Will anyone be able to challenge the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks for the division crown in the Central in the upcoming NHL 2010 Season?
Pinnacle Sports, as well as other sportsbooks, have NHL picks and odds lined up for the Central Division. Be sure to discuss the NHL season at the SBR hockey handicapping forum. Also check out SBR odds as the NHL betting season approaches to look forward to betting matchups in the league's schedule.
Chicago Blackhawks (-249) (52-22-8, 112 Points)
The Stanley Cup Winners have sportsbooks proclaiming them favorites to take the Central Division, as well as consistently being in the top few teams predicted to win it all again. With Antti Niemi and Dustin Byfuglien gone, with others, the Blackhawks will be without some key pieces to compete.
However don't rule out the Blackhawks to take care of business throughout the hockey betting schedule and into the playoffs. Marty Turco and Fernando Pisani have been added to Kane, Toews, and Sharp to make this one of the most feared teams in the NHL.
Detroit Red Wings (+293) (44-24-14, 102 Points)
Detroit finished in 2nd place behind their rivals, the Blackhawks, Remember for this hockey betting season that the Wings were much better at home, comparatively to other teams, which will be important to keep in mind for odds during the schedule.
Chris Osgood and Jimmy Howard lead the team in net, which is very strong overall still. If this mix of old and young guys stays healthy, this talented team could compete for the top spot in the Central and possibly at the very end.
Nashville Predators (+819) (47-29-6, 100 Points)
The Predators made the playoffs and look to move forward with Pekka Rinne and the additions of Ryan Parent and Francis Bouillon. As underdogs in the conference and an overall solid team, NHL odds will be dynamic for this underwhelming team, in some aspects.
Goal production will be a special concern, losing Jason Arnott. Steve Sullivan and Martin Erat, along with the addition of Matthew Lombardi, will have to handle the scoring load, making for an interesting set of hockey bets for the upcoming season.
St. Louis Blues (+1605) (40-32-10, 90 Points)
The Blues are an interesting sleeper pick for the NHL betting season. While they are not likely to win the Central, the Blues had a strong offseason.
Jaroslav Halak will look to improve this team. Expecting improvements with players such as Brad Boyes, David Backes, and TJ Oshie, the Blues could make for some interesting matchups for NHL odds makers once the regular season begins.
Top NHL Betting Action at Bodog.com
Columbus Blue Jackets (+2654) (32-35-15, 79 Points)
Defensively the Blue Jackets are troubled, putting a lot of pressure on Steve Mason. They have a degree of talent along the likes of RJ Umberger and Anoine Vernette, but they had a very unimpressive season last year.
If the Blue Jackets can get their act together defensively, perhaps their offense could shine a little bit. Keep close track of the Blue Jackets, who could improve considerably, making for some hockey sleeper bets in the season.