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My five best point total bets for the 2022-23 NHL season

Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins OVER 95.5 (+110), Bet365

If you haven’t heard yet, Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy are going to miss the first two months of the season, while Taylor Hall and Matt Grzelcyk are also set to miss the beginning of the campaign. While these are big losses, the sky is hardly falling in on Boston as many might have you believe, and this low total is a significant overadjustment to those injuries. When healthy – not a guarantee for any team – the Bruins boast a top-five roster in the NHL. Few teams have as much elite talent, while they also have the depth to back it up. In net, Jeremy Swayman possesses terrific potential and is only getting better. Look for the 23-year old to take another step forward this season – he offers terrific value at 50-1 in the Vezina market.

This is a team that managed 107 points last season, was on pace for 107 in a full 82-game season in the shortened 2021 campaign, was on pace for 117 before COVID cut the 2019-20 campaign short, and put up totals of 107 and 112 the two years previous. Yet here we are, with everyone once again predicting their demise. I’m not sure why the sentiment surrounding this team continues to be overwhelmingly negative, but I’m also not complaining.

We’re also getting a boost here from the arrival of Jim Montgomery behind the bench. He’s an excellent coach, and while the same could be said of Bruce Cassidy, he clearly wasn’t well-liked in the room. Removing that distraction will help a Bruins team primed for another run at the Cup with this core intact. The Bruins are also my favorite Stanley Cup value at current odds, but it’s possible we get an even better price if we wait it out a couple months should they start slow without Marchand and McAvoy. 

New York Rangers UNDER 99.5 (-110), DraftKings

The Rangers racked up 110 points last season en route to an Eastern Conference Final appearance, but I am very eager to sell high on this group heading into the 2022-23 campaign. By all metrics, the Rangers were a very average hockey team a year ago. They ranked 21st in expected goal share at five-on-five and were 28th in xG/60 at five-on-five, with their many flaws masked by elite goaltending. To put it mildly, Igor Shesterkin was absurdly good last season - he didn’t just lead the NHL is every significant statistical category, he ran away with them. 













Even a small downtick in production this season would be a big blow to the Rangers’ point output. The same can be said for Chris Kreider, who scored 52 goals at 30-years old last season, smashing his previous career high of 28. If he’s unable to replicate that production, coupled with the losses of Ryan Strome and Andrew Copp, the offense will also take a major hit. The Rangers have a lot of holes up front and are relying heavily on their young players taking a step forward, but that’s already baked into this total. Without significant improvement from the young core, not only will the Rangers struggle to reach 100 points, but they could struggle to make the playoffs altogether. 

Injuries were also a non-issue for this team a year ago. Everyone important played at least 75 games – something that’s hard to count on again especially considering the age of many of their key contributors. If they can stay healthy, get otherworldly goaltending, and an uptick in production from their young players, then 100 points won’t be an issue. But none of these are a given, despite mostly being accounted for in this number. If even one of these areas proves a source of pain, 100 points is a stretch for this roster in an Eastern Conference that will be a lot more competitive this season.

Ottawa Senators UNDER 87.5 (-110), Coolbet

I need to see it before I buy in. The Senators remind me a lot of the 2021-22 New Jersey Devils. The market was high on them going into the year following an abysmal season and everyone had them circled as a darkhorse to make the playoffs. The result? A 63-point season. The Senators will finish well above 63 points, but expecting a 15-point jump from last season is a lot to ask.

There’s no doubt this team improved considerably over the summer, but there are still a number of holes on this roster. Goaltending remains a question, they lack both high-end talent and depth on the blue line, and their bottom six leaves a lot to be desired. The top six has plenty of scoring on paper, but Drake Batherson, Brady Tkachuk, and Josh Norris all produced career years a season ago. For the Senators to reach this lofty total, not only do all three need to at least replicate that, but a couple will have to build on it as well. Then there’s Alex DeBrincat, who will need to find his way without Patrick Kane – one of the most gifted offensive players of our generation. Can he continue to score at the same pace with an unproven Josh Norris and ageing Claude Giroux as his linemates?

There’s a lot to like about this Senators team, but there are more than a few question marks. They weren’t the only team to improve this summer, either. Last year’s eight playoff teams in East are still very strong, while the likes of the Red Wings, Sabres, Islanders, Devils, and Blue Jackets will all be better. The East is going to be much more competitive this season, and while a 15-point jump for the Senators is certainly possible, the chance of it happening is a lot smaller than this line indicates. A lot needs to go right for Ottawa to surpass this number.

Seattle Kraken OVER 81.5 (-110), Bet365

Philipp Grubauer was as bad for the Kraken last season as Shesterkin was good for the Rangers. I’ve never seen anything like it. He was a very solid goalie with Colorado, but was an unmitigated disaster with the Seattle. His minus-31.53 GSAx and minus-24.64 GSAA were both by far the worst marks of any goalie in the NHL, and Seattle simply couldn’t overcome it. What team could?

The team in front of Grubauer was respectable, but will be considerably improved this season. Potential Calder winner Matty Beniers was electric in his first taste of NHL action and will provide a massive boost to this offense in his first full season, as will new additions Oliver Bjorkstrand and Andre Burakovsky. This is a well-balanced forward group that will pack a much more consistent scoring punch, to pair with a really strong top six on the back end – what the blue line lacks in star power, it makes up for in depth and stability.

What this bet will ultimately come down to is goaltending. If the duo of Grubauer and Martin Jones can provide even below-average goaltending, as opposed to the insanely below-average goaltending they got last season from Grubauer and Chris Driedger, then 82 points will be closer to the floor for this team than a median projection. Considering Grubauer’s history, I’m willing to buy into that happening. 

Vegas Golden Knights OVER 96.5 (+100), DraftKings

Perennial Cup favorites as little as a year ago, the Golden Knights come into the 2022/23 season as an afterthought. Max Pacioretty and Evgenii Dadonov were dealt away for literally nothing because of salary cap issues, starting goaltender Robin Lehner will miss the entirety of the season after undergoing hip surgery, and backup Laurent Brossoit is also set to start the season on injured reserve. So what are we doing betting over here?

Well, not a single thing went right for Vegas last season. Captain Mark Stone played just 37 games. Jack Eichel played 34. Alec Martinez played 26. Pacioretty, who’s gone, only played 39 anyways. Reilly Smith, William Karlsson, William Carrier, Zach Whitecloud, and Brayden McNabb all missed considerable time, as did Robin Lehner. The Knights’ roster was almost unrecognizable on many nights, and at no point did we get to see the potential of this team with all their big guns on the ice. Despite that, they still managed 94 points. 

The floor is very high for this team as we saw last year, and the ceiling is well over the 100-point mark. Assuming decent health – which is the case for any over bet – this roster will cruise to 97 points. Up front they possess elite talent and great depth down the middle, while they’re both strong and experienced on the back end. Goaltending is the one true concern, but Logan Thompson impressed in limited action last season, and the upgrade to Bruce Cassidy behind the bench will help as well. With the love going around for the Flames and Oilers, we’re all sleeping a bit on Vegas once again.