Watch how betting markets view the 2022-23 NHL season

Let’s get all the necessary caveats out of the way: I’m not an « expert » on the game, which I think, in the proper language, would be a « sharp » or maybe a « whole thing » if I sold my choice. I am none of these. What I am however, is a Coolbet brand ambassador, as I already enjoyed betting on sports long before it was sanctioned by the government, and I particularly like their site. Oh, and they also give me some money to tweet about this hobby. But all this “ambassador” stuff is not the reason we are here today, at least not only.

We’re here because, however bookmakers set the lines ahead of an NHL season, it sparks fascinating conversations about real hockey. It’s one thing to do the super vague thing we all do before the start of the year with our friends. You know the song “Yeah, I think the Sens are going to be a lot better this year”, “I don’t know man, I think this is finally the year the Bruins step back”, etc. etc

So for example… Do you think the Senators are going to be better? Well, that’s the step we often skip in these discussions: how much better, More precisely? They had 73 points last season, finishing 27 points from a playoff spot. When you say you think they will do better, are you saying they will get 75 points? Or until the playoffs, with maybe 97 or 98 this next season? How much better, exactly?

The books have Ottawa’s season over/under points line set at 87.5, somewhere around 14 or 15 points improved, which is still probably 10 shy of the playoffs…if you’re d agreement with the books. So what do you say, will the Senses accumulate more or less than this total?

Personally, I won’t touch this line, because I think it’s one of the most accurate. I think they’re going to be considerably better with Alex DeBrincat and Claude Giroux and Cam Talbot and internal improvement. But unfortunately, the Lightning and the Panthers and the Leafs and the Bruins still exist, and Detroit and Buffalo should be better (and Montreal could be too), so the line ahead is still hard to hoe.

There are other lines, however, that I see differently from the books. Let’s look at some of them, shall we? (FYI, most of these bets pay between -110 or -115, were you interested in betting them, rather than just discussing them.)


Another note: I don’t support under betting on things like player points. It’s supposed to be fun, all this betting. I don’t make a living out of it, it just spices up boring games. So you won’t find me betting on player points. There is nothing to celebrate there. Let’s move on.

I think I’m most fascinated by this line, how about it: Jack Eichel, over/under 71.5 points?

I’m fascinated by it, because it’s almost a bet not on his way out, but his health. A healthy Jack Eichel as the number one center and a number one power play unit guy for the Vegas Golden Knights would surely decimate 71.5 points, right? Other guys with similar lines on Coolbet right now are like Roope Hintz and Tomas Hertl. Last year, that point total fell between Jesper Bratt and Tage Thompson. They’re all good players, but isn’t a healthy Eichel supposed to be way above that?

Kasperi Kapanen, over/under 13.5 goals?

Kapanen scored 20 for the Leafs a few years ago. He’s coming off a few tough COVID seasons, but surely had a good summer preparing for a full normal season. He has a two-year contract to make hay and win a big NHL contract before things go the other way for him, and he’s 26. I may be biased here after working with him a bit in the minors, but he’s just too talented for this line.

Patrik Laine, over/under 33.5 goals?

The guy scored 26 out of 56 last year (a 38 goal pace) and always showed those ‘no one scores that goal but Laine’ moments. Prior to last season, he was generally a healthy player. He has a unique scoring ability, and he’ll be joined by Johnny Gaudreau this year, who will be the best linemate he’s ever had. I actually think it’s a given if he even plays 70 games. Laine could have 50 this year.

A potential under pick: Alex Ovechkin over/under 45.5 goals?

Ovi had another casual 50 last season, but my god: it has to slow down at some point, doesn’t it? I feel like the guy who bets red in roulette after 15 black numbers in a row, IF I CONTINUE TO PREDICT THIS I MUST BE RIGHT IN THE END: I think Ovi will finally slow down a breath and just score like 42 this season.


I know there are stat-loving people who love New Jersey and Anaheim to surprise, and their respective over/under lines for points are 89.5 and 80.5. I don’t touch either, though I like that both are a bit over those totals.

Another choice tinged with bias: I like New York Islanders over 91.5 points.

The Islanders’ three-point season total (prorated from 82 games) prior to last year: 103, 96.5, 104. This is a team that made it to two conference finals before the disastrous start to last season, with the long road trip (as UBS Arena was over) followed by a COVID breakout that essentially grassed the season. They improved a lot in the second half, and I just don’t believe they were the team we saw for large parts of last season.

The The Red Wings line is 82.5 points. And it’s a whole new team.

They added David Perron and Andrew Copp, both of whom are tough to play with a goalscoring touch. They added Ben Chiarot, and Olli Maata, and Dominik Kubalik, and a goalkeeper in Ville Husso. They’ll have seven or eight new players — good players — added to their 74-point squad last year. I like them to clear 82.5.

Some potential unders? The Bruins line is 95.5, and they start without Brad Marchand for a few months, and the same with Charlie MacAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk. These are massive casualties, and they are in a tough division. Oh and the Leafs line is a whopping 109.5 points. They open the season without John Tavares and Timothy Liljegren, all the lower teams in their division have improved, and they replaced Jack Campbell with Matt Murray/Ilya Samsonov. Betting on that would be, boy, BOLD.

As for larger bets for teams, Rangers are third in odds of winning the Metro, behind Carolina and Pittsburgh. A Rangers Division win would net you +325, and I’m pretty bullish on NYR. On the other hand, you can bet that any team will miss or make the playoffs, and the books believe in the Dallas Stars. They are -172 to make the playoffs, and +145 to miss the playoffs. Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn aren’t getting any younger, and I’m not sure the « supporting cast » can match last season’s production. Colorado, Minnesota, St. Louis, Nashville, Winnipeg…they’re in a tough division. I would consider this bet « missed ».


Now we come to a section that I personally cannot bet on, as an awards voter. But a few thoughts that make sense to me in preseason: Owen Power isn’t the Calder Trophy favorite, but if you look at the guys around him, he might be the best bet at +500.

He plays in the hottest media market of the five guys listed above, so there will be eyeballs on the guy, and he’s already been excellent wherever he’s played. He’s a household name before the puck went down in Game 1, and that helps. For the Norris, Cale Makar is the big favorite. But if you bet on all three Victor Hedman/Roman Josi/Adam Fox, you might be in a decent position in terms of value if Makar gets hurt or stumbles through the door or something:

Screen Shot 2022 09 28 at 11.17.43 AM

And finally, there are two things I’m going to leave you with before you explore all the fun pre-season bets, and they’re both tips:

1. If you’re going to bet on a team to win the Stanley Cup, make it a long shot. The odds you get on favorites aren’t much different now than they will be in April, so your best bet is to watch teams in this window if you think they’ll come out of hot doors (resulting in lower their payment). I cut that right after the two Alberta teams, who are both +1500:

Screen Shot 2022 09 28 at 11.19.07 AM

Avalanches are +425. Don’t place that bet, it will be there for you in April.

And finally,

2. The obvious: know your limits, respect them. This stuff is fun just to talk about it with buddies if you don’t want to play.

Good luck with your 2022-23 predictions – the only one I know I’ll pass for sure is that it should be a lot of fun.


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