2022-23 NHL Betting Preview: Stanley Cup Favorites, Contenders, and Underdogs

We preview the 2022-23 NHL season, outlining our Stanley Cup best bets, NHL Most Valuable Player Odds & more.

The sports calendar moves fast! As the Major League Baseball season winds down, the National Hockey League is gearing up for the 2022-2023 campaign!

Last season saw the league return to normal after two pandemic-impacted years, and fans’ reward was a thrilling Stanley Cup Playoffs ending in the Colorado Avalanche capturing their first Stanley Cup in 21 years.

Will it be another Rocky Mountain High this year? Could the Cup return to Canada after a 30-year absence? We look at the front runners, the contenders, the pretenders, and more. Let’s get stuck into our NHL betting preview and futures picks.

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Stanley Cup Favorites: Colorado Avalanche

Wrestling legend Ric Flair said it best: “To be the man, you’ve got to beat the man!”

And right now that’s Colorado. The Avalanche were dominant in their run to the Cup last spring, losing only four games once the postseason began. They also never once faced elimination.

Like most championship teams, the Avalanche saw key players leave for greener (richer) pastures this offseason. This included center Nazem Kadri (Calgary Flames), left wing Andre Burakovsky (Seattle Kraken), and goalie Darcy Kuemper (Washington Capitals).

So to see the champions still favored to repeat speaks to the talent on this roster. It starts with high-scoring Nathan MacKinnon, a five-time All Star on the top line and perennial MVP candidate and continues through a deep offense featuring wingers Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog, giving the Avalanche arguably the most prolific group of top-six forwards in the league.

Colorado Avalanche Defense

The defense is led by Cale Makar and Devon Toews. Both candidates for the Norris Trophy awarded to the league’s best defenseman. Makar had the season of a lifetime last year, winning the Norris, the Conn Smythe for playoff MVP, and of course the Stanley Cup.

Toews finished 8th in the voting for the Norris, and a top-five finish is in play with another season like last.

Devon Toews Avs

Looking for a question mark? Alexander Georgiev will get the first crack at replacing Kuemper in goal. The 26-year-old had a so-so season as the New York Rangers’ backup a year ago and has never started more than 32 games at the NHL level.

Eastern Conference Favorites: Toronto Maple Leafs

Remember when the Chicago Cubs won the World Series back in 2016, ending a 108-year drought?

Meet the NHL’s version. It hasn’t been 108 years quite (only 56, in fact) but the Maple Leafs are a storied franchise whose postseason struggles and collapses are becoming headline material.

Could it all end this season? That’s been the question for the past five years or so, and it’s the question in our NHL betting preview. But the experts really like this year’s squad. It’s understandable when you have a 25-year-old returning MVP and two-time goal scoring champion at the top of your lineup in Auston Matthews.

Last year’s 60-goal performance vaulted Matthews into the conversation with Edmonton’s Connor McDavid for the NHL’s top player, and the ultimate answer could lie in which superstar is able to bring the Stanley Cup back to a Canadian franchise for the first time since 1993.

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Matthews’ advantage is in playing alongside Mitch Marner, nearly his equal last year with 97 points to Matthews’ 106. John Tavares would be many teams’ top center but settles in on the second line in Toronto.

Question Mark In Goal?

Morgan Reilly and TJ Brodie are the top pairing on a capable defense. But, like with the favorites in Colorado, the question mark is in goal.

Unlike Colorado and Georgiev, Toronto’s Matt Murray has a history of success. He won two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016 and 2017. But like Georgiev, last season was a struggle for Murray with the Ottawa Senators.

There’s no doubt Toronto is a leading contender for the Presidents’ Trophy (awarded to the team with the best regular-season record.) As it has been for over 50 years, however, the question is will it work in the playoffs?

Other Top Western Conference Contenders:

  • Edmonton Oilers
  • Calgary Flames
  • Minnesota Wild

Other Top Eastern Conference Contenders:

  • Carolina Hurricanes
  • Florida Panthers
  • Tampa Bay Lightning

2022-2023 NHL Hart Trophy (MVP) Candidates

Now, it wouldn’t be an NHL betting preview without a look at the players too.

It might be a while since the last Stanley Cup. However, the Hart Memorial Trophy for the NHL’s Most Valuable Player has found a home in Canada.

Leon Draisaitl (2020) and Connor McDavid (2021) of the Edmonton Oilers, and last season Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs have taken the last three years’ worth of honors. This has ushered in a new era of NHL superstars (all three players were 25 or younger at the time of their MVP victory).

