Can Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals go back-to-back?
Could the lovable Vegas Golden Knights win it all after coming agonizingly close last season or will both, Washington and Vegas take a backseat to one of the other top title contenders?
With the start of the 2018-19 NHL regular season just over 24 hours away, now is a perfect time to make some season-long NHL predictions that could help you cash in consistently over the course of the coming campaign. Right now, I’m offering up my NFL division odds picks just for you!
Final 2018 NHL Regular Season Betting Predictions
The Tampa Bay Lightning (54-23-5) won the Atlantic but they were pursued by the Boston Bruins (50-20-12) all season long before narrowly prevailing with 113 points to Boston’s 112. Both Stanley Cup hopefuls also had some beat out a Toronto Maple Leafs (49-26-7) team that was as explosive as any team.
This coming season, I’m going with Toronto to get it done. I love their addition of John Tavares and I’m expecting an MVP-caliber campaign out of center Auston Matthews and an all-star kind of season out of right winger Mitchell Marner. Toronto ranked third in scoring (3.3 gpg) last season and a respectable 12th in goals allowed (2.8 gpg). The Leafs will be hungry and the added leadership of Tavares should help put them get to the top in the Atlantic.
Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals can finally say, I love It When You Call Me Big Poppa! The Caps are a whopping 16/1 pick to win it all this coming season, but I’m thinking they should be way higher on the board. Washington beat out Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins to win the Metropolitan division and I’m coming back with the Caps to win it again, although I will admit that Pittsburgh and Columbus will be in hot pursuit all season long.
The Caps also dispatched Columbus and finally exorcised their demons against Pittsburgh in the playoffs, so they’ll have some added confidence should they meet either in the playoffs. Ovechkin is still just 33-years-old and playing at a high level and Washington has a pair of other stars in 26-year-old center Evgeny Kuznetsov and goalie Braden Holtby. Not only that, but 30-year-old Nicklas Backstrom, defenseman John Carlson and right winger T.J. Oshie compliment the aforementioned stars perfectly.
I’m just going to get to the point by saying, while I’m always down for a good Johnny Cash hit song, I’m not down with the Nashville Predators winning the Central like they did by beating out second place Winnipeg by three points (117-114). Nope, I’m going with the Jets to get it done this coming season and I’m also going to say that I fully expect Winnipeg to contend for it all. The explosive Jets ranked a stellar second in scoring (3.3 gpg) and equally impressive fifth in goal allowed (2.6 gpg). 20-year-old Patrik Laine is a phenom of the highest order and both, center Blake Wheeler and goalie Connor Hellebuyck are now elite stars in their own right. While I’m certainly not expecting Nashville to simply go quietly into the night, I believe the Central is Winnipeg’s to win.
Last but not least, I’m going with Vegas to win the Pacific division again after doing just that in their inaugural campaign a year ago. The Knights have a great goaltender in Marc-Andre Fleury and superstar scorer in center William Karlsson and a duo of seriously underrated stars in left winger Jonathan Marchessault and right-winger Reilly Smith. The Knights will definitely contend again after they finished the season ranked fifth in scoring (3.3 gpg) and eighth in goals allowed (2.7 gpg).