Bet these teams to top their divisions in 2021

While our domain here at First and Thirty falls squarely on football, we’re casual degenerates much like the rest of you, and casual degenerates don’t have many NFL wagers left to make this season.  To give you something to root for this winter, you should bet on each of these NHL teams to claim the top seed in their divisions this regular season.

This model is built using many of the same techniques as my Super Bowl model.  It instead selects NHL divisional winners because 1) the unique divisional structure adopted by the NHL this season ensures these wagers are uncorrelated, and 2) divisional winners tend to be somewhat “shorter” odds, leading to more consistency in the lines between bookmakers and a (presumably) more accurate forecast.

My model decided (don’t hold me responsible for its judgement) to lean heavily on projections from Numberfire, supplemented to various degrees by power rankings from Adam Gretz, Nick Goss, and theScore.  Other statistical data accounted for less than 3% of weight in the model’s forecast.

Most of the huge favorites appear overvalued, perhaps with the notable exception of VGK, but each of these picks offers solid value for the dollar.

Oilers +400

Stars +450

Boston +240

Vegas +180

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