NHL Betting – Hawks Potential Overlay in West

NHL betting expectations remain high for the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks despite key roster losses in the offseason.

Still the One
Chicago opened as a +200 favorite at Sbg global to repeat as Western Conference champions.  That price is based as much on public perception, if not ignorance, as it is on reality as the Blackhawks are without several key contributors to last year’s Stanley Cup run including goaltender Antti Niemi, as Chicago had to trim payroll to stay under the salary cap.  But with other stars such as leading scorer Patrick Kane returning the Hawks will still be a top contender in the West

Sharks Bit in Playoffs
The San Jose Sharks opened as a +400 choice to win the Western Conference as they have been one of the elite regular season teams in the West the past two seasons.  San Jose continues to come up short in the playoffs however and handicappers that have been burned by large NHL bet losses may have a wait and see approach with the Sharks this year.

Vancouver Rising
The Vancouver Canucks look to be another realistic alternative to the Blackhawks for the Stanley Cup in 2010.  The Canucks have been eliminated in the playoffs the past two seasons by Chicago but are stocked with talent led by Canada’s gold medal winning goalie Roberto Luongo and a host of top talent headlined by the Sedin brothers.  Vancouver has one of the top payrolls in NHL betting and figures to make an all out run for Lord Stanley’s Cup in 2010-11 as they opened as a +550 selection to win the West.

The Los Angeles Kings ended a long playoff drought last year and opened at +900 to win the West.  The Kings have been building patiently through the draft and have a stockpile of good young talent.  The St. Louis Blues have used a similar path to climb back into success and could be a real NHL bet sleeper with a price of +2000 to win the West.  One team that looks like an overlay is Detroit at +750.  The aging Red Wings are priced high because of their name brand status rather than because of their actual potential.  Detroit lacks depth and youth and a playoff miss would not surprise hockey experts.