2008 - 2009 NHL Preview (Betting Season Wins Totals)

Written by:
Ron Raymond
Published on:
Pittsburgh Penguins

Ron Raymond here with your 2008 - 2009 NHL preview and all those great season wins totals. Betting on the NHL and future can be found at Sports Interaction, which is offering an exclusive 15 percent cash bonus to Gambling911.com readers who wish to open an online betting account.

What happened to the days where you either won or lost the game? Why do we reward a lost in hockey and give the team's one point for an overtime lost? I've heard all sorts of reasoning on why the NHL has adopted their current system and I'm a strong believer of rewarding skill. Some people don't like the NHL shootouts, but last time I look, the concept of sports is about scoring and players who have honed their talents should be rewarded in many facets.

If a team cannot win during a 60 minute game, then don't blame the 5 minute overtime or the shootout for the spoiler. Overtime and the shootout are now part of the game and the last time I checked, fans weren't leaving the building during the shootout and people still cheer an overtime winner.

Furthermore, handicapping NHL season wins over/unders has become even more complicated since the lockout, as you now have to consider overtime loses and basically, follow a team's style of play. For instance, the NYR were involved in 13 overtime games last season, therefore, this tells me Tom Renney plays more for the tie then the win in the 3rd period. In fact, there are 12 teams who have played 10 or more overtime games last season and when you look at the NHL standings, the Islanders were not 35-38-9, they were 35-47 SU.

Here are the NHL teams season wins over/under odds for the 2008/2009 campaign.

Rangers Total Regular Season Points Over 94.5 Under 94.5 *Note: The Rangers finished with 97 points last season, but the fact Tom Renney played for 13 overtime games last season, has me leaning more towards the OVER. The Rangers never seemed to gel as a unit last season, but with Jagr, Avery and Shanahan gone, it gives the younger players a chance to step up and adding quality new players like Naslund, Zherdev and Fritsche, gives the Rangers a bit of more depth. Senators Total Regular Season Points Over 94.5 Under 94.5 *Note: The Senators started the 2007 season on a 13-1 SU run, but team chemistry and the fact they played in the Stanley Cup the year before played a major role in their collapse in the second half. Senators should eclipse the 100 point mark this season. Furthermore, new head coach Craig Hartsburg didn't want to reunite the big line of Heatley, Spezza and Alfredsson, but it's just too strong of a combination to leave out of the combination. Ottawa should eclipse the 100 point barrier this season.

Penguins Total Regular Season Points Over 98.5 Under 98.5 *Note: The Penguins are going to learn the hard way, when you trade a player like George Laracques out of your line up, it's going to take a psychological effect on your team's style of play and other teams will be running your talented players. As seen in the pre-season, the Lightning's Koci took a run at Gonchar and now Gonchar is gone for 4 to 6 months. Who's going to protect Crosby and Malkin now? UNDER 98.5 is a 5* BEST BET play.

Lightning Total Regular Season Points Over 91.5 Under 91.5 Note: I feel like I woke up in the 90's and Barry Melrose was the head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Oh wait, it's true! Just like the stock markets overreact to headlines, the Bookmakers are overreacting to trades and free agent signings in Tampa Bay. How many times have we've seen baseball and football teams stock up on free agent signings and it affects the team chemistry in the dressing room? I don't see the Lightning getting more then 85 points this season, play the UNDER 91.5. (5 BEST BET)

Mighty Ducks Total Regular Season Points Over 100.5 under 100.5 *Note: The Ducks are a funny team; they have some good veteran players who don't know if they should continue to play or retire. Giguere is one of the top money goalies in the league, he's the Martin Brodeur of the Western Conference. The Ducks play intimidating hockey but they play in a division that has Phoenix and Los Angeles. Play UNDER 100.5. (3*)

Thrashers Total Regular Season Points Over 79.5 Under 79.5 *Note: John Anderson won 4 AHL championships in 8 seasons with the Chicago Wolves and might be the right person to get Kovalchuk going on a nightly basis. The Thrasher's biggest problem has been goaltending and 79.5 points is a tough line to cap. I would pass on this team.

