2018/19 NHL Teams Who Will Be Worse - Over/Under Props
New Jersey Devils
Over 90.5 -125 :: Under 90.5 -105
The New Jersey Devils were among the surprise playoff contestants of 2018, surviving a late run from the Florida Panthers to earn a wild card playoff spot by a single point. New Jersey was summarily dismissed by the Lightning in the first round, completely overwhelmed by the depth of Tampa Bay. This year, NHL futures odds from sites like Bet99 do not favor the Devils.
Taylor Hall had an MVP season with 39 goals and 54 points in 76 games. The next best producer was Nico Hischier, who notched 41 fewer points. New Jersey didn’t add any big pieces over the offseason, while Cory Schneider will miss the beginning of the season with a hip injury. After overachieving in 2017-18 with 97 points, expect the Devils to regress to 90 or less.
Devils – Under 90.5 -105
New York Islanders
Over 82.5 EVEN :: Under 82.5 -130
Losing John Tavares was the worst thing to happen to this franchise, just as they had the good fortune of hiring a Stanley Cup winning coach. Bench boss Barry Trotz will lend his considerable experience to the Islanders youngsters, but New York’s objectively worse on paper without on-ice leader Tavares.
Making matters worse, the front office hired Toronto’s old forwards instead of focusing on the club’s Achilles heel – defense and goaltending. The Isles don’t have a stud defender while Thomas Greiss and Robin Lehner haven’t proven themselves as stable starters in the NHL. No improvement on defense and a major loss on offense will sink the Islanders.
Islanders – Under 82.5 -130
Over 80.5 EVEN :: Under 80.5 -130
The Montreal Canadiens continue to struggle under the tenure of GM Marc Bergevin. Most recently, Shea Weber was named captain, even though Shea will remain out of the lineup until December after missing most of last season. The Habs don’t have a bona fide number one center, nor do they feature depth on the wing or defense.
Sure, Carey Price still might be among the best goalies in the world, but there’s not much else he can do other than absorb an abundance of shots and scoring chances for a losing club. Ironically, the Habs put themselves in this position by attempting to “win now”. Instead, they shed excellent prospects and players without winning, which will relegate this team to the basement.
Canadiens – Under 80.5 -130
Over 69.5 -105 :: Under 69.5 -125
There’s very little positivity in Canada’s capital this season. Without Karlsson, the Senators have the worst defense in the NHL. Ottawa was already a light-scoring club, relying on Karlsson to produce from the blueline. Goaltending will also be an issue because of an aging Anderson.
This organization is so disorganized that they waived Zack Smith before the season started. No team picked Smith up, so they made him an alternate captain. Ottawa’s likely to finish last in the NHL and win the 2019 draft lottery.
Senators – Under 69.5 -125
St. Louis Blues
Over 97.5 -130 :: Under 97.5 EVEN
St. Louis were sellers at the trade deadline last season. The Blues still made an admirable run for a playoff spot without Paul Stastny, but they fell a point shy of the Avalanche for the final wild card spot. During the offseason, St. Louis added east coast castoffs Ryan O’Reilly and Tyler Bozak to replace Paul.
However, starting goaltending will be a significant question mark again as Jake Allen attempts to recover from an inconsistent season. The Blues didn’t add much depth to their blueline or goaltending situation, which will cause them to miss the playoffs in a hyper competitive central division.
Blues – Under 97.5 EVEN
Over 95.5 -115 :: Under 95.5 -115
In an NHL dominated by speed and youth, the Minnesota Wild find themselves relying on Eric Staal, Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu for offense. Ryan Suter will turn 34 in the middle of the season, expected to anchor the defense in 24-25 minutes per game.
All these contributors will be candidates to regress in 2018-19, which could squelch their playoff hopes. When hot, Devan Dubnyk’s one of the best in the NHL, but he won’t have the support needed to win often. The Wild won’t be the worst team in the league, but they’ll probably finish out of the playoffs with 90 points or less.
Wild – Under 95.5 -115
Los Angeles Kings
Over 93.5 -125 :: Under 93.5 -105
The Kings identity as defensive stalwarts helped them earn a playoff spot in 2018, lead by resurgent seasons from Kopitar, Doughty and Quick. Scoring’s a genuine issue for this club, so they signed Ilya Kovalchuk to bolster the forward group.
Unfortunately for L.A., Kovalchuk’s now a 35-year-old veteran who’s been out of the NHL for half a decade, which doesn’t bode well for the Russian scoring star. Even worse, the Golden Knights exposed the Kings during the playoffs, sweeping L.A. out of the first round. Similar to the Wild, the Kings aren’t terrible, but they’re likely to disappoint with a sub 90-point season.
Kings – Under 93.5 -105
Over 85.5 -105 :: Under 85.5 -125
The mighty fall quickly in the current age of the salary cap NHL. After winning three Stanley Cups this decade, Chicago weren’t able to overcome the loss of starting goalie Corey Crawford last season, missing the playoffs for the first time since the 2007-08 season.
Crawford will miss the beginning of the season with concussion issues, while new backup Cam Ward is a shadow of his former self. Kane remains elite, but Toews, Keith and Seabrook no longer produce at a level which befits their salary. The central division’s the toughest in the NHL, likely to relegate the Blackhawks towards the bottom of the west.
Blackhawks – Under 85.5 -125
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