2022-23 NHL futures: 3 best point total bets
The defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche will enter the 2022-23 campaign with the league's highest point total at 111.5.
Are they more likely to go over or under their season total? Where else does the value lie league-wide?
Let's dive in with the three best bets for the upcoming season.
|Columbus Blue Jackets||79.5||-115/-115|
|Detroit Red Wings||85.5||-105/-125|
|Los Angeles Kings||95.5||-115/-115|
|New Jersey Devils||88.5||-125/-105|
|New York Islanders||94.5||-105/-120|
|New York Rangers||99.5||-120/-105|
|San Jose Sharks||75.5||-115/-115|
|St. Louis Blues||96.5||+100/-135|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||103.5||-115/-115|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||107.5||-120/-105|
|Vegas Golden Knights||97.5||-115/-115|
Colorado Avalanche under 111.5 (-115)
I love the way the Avalanche have built their team over the years and truly believe they're going to be a perennial contender. This line feels a little extreme, though. A year ago they cleared this total by 7.5 points, and that was with Nazem Kadri, Andre Burakovsky, and Darcy Kuemper in the fold. Kadri put up 87 points in just 71 games, Burakovsky exceeded 60 points, and Kuemper posted one of the league's highest five-on-five save percentages during the regular season. Losing each of those players will sting.
The Avalanche did a nice job of adding some affordable support pieces around the edges - Evan Rodrigues is a great scheme fit and Alexandar Georgiev should benefit from playing behind a better defense core - but they remain clear downgrades.
Don't get me wrong: The Avalanche can and will pile up the wins again. But they could be one of the NHL's best teams and still fail to clear such a high point total.
New Jersey Devils over 88.5 (-125)
The Devils figure to be one of the NHL's most improved teams this season. Their five-on-five profile was actually quite good last season, relatively speaking. They were sunk by the league's worst goaltending, an egregiously bad power play under Mark Recchi, and injuries to key players like Jack Hughes and Dougie Hamilton.
Vitek Vanecek finished top 10 in five-on-five save percentage a year ago and will be a big improvement in goal. A healthy Mackenzie Blackwood will help, too, and there's still a possibility that Jonathan Bernier can get right and join the mix. New Jersey doesn't have a star netminder by any stretch but could have three competent NHL goalies sooner than later.
The Devils do have a fantastic core of young forwards led by Hughes, Jesper Bratt, Nico Hischier, Dawson Mercer, and Yegor Sharangovich. Top prospect Alexander Holtz is expected to make the jump and will add scoring pop up front, as will the offseason signing of Ondrej Palat.
The power play should be more potent as well now that it's run by Andrew Brunette, a Jack Adams finalist last season.
Lastly, John Marino and, to a lesser extent, Brendan Smith will add some stability and depth to the back end.
Tom Fitzgerald may not have added any marquee names, but he improved the roster up front, on defense, in goal, and behind the bench. If the Devils' top players stay healthy, the team will seriously contend for a playoff spot.
New York Islanders under 94.5 (-120)
The New York Islanders were an 84-point team a season ago. Despite getting all-world goaltending from Ilya Sorokin, they finished 11 points below what they'd need to clear this total.
While the Islanders did deal with injury troubles, that can come with the territory for older teams, and they certainly are that.
Outside of Sorokin's play, nothing really stood out in a positive way for the Isles. They ranked 22nd in expected goals share, 25th in scoring chances share, and 28th in shot share at five-on-five.
Their only notable addition this summer was Alexander Romanov, a defense-only rearguard who doesn't really move the needle even in the areas perceived to be his strengths.
New York could have better luck with injuries this year and might get a boost from new head coach Lane Lambert, but regardless, I don't see the Islanders as a 95-plus-point team in a competitive Metropolitan Division.
Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.
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