Bruins Total Regular Season Points Over 91.5 Under 91.5 *Note: Claude Julien is one of the most underrated NHL coaches in hockey and he's won at every level. Tim Thomas is a journeyman goaltender for the Bruins and Chara is the rock on defense. Every good hockey teams starts with sound defense and the Bruins are average when it comes to team defense. I'm looking for Milan Lucic to have a breakout year for the Bruins and I'm forecasting he will be the next Cam Neely in Beantown. The Bruins finished with 94 points last season, but I look for the other division teams to have better season and 91.5 is too many points in my view. Play the UNDER. Sabres Total Regular Season Points Over 91.5 Under 91.5 *Note: The Buffalo Sabres remind me of the Oakland A's of Baseball, they don't carry the big name players anymore, but they have enough average players that play hard and with an above average goaltender like Miller, they have a shot every night to steal a point. Sabres are caught in a tough division and UNDER 91.5 is the play here.

Flames Total Regular Season Points Over 94.5 Under 94.5 *Note: The Flames will be one of the most intimidating hockey teams in the NHL, as they have Phaneuf, Iginla, Roy, Bertuzzi, Sarich, and Vandermeer who can make you pay the price on a daily basis. Not to mention some of their AHL goons who will be brought up to meet the big heavyweights. I'm telling you now, the Flames will lead the league in penalties this season, but Anaheim will be very close. The Flames will make the playoffs, but I see them more as a 6, 7 or 8 seed and 94.5 is just about right on the number. Pass on the season number.

Hurricanes Total Regular Season Points Over 89.5 Under 89.5 *Note: The Hurricanes have a Stanley Cup goaltender in Cam Ward, they have a great franchise player in Eric Staal and play in the South East division. 89.5 points is not that hard of a number for the Canes to achieve, but they will have more competition from the Capitals and Lightning this season. I still like them to get over 89.5 points, more like 92 points. Blackhawks Total Regular Season Points Over 94.5 Under 94.5 *Note: Love what the new owner in Chicago is doing, he's reviving hockey in that town and they have great young talent with Toews and Kane and they will bring in new fans into the building. Huet is a funny goalie, he can be brilliant and when he's off his game, he's really off. Why else would Washington and Montreal get rid of him? Bob Gainey is a smart hockey person and he got rid of Huet for a reason. Chicago earned 88 points last season and I don't think they get more then 90 points this season. Play UNDER 94.5.

Avalanche Total Regular Season Points Over 91.5 Under 91.5 *Note: The Colorado Avalanche finished the 2007/2008 campaign with 95 points last season and they've made some interesting moves in the off season. Peter Budaj will be their starting goaltender and look for the Avs to be a bit grittier with Darcy Tucker in the line up. Paul Stastny will be the teams leading scorer this season and look for a player like Wojtek Wolski to be the teams next 20 goals a season man! Pass on the season wins total. Blue Jackets Total Regular Season Points Over 83.5 Under 83.5 *Note: The Blue Jackets have one of the best X's and O's coaches in Ken Hitchcock and Pascal Leclaire turned a few heads last season with his 24-17-6 record and 2.25 goals against average. The Blue Jackets brought in R.J. Umberger in the off season, but he's still a question mark and don't put too much stock in his great playoff performance last season with the Flyers. Who's going to score after Nash? 83.5 is a small enough number, pass.

Stars Total Regular Season Points Over 99.5 Under 99.5 *Note: Here's the thing with the Dallas Stars, they went out and got Brad Richards at the trade deadline last season. Richards was the Stanley Cup MVP in 2004, played second fiddle behind LeCavalier and St.Louis in Tampa Bay for a few years and will have a guy like Sean Avery watching his back in Dallas. If Brad Richards can reach 85 points this season, the Stars will be a tough team to beat next spring. 99.5 is a tough number and I'm going to pass.

Red Wings Total Regular Season Points Over 109.5 Under 109.5 *Note: Talk about a team who's deep in talent. In fact, talent is not even an issue on this Red Wings unit; it's the team's health and fatigue factor which I question come March and April. Furthermore, the Red Wings play in a weak division and I don't see any team giving them a real challenge for the division. However, anytime you have a teams season total wins prediction over 100 points, you cannot over look the stretch run, as history says teams who went to the Cup finals the season before, don't normally finish strong. Therefore, consider the UNDER for the teams season wins.

I'll be back with more 2008 - 2009 NHL Preview (Betting Season Wins Totals) tomorrow. Be sure to check out my free NHL picks at www.phoenixsports.com

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