It’s been an unbelievably insane offseason in the National Hockey League, and now we’re at the point where it’s finally over and we can get to playing some hockey. But not just that, sportsbooks all across the United States are getting us prepared for the new campaign with a magnitude of bets. One of those wagers that we’re going to discuss in this piece is the 2019-20 NHL OVER/UNDER Point Totals bet that involves all 31 franchises in the National Hockey League.
Over at online sportsbook BetOnline, they’ve set the Tampa Bay Lightning with the highest OVER/UNDER point total at 108.5. Coming up in second place, we have the Toronto Maple Leafs at 101.5, with the Boston Bruins and Vegas Golden Knights in a tie for third at 100.5. Rounding out the top five for us are the Colorado Avalanche, who have a OVER/UNDER point total at 98.5.
Check out the teams of the Lightning, Maple Leafs and Bruins. All three are in the Atlantic Division, which is absolutely terrifying for the rest of the clubs who play in that division, and needless to say, it’ll be an entertaining sight to see Tampa Bay, Toronto and Boston have battles all season long. Let’s call it: “The Point Wars”.
When we take a look at the bottom of the OVER/UNDER point total list, the Ottawa Senators get the lucky spot of having the lowest projected points at 68.5. The next lowest goes to the Los Angeles Kings with a 73.5 figure, with the Detroit Red Wings having the third fewest projected points at 75.5. Afterwards, we have the Anaheim Ducks at 79.5, and then the Buffalo Sabres round out the top five for the very bottom at the 83.5 mark.
Last season, the Senators would be the worst in the NHL with a total of 64 points, and it’s expected that they’ll be in the same spot at the end of this season. The main reason: They wouldn’t have the first round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft because of a trade that took place in 2017 with the Colorado Avalanche for Matt Duchene. Don’t expect much, again, from the Ottawa Senators.
A couple of teams that you have to like the OVER bet on are the Chicago Blackhawks and Florida Panthers — the Blackhawks are listed at 90.5, while the Panthers are at 96.5. When you examine both of these teams, it’s the same reason of why you have to like them to over-exceed their expectations: Goaltending. In the 2018-19 campaign, Chicago would have a bit of a disappointing season with 84 points, but over the offseason, general manager Stan Bowman would go out and make some moves, including signing goal protector Robin Lehner.
The Blackhawks already had a solid game in the net with Corey Crawford, but let’s be honest, even though he’s still productive, he’s only getting older at 34 years old. With the addition, Chicago now has two effective goalies in the net, and also has the ability to give Crawford some rest and put him in a good routine.
With that being the case, they’re in a pretty position to increase their point total, as well as add more wins to their 36-34-12 record from last campaign. This is especially true when you consider that Lehner was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, having an incredible season with the New York Islanders — his lone one. For the year, he would put up a record of 25-13-5, a .930 save percentage and also a goals-against average of 2.13.
Last season, the Florida Panthers goaltending tandem would be among the worst in the National Hockey League. However, the offseason would see a drastic change in the net. Roberto Luongo would retire to free up cap space, and then they would trade James Reimer away to the Carolina Hurricanes. When the money was there, that’s when the Panthers would pull the trigger: Seven years/$70 million for one of the best goalies in the league in Sergei Bobrovsky.
Now with elite goaltending in place, a massively potent offense that was the ninth-best in the NHL last season and expected to be even better this year, as well as hiring Joel Quenneville, who is one of the best coaches in the league, all of the tools are in place for the Florida Panthers to do some damage this year — and this includes making the playoffs and hitting the OVER on their 96.5 point total.
When we went over the odds for the 2019-20 NHL Stanley Cup championship, we would go over the top favorites to win the title in the Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vegas Golden Knights, Boston Bruins, and Florida Panthers. This go-around for the 2019-20 NHL OVER/UNDER Point Totals, we’re going to go over some other teams to spread the shine a little bit, so if you want deeper examinations into those previously-mentioned clubs, be sure to check out my NHL season preview. After these teams of interest, I’ll then be giving you my betting prediction for the OVER/UNDER on all 31 NHL franchises.
Other than improving the team at the forward position, the Carolina Hurricanes would only make small changes here and there on the rest of the team. As a result, there’s no reason why the Hurricanes won’t be a playoff team again. The biggest key to their success here in 2019-20 is their play in the net. If the goalkeeping delivers the same kind of protection as it did last season, they should be able to replicate what they did as far as a postseason appearance is concerned. As far as another deep run in the playoffs like last year, I mean, it could happen. They certainly have the talent, and would get to the Eastern Conference Finals last campaign beating teams such as the Washington Capitals and sweeping the New York Islanders. But that’s the thing: They’ll once again be up against a stacked East with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Boston Bruins, the newly revamped Florida Panthers and others to compete with. A playoff appearance, for sure, but making another deep run, time will tell that story.
The Dallas Stars will be a very fascinating team to watch throughout the 2019-20 season, and one of the most interesting in the entire league. Over the offseason, the Stars would go out and make improvements to their front, adding to an already effective blueline. They have a pretty solid team entering the new campaign, but here’s the issue for Dallas: They play in the Central Division, one of the toughest divisions in the National Hockey League, and possibly even the toughest. With that being the issue, that’s going to judge how successful of a season that the Stars have, because they’ll have to earn the majority of their points from their division rivals. Ben Bishop would have an incredible season in 2018-19, but it’s highly unlikely that he will continue that play this season and in the future. With that being said, Joe Pavelski and Corey Perry will add a lot more potency to Dallas’ offense, which is sure to contribute to more wins. The Dallas Stars are a pretty solid team that should have high expectations for themselves, and I’m sure they’re prepared to build off of their second round appearance last season.
Was it just a fluke? That’s what’s on the minds of New York Islanders fans and pundits across the National Hockey League. Needless to say, there will be a lot of interest towards the Islanders to see if they’re for real, and at the present time, there’s no way of telling whether they are or not. We’ll just have to let the season play out, that’s literally all we can do for now. Over the offseason, New York wouldn’t do anything to improve themselves, and they certainly could have used the upgrades after their offense wasn’t exactly the best in 2018-19. That could be a bit worrisome for repeated success if their defense doesn’t hold up. And that’s where we get to goaltender Robin Lehner, a large part of the Islanders’ success last season. They would lose him to the Chicago Blackhawks and their defense has been weakened a bit, especially considering Semyon Varlamov will be tasked to replace his production. So with all that, you have to say the 2019-20 New York Islanders success rides with their game in the net. If it holds up, they should be good to go. If not, it could be problematic.
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