Remaining NHL Futures: How to Bet Owen Power, Edmonton Oilers in Hockey’s 2nd Half
Claus Andersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Owen Power of the Buffalo Sabres
As we head into the backstretch of the NHL regular season, let's take a look at the best futures prices still on the board.
The 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend takes place this weekend, and on Monday, teams skate up for the final two months of the regular season.
And I've got two futures bets for that final stretch, including a player pick as well as a team selection.
Compared to regular wagers, these prices will vary significantly from sportsbook to sportsbook, so be sure to shop around and bet within price thresholds.
Owen Power: Calder Trophy Winner (+2000)
Owen Power entered the league as a highly touted first-overall pick, and he has looked the part this season. He has been a massive part of Buffalo's surprising push for a playoff spot and will continue to average more than 22 minutes of time on ice the rest of the way.
A lack of offense has been a flaw with his ability to potentially draw votes in this Rookie of the Year race, but over the last 18 games, Power has chipped in more offense with three goals and nine points.
If the Sabres make a push for the postseason and therefore draw more of the spotlight, that level of offense will be plenty when more people take notice of how truly elite Power's play is everywhere else. And that's good news for his Calder Trophy hopes.
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) January 24, 2023
Seattle's Matty Beniers rightfully is priced as a heavy favorite at -200. Power has been closer to the second-most-impactful rookie thus far than these odds suggest, however, he and is far more likely to play an important role in the second half than the names priced between Beniers and him.
Hurricanes goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov is listed at +1400, yet he is back to being No. 3 on Carolina's goaltending depth chart and not likely to be relevant in this race.
Knights goaltender Logan Thompson thrived behind a stellar Vegas defense early on, but as the Knights' defensive play has fallen off, so has Thompson's.
Jets forward Cole Perfetti has had a strong campaign, but he is playing a far less crucial role on the Jets and is averaging fewer than 15 minutes of TOI over the last month.
Tracking down Beniers will be very tough, but Power's price of 20/1 is too long. If anything, he should be the odds-on favorite to claim second in the voting.
It is also worth noting that Beniers is currently sidelined with an upper-body injury. I would never want my impression to be hoping that any player will remain out of the lineup, but it is a relevant point as if Beniers does miss more time after the break, it will open the door for Power in this Calder Trophy race.
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Edmonton Oilers: to Win Pacific Division (+300) | to Win Western Conference (+800)
Backing the Oilers winning the Western Conference at +800 means that we are wagering that Edmonton will represent the West in the Stanley Cup Final.
The Oilers roster still holds some clear flaws around the edges beyond the ridiculous two-headed monster of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, but the door is cracked wide open with how soft the Western Conference is shaping up to be this season.
McDavid and a badly injured Draisaitl put up historic numbers while dragging this team to the West Final last season, and they could realistically replicate that. If anything the path has gotten easier and the rest of the roster could offer more support.
Edmonton is playing a far sharper team game recently at 5-on-5, as evidenced by a 59.79 xGF% over the last month of action. If we continue to see a mark anywhere near that, it will make the Oilers an extremely tough out, as the powerplay will always be extremely dominant.
— NHL (@NHL) January 29, 2023
The chances Edmonton gets to the third round are excellent when evaluating the current shape of the Pacific division, and I make Edmonton the second favorite to represent the West in the Cup final as a result.
Our second bet here is that Edmonton finds a way to come out on top of the Pacific Division in the regular season at +300. It is on paper a four- or even five-team race, which is why we get a great number here. But the Oilers could be well-situated to come out on top of that race.
I'll explain why.
Vegas has been in relatively poor form for a lengthy period of time now due to a plethora of injuries and a drop-off in form from Logan Thompson. The injury situation is better than it has been, but Captain Mark Stone is out indefinitely after receiving back surgery and leaves a massive hole in the roster.
Los Angeles has controlled play at a strong level this season, but the team's atrocious goaltending situation has led to a -10 goal differential. That mark suggests even the record it has achieved thus far is unsustainable.
The Kings will look to deal for a goaltender prior to the deadline, but it will remain at a heavy disadvantage prior to that point. There's also no guarantee a new option would really change things since only so many truly appealing candidates are on the market.
Seattle is a very deep team and a worthy favorite considering the slight lead, but there are some clear arguments as to why the Kraken may be overachieving to an extent and could drop off.
The Kraken have posted historic 5-on-5 shooting rates, and are receiving elite goaltending to come from Martin Jones. Seeing one or both of those strengths falter is realistic, and it could lead to a more modest record for the Kraken over the final 33 games.
As noted Edmonton is playing a far better team game of late, and I believe the Oilers will build on that and take advantage of the soft schedule out of the All-Star break. This +300 number likely will not exist for long.