2019 NHL Season Point Totals Predictions
We are at that point in the NHL preseason where rosters are starting to look much like they will in the regular season - at least for home games and road games close to home. The more of a sense we get of what teams will look like, the better we can spot the potential value in the NHL season point totals that are being offered. Here are some of the numbers that stand out, followed by all the ones that are less interesting points. As you'll see, I was in an optimistic mood as I selected these, and I focused on the "overs":
The Best Numbers
Arizona - over/under 88.5 points: The team had 86 points last year and followed that up with a fairly solid offseason. They are a young team that should get better with more experience, and they had some health issues last year that they will hopefully not run into again. There is some upside with this team, and the over feels like the clear play.
Buffalo - 83.5 points: The over has jumped to -120 already, so much of the value has already been bet out. I believe in this team, though. They don't feel like a true contender, and in the brutally tough East they probably aren't a playoff team. But they had 76 points last year and did enough this summer to take a step forward. The over is the right play - even if it isn't one that will make you rich.
Calgary - 96.5 points: As a lifelong fan of this, my hometown team, I am still reeling - like much of the city - after the dismal playoff performance and fast departure following a season that saw them post the best record in the Western Conference. They weren't active in the offseason, and they still haven't signed key RFA Matthew Tkachuk as I write this, but they are still a talented squad - and there is at least a chance that they have improved their goaltending, which was an issue at times last year. They had 107 points last year, and I like the over here.
Carolina - 95.5 points: The Hurricanes had 99 points last year, and they had the confidence of a surprising playoff run to build on heading into this year . The offseason was a solid one as well, and they are even better on defense than they were last year when it was a strength. The East is very deep and tough, so the over isn't packed with value here, but it is clearly the right play nonetheless.
Colorado - 98.5 points: This is a really, really good team. They got hot late in the season last year and dominated Calgary in the first round of the playoffs as an underdog. And they are young and talented and only going to get better. They have the ongoing contract standoff with Mikko Rantanen hanging over them, and he is one of the best players in the league. That's not ideal. But they have no shortage of talent and feel very much like a team on the rise. The over is very comfortable at this price.
Dallas - 96.5 points: The team had 93 points last year and seems poised to take a step forward this year. You should be forewarned, though - I am a true sucker for this team. Every year at about this time of year I decide that this is a team with real upside, and I write something stupid about how this is the year for them. And every year they crush my soul. I never learn, of course - where would the fun in that be. So, I like the over here, but that probably doesn't mean much.
Florida - 96.5 points: It's dangerous to buy into the hype around a team that seems ready to explode before they have actually proven anything. Just ask anyone who was on the Cleveland Browns bandwagon entering the NFL season this year how that has gone for them. But I liked a lot about this team last year, and they had an excellent offseason. I lean to the over here, but cautiously.
New Jersey - 90.5 points: Last year was a disaster for this team, but they had a very strong offseason and have some strong players through the roster. They took a huge step forward between the 2017 and 2018 seasons and could be ready for another big leap forward. I am optimistic about this team and like the over at this price.
Tampa Bay - 108.5 points: Last year they had 128 points. And it was no fluke. They enter this year just as talented and dangerous. And they will be fueled by the memory of their playoff embarrassment. They are also very well rested after the surprisingly long offseason, and that only helps them. This is the biggest number on the board by a wide margin, but it isn't high enough. Take the over.
The Rest of the Numbers
Anaheim - 82.5 points
Boston - 100.5 points
Chicago - 90.5 point:
Columbus - 84.5 points
Detroit - 75.5 points
Edmonton - 85.5 points
L.A. Kings - 74.5 points
Minnesota - 87.5 points
Montreal - 88.5 points
Nashville - 96.5 points
New York Islanders - 92.5 points
New York Rangers - 87.5 points
Ottawa - 68.5 points
Philadelphia - 90.5 points
Pittsburgh - 94.5 points
San Jose - 95.5 points
Toronto - 101.5 points
Vancouver - 86.5 points
Vegas - 100.5 points
Washington - 97.5 points
Winnipeg - 94.5 points
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