NHL Western Conference Winner Odds: Avs Slight Favorites

Final Playoff Pairings Not Decided Until Thursday

The Western Conference playoffs are expected to be a dogfight and that’s reflected in the odds to win the conference. All eight teams are +1800 or lower, which is a big difference from the East, where two of the teams are +2200 and higher. There are no easy series in the West. Not all of the first-round playoff pairings have been settled, so the Western Conference winner odds are likely to move again during the next two days. The Colorado Avalanche are the slightest of favorites to win the conference, but Edmonton and Dallas are close.

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Avalanche logo Colorado Avalanche (+350)

The NHL stats show the Avalanche and Maple Leafs tied as the highest-scoring teams in the NHL. Colorado has been the best team in the NHL at home this season, but the Avalanche will need to win on the road. Colorado will play the red-hot Winnipeg Jets to open the Stanley Cup playoffs. It’s a contrast in styles, with the Jets allowing a league-low 197 goals with one game remaining. The Avalanche have the stars but need them to perform in the postseason.

Oilers logo Edmonton Oilers (+400)

The Oilers will open the playoffs against Vegas or Los Angeles. Edmonton won’t say it publicly, but you have to believe they would rather play the Kings. Right now, Vegas is slated to be the opening opponent unless the Kings can pass them Thursday. The Oilers have the offense to win and the goalies haven’t been that bad. The biggest knock against the Oilers is usually the team isn’t built for the playoffs.

Stars logo Dallas Stars (+400)

The Western Conference winner odds on the Stars are also +400, which isn’t bad for the possible No. 1 seed in the West. Nobody was probably happier to see the Knights move past the Kings than Dallas. If the standings stay that way, Dallas will open the playoffs with Los Angeles, as opposed to Vegas. Dallas doesn’t have the star power of Colorado or Edmonton, but it is a solid team. The Stars’ goaltending isn’t the strongest, so Dallas needs somebody to get hot in the playoffs, which is all it takes. Dallas does need to earn a point against St. Louis on Wednesday to clinch the top spot. Otherwise, Vancouver has a chance to pass them.

Golden Knights logo Vegas Knights (+550)

The Knights are going to be healthy for the playoffs to the chagrin of the rest of the conference. Whether that’s planned or not makes no difference. The NHL has a loophole in the rules regarding salary cap and the playoffs and Vegas happens to be better at exploiting it than other teams. The defending Stanley Cup champions are going to be dangerous in the playoffs. There were times they looked to be going through the motions in the regular season. That will end, but Vegas has a tough first-round matchup against Dallas or Edmonton. The NHL betting lines will have the Knights as huge favorites over Anaheim on Thursday. A win will see Vegas and Edmonton in the opening round.

Canucks logo Vancouver Canucks (+750)

The odds on the Pacific winning Canucks aren’t bad at all. Vancouver will know Wednesday night if it can earn the No. 1 spot. The Canucks have the tiebreaker over Dallas, so a Stars loss in regulation opens the door for Vancouver. If Vancouver winds up as the No. 2 seed, a date against Nashville is the likely scenario. The Canucks appear to have too much for the Predators, but Juuse Saros is always a threat to get hot.

Jets logo Winnipeg Jets (+750)

Nobody is hotter in the NHL than the Winnipeg Jets. The Jets have won seven straight games to pass the Avalanche as the No. 2 team from the Central. That will give the Jets home ice advantage against Colorado. That’s huge when you consider the Avalanche’s 19-16-6 road record this season. Winnipeg has one of the best goalies in the league in Connor Hellebuyck, the likely Vezina winner. The Jets don’t have the offense of some of the other teams, but the defense is as good as it gets in the NHL.

Kings logo Los Angeles Kings (+1100)

The Kings make their return to the playoffs with veterans Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty leading the way. Los Angeles isn’t going to light up the scoreboard, but the defense has played well. The Kings don’t have any huge stars in their prime, but have six players with 50 or more points. Cam Talbot is having a solid season in goal and only two teams have allowed fewer goals than Los Angeles. Stanley Cup winners usually have decent goalies getting hot at the right time, as opposed to a star. The Kings will have a tough opening round match-up, but won’t be an easy out for anybody.

Predators logo Nashville Predators (+1800)

The Western Conference winner odds on the Predators are +1800 and Nashville will need Saros to pick-up his game a notch. He’s still one of the elite goalies in the NHL but hasn’t played up to his standards this year. Nashville’s offense is a little bit underrated, although the defense is a little overrated, at least based on their play this season. Nashville is capable of going on a run but will need some things to happen offensively and defensively.

Check out all the updated NHL Odds To Win Stanley Cup, NHL Games Odds, and more right here at Point Spreads Sports Magazine.


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