The Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars had a hellacious battle for the NHL’s Central Division crown in 2022-23. Ultimately, Colorado held off Dallas by a mere point (109 to 108).
Can Colorado win the division for the third time in a row? Dallas and even the Minnesota Wild will have something to say about that.
Looking at the latest NHL Central Division odds, Colorado is far from a lock, as Dallas is right on its heels.
Central Division Winner Odds 2023-24
NHL odds used for these best bets are from Tuesday, July 25, and courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
- Colorado Avalanche (+150)
- Dallas Stars (+170)
- Minnesota Wild (+650)
- Winnipeg Jets (+900)
- Nashville Predators (+1800)
- Louis Blues (+1800)
- Chicago Blackhawks (+13000)
- Arizona Coyotes (+20000)
With Colorado and Dallas neck and neck at the top, as they were late last season, there are a couple of teams still in that intermediate range.
One is the Winnipeg Jets.
Winnipeg still faces much uncertainty, and who knows what may happen before the season starts.
Minnesota is the intriguing team in all of this. Can the Wild stay healthy and then figure out the first round of the playoffs?
Central Division Winner Best Bet
Dallas Stars (+170)
The Dallas Stars won eight of their final nine games last year and still lost the Central Division to Colorado. That shows how hot the Avalanche were in that final stretch.
However, Colorado has no Gabriel Landeskog, and several other players have left town.
- See where the Stars sit in our NHL Western Conference odds.
Dallas still has a healthy Jake Oettinger, Jason Robertson, Roope Hintz, and Joe Pavelski for starters. This team is loaded.
The Stars should be favored here, but Colorado gets top billing based on name recognition.
Central Division Winner Sleeper Pick
Minnesota Wild (+650)
Minnesota possesses the greatest potential to steal the Central Division from Dallas. The Wild have been close the past several years and finished six points off the pace last season.
Can Kirill Kaprizov and company get over the hump? If Minnesota’s offense can score a few more goals, the Wild are a team that might finally surprise.
Pundits keep sleeping on them, and if goaltender Filip Gustavsson can replicate his form from last season, look out.
Gustavsson was 22-9-7 with a 2.10 goals-against average and .931 save percentage. The Swede saved 24.2 goals more than expected over his 39 appearances.
However, the question remains whether he can start 50 or 55 games. If he can, and players like Matt Boldy and Joel Eriksson Ek continue to grow, the Wild have a chance at winning the Central Division.