The NHL season might’ve just started but this is still an opportunistic time to think ahead at the end of the season. It’s a profitable endeavor if you’re betting NHL futures, particularly on division winners for 2023. Keep reading if you want expert picks on each division title race!
2023 NHL Atlantic Division Winner Betting Pick
This might be the most competitive division in all of the NHL. That’s certainly reflected in the odds available at the top-used NHL betting sites. Per the bookies, three teams are in a dead heat to capture the Atlantic division crown. Here’s who’s favored and by how little:
|Toronto Maple Leafs||+175||+175|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+275||+275|
While we think teams like Detroit and Washington are vastly improved, we still feel the Atlantic winner will be one of the big three — Florida, Tampa Bay, or Toronto. All three are Stanley Cup frontrunners per updated Vegas odds and for good reason. Of course, the Lightning has made the Stanley Cup three times straight. Panthers won this division last year, as well as the President’s Trophy. Then there’s the Leafs who made a big change at goalie during the offseason that could put them over the top.
It’s certainly no easy pick, but our inclination says Toronto takes the title. Adding not just one, but two goaltenders — Matt Murray and Ilya Samsonov — could improve them big-time. Considering they had the fourth-best record last year already, that’s a scary thought.
We’re also picking the Leafs because we’re less optimistic about the other two. The Lightning is prone to “coasting” until the playoffs start. Then the Panthers had a ton of roster turnover, which will take time to adjust to. Of all three teams, we’re most optimistic about Toronto.
2023 NHL Metropolitan Division Winner Betting Pick
Metropolitan might not be as top-heavy as the Atlantic but expect stiff competition, as well. Here again, we see three teams favored in the Metropolitan above the rest. Those three are the following:
|New York Rangers||+300||+300|
|New York Islanders||+750||+750|
We’re not going to lead you on with this bet because we think Carolina is completely deserving of your money. Heck, we think the Canes are legit Eastern Conference title contenders — that’s how high we are on them. Carolina won this division a year ago and we think they’re better.
First of all, they had a busy offseason. The Hurricanes added two tried-and-true veterans in Brent Burns and Max Pacioretty. The latter is injured but should bring a real scoring punch to the team in the second half of the year. Improvements should also come from within. That’s because Carolina is quite young, especially up front. With all the improvements — both internal and external — expect big things out of this team starting with a division title.
2023 NHL Pacific Division Winner Betting Pick
We move out west next to the Pacific division. This group is unique in that it doesn’t feature any teams that many consider true Stanley Cup contenders. Instead, it features many so-so teams, which actually makes picking the Pacific winner more “up in the air.” Take a look at the frontrunners to take the crown:
|Vegas Golden Knights||+375||+375|
|Los Angeles Kings||+400||+400|
We were torn between wagering on Calgary or Edmonton. On one hand, you have a Flames team that vastly turned over its roster, perhaps for the better. On the other hand, you have a stable Oilers team with the usual stars — but also the same group that’s been proven to be good, not great. So which of the two is the pick to make?
For us, it was tough to look past the star power of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. No team has a better one-two punch than Edmonton with both these former Hart Trophy winners. Their presence breaks the tie for us. Put your money on the two superstars and the Oilers.
2023 NHL Central Division Winner Betting Pick
|St. Louis Blues||+900||+900|
The ONLY team in the entire league that is minus money to win their division is Colorado, the reigning and defending Stanley Cup champions. That speaks not only to their superior talents but also to the lack of competition in the Central division. There’s really no other betting choice to make in the Central other than the Avalanche, simple as that.
The Avs come back almost untouched from last year’s title-winning squad aside from the goaltender. The nucleus of this team remains its plethora of scorers. The team had four different players notch at least 86 points a year ago — Mikko Rantanen (92 points), Nathan MacKinnon (88), Nazem Kadri (87), and Cale Makar (86). Expect more of the same from the four and Colorado as a whole.
How To Bet On 2023 NHL Futures?
Like we said earlier, the time is now to lay down bets on 2023 NHL futures, which encompasses more than just division champions (e.g. conference title and Stanley Cup winners). Odds will change over the course of the season so it’s best to lock in these value-rich odds right now. To do so, check out one of the bookmakers featured in the underneath table. We’ve listed current sportsbook reviews and sign-up bonuses so you can choose the best sportsbook for your money!