Last season oddsmakers misjudged the Vegas Golden Knights, and with the recently released NHL points total for the 2018-2019 season, it appears they could have underestimated the expansion team again. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has put the line on how many points the Golden Knights will have at the end of the season at 96.5.
That is the same amount as the Anaheim Ducks, and one less than the San Jose Sharks, all Pacific Division rivals. They are all behind two other Western Conference teams, Winnipeg and Nashville. The Jets, who lost to the Golden Knights in the conference finals last year, are projected to have 106.5 points, while the Predators are expected to have 105.5.
The Westgate has the leader as Tampa Bay with 107.5. Toronto, who picked up free agent John Tavares in the offseason, are next at 106.5. Pittsburgh (103.5) and Boston (102.5) are the only other teams that are expected to have double-digit point totals.
Points Don’t Equal Playoff Success
The Predators were the leading point leader last season with 117. Nashville was bounced in the second round by Winnipeg, 4-3. In the Eastern Conference Tampa Bay had the most points with 113, but lost to eventual Stanley Cup Champions Washington, in the conference finals, 4-3.
The point totals also represent who oddsmakers believe what teams will win the Stanley Cup. The favorite is Tampa Bay at 7/1, followed by Toronto at 8/1. Tampa Bay was also the top pick to win the Cup last year for most of the season.
Nashville, Winnipeg, Boston, and defending champion Washington are all at 10/1. Vegas and Pittsburgh are next at 12/1.
Will Vegas Experience Sophomore Jinx?
The Golden Knights surprised everyone in the NHL, but this year the only shock will be if they don’t repeat the success of their inaugural campaign.
The Golden Knights were projected to earn 70.5 points in their first season, but blew that away, finishing with 104. It was the same with victories. One of the prop bets the casinos had to pay off on was the over/under for wins for the season. Most books had set the line at 24.5 with 6/1 on the over. The team reached the over on Dec. 28, a month before the halfway point of the season.
The team, which at the beginning of their inaugural season was 500/1 to be champions, was also a huge underdog to win the Western Conference, but this year they are the second choice at 11/2, along with Nashville. Winnipeg. is the favorite at 9/2.
Expected Eastern Conference Surprises
Toronto exited quickly in the first round of the playoffs last year, losing to Boston in seven games. This year, though the Maple Leafs are tied with Tampa Bay to win the Eastern Conference at 4/1.
The biggest reason for the jump is Tavares. The center, who had 37 goals and 45 assists in 2017-2018, was the most sought after free agent in the offseason, and when the Maple Leafs landed him they went towards the top of the betting board.
Conversely, when Washington lost their coach, Barry Trotz, their stock dropped. The Capitals are not expected to repeat as Stanley Cup champions, despite only losing defenseman Jay Beagle.