NHL 2023/24 Western Conference: Predictions & Odds NHL 2023/24 Western Conference: Predictions & Odds

The Western Conference gave us the champions last season as the Vegas Golden Knights shocked the world by claiming the very first Stanley Cup trophy in the team’s history.

The Golden Knights did not make a plethora of changes in the offseason, and they will be among the main candidates to conquer the West this year, but they will also have numerous challengers on the way, mainly from the Central Division.

Now that every team in the league has completed their rosters for the start of the season, it is an ideal time to check the power rankings at US sportsbooks and see where the highest-value Western Conference futures picks are hidden.

See our NHL Predictions & Expert Picks page for more hot ice hockey bets!

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Best Pick: Winnipeg Jets to Make the Playoffs – NO (+115) with DraftKings

We are not huge fans of the job Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff did this summer. The team lost key offensive weapons in the likes of Pierre-Luc Dubois and Blake Wheeler in exchange for bountiful middling skaters such as Gabe Vilardi, Alex Iafallo, or Rasmus Kupari. To make things worse, the atmosphere in the dressing room is far from ideal, with star center Mark Scheifele and the No. 1 goaltender choice, Connor Hellebuyck, openly expressing their wishes to leave the club ahead of the start of the season.

Additionally, this Winnipeg roster has several big liabilities, Neil Pionk being the main one. Despite having an awful season last year, Pionk is still the team’s number-two defenseman.

The Jets somehow made it to the playoffs last time — they lost to the Golden Knights in five games in the opening round — but we are not confident regarding their chances of repeating the feat in the 2023/24 campaign. It is great to have them missing out on the playoffs at plus odds with DraftKings.

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Value Pick: Los Angeles Kings to win Western Conference (+900) with DraftKings

The experts and media, in general, are sleeping on the Los Angeles Kings ahead of the 2023/24 campaign. We are surprised to see them well below the likes of the Oilers, the Avs, the Golden Knights, and the Stars in the latest power rankings. We are talking about an extremely talented group of players. Yes, they were stopped on the inaugural obstacle in the playoffs in successive years, but we can’t deny the fact they have been a force on the West in the last several seasons.

The biggest Kings’ strength is a perfect blend of youth and experience on their roster. Their second line should be much more dangerous with the addition of a star center Pierre-Luc Dubois. The Pacific is arguably the weakest of the four divisions this season, and it would take a miracle for the Kings to miss out on the playoffs. If they can temper the form to hit the ice running around the start of the postseason action, they can easily go all the way to the Cup with immense talent all over the roster.

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Value Pick: Dallas Stars to win Central Division (+250) with BetMGM

BetMGM has come up with fantastic +250 odds for the Dallas Stars to win the Central Division this year. For context, most other sportsbooks in the US have the Stars at around +160 in this market. We were also big Dallas fans last season when they fell to the Golden Knights in the conference finals.

On paper, Dallas looks stronger than last year with the acquisition of the former Nashville center Matt Duchene. While his 56-point campaign with the Predators did not speak volumes by any means, the 32-year-old center will represent a great addition to this team as a secondary option.

The stars have an elite skater in every single position, from center Roope Hintz and winger Jason Robertson to defenseman Miro Heiskanen and netminder Jake Oettinger. The Colorado Avalanche will be the main obstacle in Dallas’ way for the division title, but we believe they have what it takes to come on top at the end of the regular season. The +250 odds look too good to be ignored.

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The Blues To Cause Upsets?

The Avs are perennial contenders, but we don’t like them in futures picks with such short odds for most markets. The St. Louis Blues might represent refreshment in the Central Division. They missed out on the playoffs because of two horrific losing streaks last season but caught a fantastic spell of form near the end of the regular campaign, but it was too late for a playoff push. GM Doug Armstrong got rid of veterans Vladimir Tarasenko and Ryan O’Reilly in return for exciting wingers such as Jakub Vrana and Kasperi Kapanen. There is a lot to like about this Blues’ roster. Remember, DraftKings has them at +200 to reach the playoffs this year.

While it may be tempting to wager on the Chicago Blackhawks with the incredible talent of Connor Bedard and enticing odds, we strongly recommend resisting that temptation. The current state of the Blackhawks is far from that of a playoff contender. Instead, let’s savor the experience of watching Bedard on the ice and turn our attention to the future of Chicago in the years ahead.

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