2021
More important has been the play of veteran goaltender Cam Talbot, who exceeded expectations while compiling a 15-6-1 record before being sidelined by the coronavirus in mid-December.
Best Bet: Minnesota Wild (+800) at BetOnline