The 2021-22 NHL Futures for the Western Conference are a little less messy. Two teams are neck and neck with several others lurking behind.
The time to start looking at the NHL Futures is now. Next, at Canada Sports Betting, we spotlight the Western Conference where Colorado and Vegas head the class again.
This 2021-22 season has been quite the fun but chaotic one. The Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights have seen most of the money going their way in the wagers. The Minnesota Wild have started the season off on fire and are the only team in the West more than ten games over the .500 mark. Some big surprises include the Calgary Flames and Anaheim Ducks.
The futures in the West have not taken quite as many dramatic turns as in the East.
2021-22 Western Conference Futures: Digit Counting
Like we mentioned above, the 2021-22 Western Conference Futures have not seen quite the amount of shifts as the East has. It does not mean the West has not been intriguing in the standings. It just means, after two months, the bookies are sticking to their guns and staying with the more tried and true. That is the plan for now at least. It is all about counting those digits and counting on the subtle shifts.
Minnesota, Calgary, St. Louis, and Anaheim all have 35 or more points but Colorado and Vegas lead the futures. Here are the top eight teams as of December 13th, 2021.
|2021-22 NHL Futures — Western Conference|
|Vegas Golden Knights||5.00||4.29||4.00|
|St. Louis Blues||19.00||13.00||12.00|
Betting Stanley Cup odds can be challenging but conference odds possess their own pitfalls. Numbers are bound to shift eventually.
Colorado and Vegas Lead The Western Conference Futures
Thankfully, the West is not quite as close as the East. Colorado and Vegas lead the way in the Western Conference Futures. Now, Betway has the Avalanche out ahead by a little more. However, PowerPlay, Bet99, Sports Interaction, and others have the two teams much closer. That makes sense as this is how the scene played out last year. Vegas did edge out Colorado in what was probably the series of the postseason.
Colorado and Vegas both have the same big question marks. That comes in goal. Can the Colorado Avalanche find a goaltender that can stay healthy? When Philipp Grubauer left for the Seattle Kraken in the offseason, that left a void Joe Sakic thought he had filled. Getting Darcy Kuemper to come to Colorado made a lot of sense. However, things have not quite worked out so well.
While Vegas has been a bit healthier in goal, their numbers have been almost the same as Robin Lehner and the team defence struggled without Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty. Both missed significant time in the early going and that had a profound effect on their team. The same could be said in Colorado were Nathan MacKinnon has almost missed some time. Both teams are dynamic offensively but the Avalanche possess a little more flair and firepower.
It is why Colorado remains our favourite out of the two teams and the Avalanche also are a free betting sports picks dream. Look at what they did to the New York Rangers last week as an example.
The Calgary Flames Are Red Hot In The West
Now, one of the hotter teams in the Western Conference Futures was not expected to be the Calgary Flames. The Flames had a lot of question marks going into the season and yet here they are one of the red hot teams in the West ahead of the favoured Avalanche and Golden Knights in the early going.
This is due to their top line and the goaltending of Jacob Markstrom, Calgary is 15-6-6 at press time which is within three points for the best record in the NHL. The fact that Calgary has been red hot in the West is in large part due to their goaltending dominance. Markstrom leads the league with a 1.84 goals-against-average and five shutouts (he has ten wins).
The other key is without a doubt the Flames’ top line. Johnny Gaudreau, Elias Lindholm, and Matthew Tkachuk. This trio has combined for 78 points on the season. They are averaging right around a point a game. If that was not enough, there is Andrew Mangiapane. The winger has 17 goals in 27 games with 16 of them coming on the road. Calgary keeps finding ways to score and create scoring chances better than their opposition. It is why their early start may not be a fluke.
Calgary could get out of the Western Conference. Few would have believed that ever to be a chance before training camp.
Minnesota Among The West Surprises
There are several teams that could surprise the West. Edmonton has been excellent with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Anaheim has been a revelation. However, there is the Minnesota Wild, who had 39 points going into last weekend, which topped the NHL.
The Wild have seen their fortunes rise quickly too. They are third in the futures and came within a period of upending the Avalanche in the playoffs last season. Cam Talbot leads the league in wins with 15. Kirill Kaprizov and Joel Eriksson Ek have led a resurging offence. They are a balanced team with few weaknesses.
With their numbers shortening close to the two favourites, the Wild will be on our radar the rest of the season.
Our 2021-22 Western Conference Futures Pick
The Colorado Avalanche are our CSB pick to come out of the Western Conference.
There are some Canadian sports betting apps where one can try and win some good money on these futures.