NHL betting: Six preseason point totals remain in flux as season enters final week

·7-min read

There's a little over a week remaining in the NHL season. The wild-card spots in the West will come down to the final days of the season, as Nashville, Dallas, Vegas and Vancouver compete for the final two playoff spots. However, those aren't the only races that bettors have their eyes on.

Back in September, BetMGM posted preseason projected point totals for each team and bettors had the opportunity to bet whether teams would go over or under that total. With just a week remaining in the season, some bettors are still sweating their tickets seven months later. Let's take a look at which point totals remain in flux, and how every team in the league did compared to expectations.

Six point totals remain in flux

The NHL regular season technically ends next Sunday, but for 30 of 32 teams, their season will be over one week from today. Of the 32 teams, 26 teams have already cliched whether they will be going over or under their projected preseason point totals. However, bettors are still watching closely in regards to these six teams:

  • Tampa Bay Lightning: The Tampa Bay Lightning have 102 points with five games remaining, meaning they can reach 112 points if they win out. However, they need just five points in their final five games in order to go over their preseason point projection of 106.5 points. If the Lightning ice a complete team over the final week and don't rest their stars, the two-time defending champions should be able to get there for their over bettors.

  • Boston Bruins: Boston needs four points in their final five games to go over 102.5 points, which is where oddsmakers had them prior to the season.

  • Edmonton Oilers: It hasn't been a pretty season for the Edmonton Oilers, as they fired their head coach midway through the season. However, the team is rolling with an 8-1-1 record over their last ten games as new coach Jay Woodcroft has righted the ship. The Oilers have 96 points, and need three points in their final five games to go over 98.5 points.

  • Dallas Stars: Dallas is hanging on to the final playoff spot in the West, and in order to hold on to that spot, they'll likely need to go over their projected preseason point total. Dallas sits at 91 points, and they need four more points in their final four games to go over 94.5 points.

  • Vancouver Canucks: The Vancouver Canucks looked like an easy under for the first part of the season, but Bruce Boudreau replaced Travis Green behind the bench and has rattled off a 30-14-9 record. Vancouver is making a late push for the playoffs, so they're motivated. Currently sitting at 87 points, bettors need just one win from Vancouver in their final four games to go over 88.5 points.

  • Columbus Blue Jackets: Unlike the first five teams, the playoffs aren't on the minds of the Columbus Blue Jackets. However, over bettors on their preseason point total really hope Columbus doesn't lose out. The Blue Jackets need just one point over their final five games to go over 76.5 points.

TAMPA, FL - APRIL 21: Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates a goal and becomes the franchises all-time leader in points with Victor Hedman #77 and Corey Perry #10 against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the second period at Amalie Arena on April 21, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images)
Bettors will be paying attention to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the final week of the NHL season. (Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images)

The over teams

These teams have surpassed preseason expectations from the oddsmakers:

  • Colorado Avalanche (Over 111.5): Colorado entered with the highest projected point total, and they flew over that number. Colorado is the current Stanley Cup favorite at +350.

  • Toronto Maple Leafs (Over 105.5): Regular season performance isn't enough for the Toronto Maple Leafs anymore. They've had a good season, but winning in the playoffs is all anyone cares about north of the border.

  • Florida Panthers (Over 101.5): Florida currently has 118 points, they own the best record in the league and they're the betting favorites to win the Eastern Conference.

  • Minnesota Wild (Over 96.5): Coming off a very good shortened season in 2021, there were questions whether the Wild would be able to repeat that performance. They have certainly answered in the affirmative.

  • New York Rangers (Over 96.5): The Rangers were projected to compete for a playoff spot, but an incredible season from current Vezina favorite Igor Shesterkin has elevated them to one of the best teams in the league.

  • Pittsburgh Penguins (Over 96.5): Many, including myself, wondered if the age of the Penguins core would start showing this year. It really hasn't.

  • Carolina Hurricanes (Over 95.5): Carolina lost all three goaltenders from their roster in 2020, so there were question marks entering the season. It turns out, they actually improved their goaltending.

  • Washington Capitals (Over 95.5): Similar to Pittsburgh, some expected the Capitals to begin declining. They did enough to go over their point projection and make the playoffs.

  • Calgary Flames (Over 92.5): Projected as a bubble playoff team, the Calgary Flames will win their division. They are +900 to win the Stanley Cup, the third best odds behind Colorado and Florida.

  • St. Louis Blues (Over 92.5): The Blues are 12-0-2 in their last 14 games and look incredibly dangerous heading into the playoffs.

  • Nashville Predators (Over 84.5): After trading away Ryan Ellis and Viktor Arvidsson in the offseason, many projected the start of a rebuild for Nashville. Instead, they're in a good spot in terms of making the playoffs as we enter the final week.

  • Los Angeles Kings (Over 84.5): The Los Angeles Kings are likely playoff bound, something very few expected in early October.

  • Anaheim Ducks (Over 71.5): The Ducks have lost 34 of their last 47 games, but they started well enough and their preseason expectations were low enough for them to go over their projection.

  • Buffalo Sabres (Over 69.5): The Sabres aren't very good, but they're slightly better than the oddsmakers projected.

The under teams

These teams have fallen short of meeting their preseason expectations:

  • Vegas Golden Knights (Under 106.5): Injuries have definitely been a story for the Golden Knights. They entered the season tied for the second highest point projection, but instead they might miss the playoffs for the first time in their franchise's history.

  • New York Islanders (Under 99.5): The Islanders were a popular preseason Cup pick, but their season was doomed before it even really started. They opened with a 13-game road trip because their new arena wasn't ready and then were one of few teams forced to play through a Covid-outbreak before the league increased their appetite to postpone games.

  • Seattle Kraken (Under 94.5): The Vegas Golden Knights tricked the hockey world into thinking expansion teams were supposed to be good. The Kraken obviously didn't master the expansion draft process like Vegas did.

  • Philadelphia Flyers (Under 92.5): The Flyers fell apart in the second-half of the shortened 2021 season, but many thought that was an aberration in a weird season and they would rebound. They did not.

  • Winnipeg Jets (Under 92.5): The Jets were projected as a bubble playoff team, and they were hanging around for a while before falling off down the stretch.

  • Chicago Blackhawks (Under 90.5): The acquisition of Marc-Andre Fleury and Seth Jones in the offseason created unrealized hype for the Blackhawks.

  • Montreal Canadiens (Under 89.5): Everyone knew Montreal's run to the Cup Final in 2021 was fluky, but I don't think anybody projected them to be the second worst team in the league.

  • New Jersey Devils (Under 89.5): Many thought the young Devils might take a step forward this season, but injuries created a goaltending carousel that made that idea borderline impossible.

  • San Jose Sharks (Under 83.5): The Sharks were competitive for half a season, but they've lost 30 of their last 40 games.

  • Detroit Red Wings (Under 78.5): Detroit took a step forward this season, but not big enough to go over their projected point total.

  • Ottawa Senators (Under 76.5): Another bad season for Ottawa.

  • Arizona Coyotes (Under 68.5): The lowest projected preseason point total, and the Coyotes went well under on their way to the worst record in the league.

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