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2008 Western Conference Betting

NHL West Futures – Can Anyone Catch The Red Wings?

The 2008 NHL betting season is upon, and all of our avid hockey bettors are ready to make those ice cold plays in our sportsbook that return cool, hard cash in return. Hockey betting is a marathon, as everyone knows, but if you just want to meet us at the finish line then our NHL hockey futures are for you.

You can’t begin this discussion without tackling the inevitable fact that the Detroit Red Wings are easily the heavy favorite to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup at the end of the season. They did it last year without Marion Hossa, and now that the 75+ point scorer is on the wing for the Wings, the chances of them repeating again are astronomically high. If you check our NHL futures now, the Wings are +175 to win the Western Conference and are +450 favorites to win it all.

With a Stanley Cup caliber roster returning to the fold, and the rest of the Western Conference falling apart at the seams, the Detroit Red Wings should be the only team you consider in the West.

Those of you who have with baited breath for the San Jose Sharks to turn the corner can keep waiting. Every year they get better, and every year they piss off their betting faithful. Yes, they remain a consistently strong bet during the regular season but don’t be tempted at +900 to win the Stanley Cup. It hasn’t happened for the past five hockey betting season, it won’t happen in this one.

Same goes for the Calgary Flames, only because they lack relevant depth to carry them deep in to the playoffs. It’s fine to have two or three bruisers that play dominant two-way hockey, but you can’t rely on those players for an entire seven game series for the three month long playoff season. It’s impossible. I love Jarome Iginla, but betting on the Flames long term is a foolish investment. The Flames were 21-11-9 SU at home, so they remain an attractive bet in the Saddledome, but on the road they are iffy. And Todd Bertuzzi is not the answer.

Colorado made plenty of noise, but don’t have the talent to make a serious run. Neither do their Northwest counterpart Minnesota Wild, who lost the breadth of the scoring with Pavol Demitra jumping ship. Unless Vancouver can hang on long enough to land Mats Sundin, they don’t have a chance to make the playoffs, let alone win the conference. What you should be betting in is whether or not Vancouver can keep the Sedin twins together or not. The Canucks at +1500 and the Flames at +1200 to win the conference need not warrant your hackey betting attention.

The only team that has a serious chance of catching up with Detroit is their hated rival, the Dallas Stars. Brad Richards is one of the best players in the league, and can single-handedly will a team to through the playoffs. His heart was not in it last year after he was forced to leave Tampa Bay, but you can bet he returns this season with a vengeance. They stand as +1000 favorites to win the Western Conference, mostly on the assumption that the road to the Stanley Cup leads through Detroit, where goalie Marty Turco has not played his best.

This is Detroit’s season to lose, and until they prove that they’re going to give up the season due to injury or some in-house fighting (which never happens in Detroit), this NHL story’s ending has already been spoiled. That doesn’t mean you can’t make money of the regular season plays, it just means that you have to be wise when throwing your money around in our NHL futures.

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