Will the Hart Trophy return to the states this year? A look at a few top contenders:

Connor McDavid, Edmonton

Hard to argue with this choice at the top. McDavid’s first seven seasons have seen him take home two Hart Trophies and win the league’s scoring title four times.

The biggest risk to betting McDavid? Possible voter fatigue. If the Oilers as a team don’t make strides in advancing further in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, MVP voters may be looking for the next big thing.

Conor McDavid Oilers

Auston Matthews, Toronto

We covered Matthews, last year’s winner, in the section on the Maple Leafs. If Toronto finally breaks through for a championship season, it would be hard to deny the 25-year-old star of back-to-back awards.

Cale Makar, Colorado

It’s been 23 years since a defenseman won the Hart Trophy (St. Louis Blues’ Chris Pronger in 1999-2000). If anyone is going to break that streak, the guy who won last year’s Norris Trophy (best defenseman) and Conn Smythe (playoff MVP) is the best pick we can imagine.

Kirill Kaprizov, Minnesota

An interesting dark horse, because Minnesota is a top Western contender who relies on more of a “whole is greater than the sum of its parts” approach. They don’t have the star power of a Colorado or Edmonton. Therefore, an inordinate amount of goal-scoring responsibility is on the shoulders of Kaprizov, who didn’t disappoint with 47 goals and 108 points last year.

If he can do it again and the Wild conquer the Avalanche in the West? MVP honors could follow.

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Igor Shesterkin, New York Rangers

A more open league with multiple 100-point scorers has brought the era of goalies winning the Hart Trophy to a screeching halt.

If anyone is going to buck the trend, it’s the returning Vezina Trophy (league’s best goaltender) winner playing in the league’s biggest market. As we said, it’s an uphill battle, but getting New York to the top of the Metropolitan Division could bring Shesterkin into the conversation.

Betting on the 2022-2023 NHL Season

That’s our NHL betting preview 2022-23 complete. Now let’s get into the betting itself.

It’s looking like a fairly open race in hockey this season, with numerous Stanley Cup contenders and a vast field of candidates for the major awards. The puck drops Friday with a two-game series in Prague, Czechia between the Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks. Then, the rest of the league gets underway next week starting Tuesday night!

2022-2023 NHL Odds for President’s Trophy, Conference Title, and Stanley Cup

Below are lists of the odds for this season’s top team and individual honors. Hockey’s back!

The Presidents’ Trophy goes to the team that accumulates the most points in the regular season under the following system: two points for any win; one point for a loss in overtime or in a shootout.

TEAMPRESIDENTS’ TROPHYCONFERENCE WINNERSTANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS
Colorado Avalanche+300+200+450
Toronto Maple Leafs+750+500+1000
Florida Panthers+1000+550+1100
Carolina Hurricanes+1100+500+1000
Calgary Flames+1300+700+1500
Tampa Bay Lightning+1300+650+1200
Edmonton Oilers+1300+700+1500
Pittsburgh Penguins+1600+800+1700
Minnesota Wild+1700+850+1800
New York Rangers+2000+1000+1800
Vegas Golden Knights+2600+1000+1900
Los Angeles Kings+3100+1400+3000
St. Louis Blues+3100+1200+3000
Boston Bruins+3300+1500+2800
Washington Capitals+3400+1600+3300
Nashville Predators+4000+1600+3500
Dallas Stars+4200+2300+4700
New York Islanders+5000+2000+4000
Vancouver Canucks+5000+2300+5000
San Jose Sharks+7000+7000+10000
New Jersey Devils+11000+3000+6500
Winnipeg Jets+12000+3000+6000
Ottawa Senators+15000+2800+5000
Detroit Red Wings+15000+3000+5000
Columbus Blue Jackets+28000+4000+7500
Montreal Canadiens+30000+5000+10000
Arizona Coyotes+30000+15000+30000
Buffalo Sabres+30000+5000+10000
Philadelphia Flyers+30000+5000+10000
Seattle Kraken+30000+5000+10000
Anaheim Ducks+30000+5000+7500
Chicago Blackhawks+30000+15000+20000

2022-2023 NHL Hart Trophy (Most Valuable Player) Odds

PLAYERODDS
Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers+260
Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs+420
Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers+600
Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche+1000
Kirill Kaprizov, Minnesota Wild+1200
Mikko Rantanen, Colorado Avalanche+1300
Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche+1500
Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning+1500
Igor Shesterkin, New York Rangers+2000
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals+2000

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