NHL Team Points Over/Under Props
The 102nd regular season in the NHL's storied history got underway two days ago. From now until April, it's an 82-game gauntlet for the 31 teams across the league. And that's before the playoffs even get started, which if you follow NHL at all, know it's the most nail-biting postseason among the "Big Four" sports leagues.
You can find over/under propositions for each of those team's point totals on Bovada. We know that can be overwhelming for some, so we've hand-picked four teams below to get you started on the right foot. Here's which franchises are on the rise and which are on the decline going into 2019:
- 01Tampa Bay Lightning — 106.5
- 02Las Vegas Golden Knights — 97.5
- 03St. Louis Blues — 97.5
- 04Los Angeles Kings — 93.5
Tampa Bay Lightning — 106.5
Depending on who you ask, it's either Tampa or Toronto that are in the Stanley Cup driver's seat as the season begins. That's why it comes as no surprise the Lightning are currently -125 to go over their projected 106.5 point total.
However, that's actually below the 113 points they racked up during their 54-23 campaign a year ago. Honestly, we don't understand why because Tampa should be better this season.
While its 2017-28 roster remains mostly intact, we expect the progress to come from an entire season with J.T. Miller and Ryan McDonagh on the ice. The two were acquired mid-season from the Rangers last season and inked long-term deals with Tampa over the summer.
Those two weren't the only ones the Lightning rewarded during the offseason. The other was forward and face of the franchise Nikita Kucherov, who signed a $76-million extension. You may be thinking, how can Kucherov possibly top last season's 100-point performance (39 goals, 61 assists)? The 25-year-old has improved his points four straight years, so what's one more?
With a unique blend of youth and experience, Tampa will be scary good in 2019. Betting the over here is a no-brainer.
Pick: Over 106.5 (-125)
Las Vegas Golden Knights — 97.5
Let's get this out of the way, there's little to no chance the Golden Knights will dazzle like they did in their inaugural season. A magical run that ended in the Stanley Cup Finals was almost fairytale-like. Now, they won't sneak up on anyone as they'll have a giant target on their back all season long.
That leads us to believe Las Vegas will take a giant step backward in 2019. Gloss over the roster and it's almost a given.
William Karlsson netted a team-high 43 goals last season — 28 more than the previous two seasons combined. Regression back to the mean should be expected for Karlsson. What about goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. He somehow played the season of his life at age 33. Can you one-up himself? Probably not, especially considering how shaky his defense will be, sans Colin Miller.
A season total of 97.5 points more or less means Las Vegas is a fringe playoff team, according to bookies. That's about right, but even then, we're going under. The clock strikes midnight for the Golden Knights in 2019.
Pick: Under 97.5 (-120)
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St. Louis Blues — 97.5
Is there an NHL franchise that defines mediocrity more than the Stanley Cup-less Blues? They missed the postseason — for the first time since 2011 — by a point a year ago. Not unlike Las Vegas, St. Louis is a borderline playoff team hence their 97.5 over/under.
We're picking the over. Glazing over this roster, you won't find glaring holes. Not that you'll discover game-changing strengths either, but this is a fundamentally sound team.
The biggest question mark is at goaltender. For now, the erratic Jake Allen is penciled in as a starter. The team let Carter Hutton walk to Buffalo over the summer, reaffirming their belief in Allen long-term. Perhaps that alleviates the pressure on Allen, or increases it knowing the team is all-in on him. Only time will tell, but a solid roster around him will give Allen some breathing room.
Pick: Over 97.5 (-130)
Los Angeles Kings — 93.5
It's been a steady decline for Los Angeles since they hoisted the Stanley Cup in 2014. Since then, the Kings have won just one playoff game.
However, much of the core that won that championship, along with the one in 2012, remains on the roster. At goalie, Jonathan Quick is back and seemingly healthy again. The team's top-three point-getters — Dustin Brown, Drew Doughty, and Anze Kopitar — have been team staples since 2008. But none of the four aforementioned players are getting better this season.
There lies the problem. Where will the improvement come from in 2019? Los Angeles' biggest offseason move was singing 35-year-old Ilya Kovalchuk. He hasn't skated in the NHL since 2013 so there's really no telling how much gas is left in Kovalchuk's tank.
We don't know about you, but an older team getting somehow older over the offseason doesn't exactly evoke confidence out of us. 2019 could be the year that the bottom finally falls out for the Kings.
Pick: Under 93.5 (-105)