- The injury-riddled Avalanche are falling in the Central Division odds
- The Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues are both rising
- We preview the latest Central Division odds and choose the best bet
The Colorado Avalanche opened as favorites in the 2020 Central Division odds, but their odds are falling due to a string of recent injuries.
The St. Louis Blues and Nashville Predators are both rising, while the Dallas Stars and Winnipeg Jets have also seen significant movement.
Which team has the best value to win the Central Division?
2019-20 Central Division Odds
|St Louis Blues||+290|
Odds taken Nov. 8.
The Avalanche have fallen from +140 to +250, after losing six of their last eight games to trail the division-leading Blues by five points. The drop in their odds is also likely due to the injury bug that has bitten the team.
Not only are the Avalanche without elite forwards Mikko Rantanen (lower body) and Gabriel Landeskog (lower body) for the foreseeable future, but defenseman Nikita Zadorov is now out indefinitely with a facial injury.
Sources indicate Nikita Zadorov suffered a broken jaw last night and will have some teeth rearrangement work done today.
— AJ Haefele (@AJHaefele) November 8, 2019
Hart Trophy candidate Nathan MacKinnon was also injured in his last outing against the Predators, but he isn’t expected to miss time. Despite these injuries, the Avalanche were able to explode for a nine-goal outing against Nashville on Thursday to end a five-game losing streak.
The Avalanche are still a lethal threat due to their two young stud defenseman Cale Makar and Samuel Girard, rock-solid goaltender Philipp Grubauer and their excellent offensive depth. The Avalanche already have seven players with at least 10 points through the first 16 games of the season.
Blues and Predators on the Rise
The Blues and Predators are two teams that are climbing in the Central Division. The defending Cup champs have gone from +430 to +290, while the Predators have gone from +210 to +160.
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) November 7, 2019
The Blues have won six straight games and appear to have gotten rid of any potential Stanley Cup hangover. While the Blues are surging, it’s important to note that they have been one of the worst advanced stats teams this season. They rank last in the NHL in High Danger Chance Percentage (40.30%) and have the sixth-worst Corsi (48.17%). This typically indicates regression may be around the corner.
The Predators have been the most consistent team in the Central and have the best advanced stats out of any team in the division. What’s worrying is that their two top scorers are defensemen and 37-year-old goalie Pekka Rinne has allowed over five goals on three separate occasions.
Jets and Stars Moving as Well
There has been some drastic movement outside of the top contenders. With news that Dustin Byfuglien is out until at least the new year, the Jets have seen their odds go from +930 to +1400. The Stars, meanwhile, have gone from +1400 to +800.
Putting together all of the pieces of this Dustin Byfuglien story I find it very hard to come to any conclusion other than the big fella is very retired. #NHLJets
— Troy Westwood (@TroyWestwood) October 31, 2019
I don’t see Winnipeg having much of a chance considering Byfuglien’s injury and the fact they also lost blueliners Jacob Trouba and Tyler Myers this offseason. This is a very weak defensive team that is already getting exploited big time while short-handed. The Jets’ 72.2 PK% is third-worst in the NHL.
The Stars have good potential, especially considering the strong play of goalie Ben Bishop this season. What concerns me is that they have been one of the lowest scoring teams and are going to be without their top scorer Roope Hintz for the next two weeks. I don’t think they’re going to score enough, especially considering that captain Jamie Benn is having a quiet season.
With their nine-goal game against the Predators, the Avalanche showed why you should bet on them. They brought in players like Nazem Kadri, Andre Burakovsky and Joonas Donskoi this offseason so they wouldn’t always have to count on Landeskog-MacKinnon-Rantanen line.
The Avalanche have scored the third-highest amount of goals in the NHL this season and have been in the middle of the pack when it comes to advanced stats. This is the time to bet on them before Rantanen (week-to-week) returns and they becomes the Central Division favorites once again.
The Predators are the safer pick, but Colorado has the highest upside and the better value.
Pick: Colorado (+250)
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