2008 - 2009 NHL Preview, Betting Season Wins Totals

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Edmonton Oilers

Ron Raymond here with Part II of 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.

Oilers Total Regular Season Points Over 93.5 Under 93.5 *Note: The Oilers X factor is their two headed goalie system with Garon and Roloson. They have some exciting young talent up front with Hemsky and Gagner, but this is more of a playoff team then a season finesse teams. Each game will be a 1 or 2 goal battle and with McTavish's record of playing for ties, it will be difficult for the Oilers to reach over the posted wins total. Gun to my head type pick, under 93.5, but they will make the playoffs as an 8th seed.

Panthers Total Regular Season Points Over 82.5 Under 82.5 *Note: The Panthers went out and got the hottest young coach in the market place in Peter DeBoer, but unfortunately, he's got nobody to score goals for his club. Thomas Vokoun will be seeing over 40 shots per game, unless DeBoer installs a bullet proof defensive system to limit the number of shots against per game. The Panthers will in the 75 to 80 points range in my view, therefore, take the UNDER 82.5.

Kings Total Regular Season Points Over 77.5 Under 77.5 *Note: Ask any hockey fans who the goalie is for the LA kings and I'm predicting 2 out of 10 fans will give you the right answer. Jason Labarbera and Jonathan Bernier should get most of the work load in Los Angeles. Terry Murray returns behind the bench for the Kings and he's in a rebuilding year, therefore, play UNDER 77.5 points this season.

Wild Total Regular Season Points Over 92.5Under 92.5*Note: Whenever you have a head coach like Jacques Lemaire behind the bench, you have a chance every game and they have a nice team in Minnesota with a great fan base. The Wild finished with 98 points last season and the bookmakers have them at 25-1 to win the Stanley Cup in '08. The Wild play in a tough division and each team with the exception of Vancouver has gotten stronger in my view. UNDER 92.5. Canadiens Total Regular Season Points Over 99.5 Under 99.5

Note: The Montreal Canadiens come into the 2008 season with most of the momentum to win the Cup this season, as they have the next best goalie with Carey Price and have depth on every line. If there's a line for future James Norris trophy winners, take Andrei Markov, as I predict he will have one of the best seasons of all of the Canadiens players. Markov will be the key to the Habs power play this season and look for Kovalev and Plekanec to reach the 30 goal club this season. Kovalev scored 35 in 08. OVER 99.5 (5 BEST BET)

Predators Total Regular Season Points Over 83.5Under 83.5*Note: The Nashville Predators are a funny team to handicap. They are stuck in the Deep South and don't get much hockey exposure due to their market place. Barry Trotz has been their head coach since 1998, only Lindy Ruff has been coaching with one team the longest, as Ruff's been the Sabres bench boss since '97. Nevertheless, the Predators finished with 91 points in 2007 and they play in a weak Central division, with the exception of the Red Wings. The Books are forecasting a lesser then stellar season, as they've placed their season wins record at 83.5 points, which is second biggest difference behind Tampa Bay. Barry Trotz seems to know what he's doing in Nashville and I would bet on the OVER 83.5 points.

Devils Total Regular Season Points Over 97.5Under 97.5 *Note: Seems the Devils are going back into the past, as they've brought back Brian Rolston and Bobby Holik in the off season. Brent Sutter over achieved last season and he lacked scorers up front and they still managed with 99 points. It's going to be interesting to see how many games Sutter will give the veteran Brodeur this season and I expect the Devils to be around the 99 point mark again this season. OVER 97.5.

Islanders Total Regular Season Points Over 74.5 Under 74.5 *Note: On paper, it looks like it's going to be another long year for the Islanders and I'm not sure GM Garth Snow is rebuilding this team in the right direction. Why would they lock in a non-proven goaltender in DiPietro for 10 years and who did they get in the off season to get them goals this season? Mike Comrie and Bill Guerin were their only 20 goal scorers last season, but I do like the addition of Mark Streit. The Islanders finished with 79 points last season and the bookmakers have insulted them with a 74.5 mark this season. Pass. Flyers Total Regular Season Points Over 94.5 Under 94.5 *Note: If there's two moves the Flyers did in the off season which I feel will bite them in the butt this season, allowing Jason Smith to sign with Ottawa was a huge mistake and letting RJ Umberger sign with Columbus will be a question mark answered in December. Smith was the veteran leadership in the room and on the ice they desperately needed and now they will see how valuable he was inside the locker room. The Flyers are stacked with a lot of young talent, but none have taken the leadership role to the next level. UNDER 94.5 is the call here. Coyotes Total Regular Season Points Over 82.5 Under 82.5 *Note: Wayne Gretzky needs to find another way to scratch his competitive itch. Trust me, I'm Canadian and love what Wayne Gretzky has done for Canadian hockey, but he's not doing the Coyotes franchise any favors by allowing himself to coach this team. Here's an analogy I like to use in this regards; Gretzky reminds me of the person in court who want to represent himself at his own trial. If you don't have the coaching experience, then remove yourself or do your time in the lower levels like the OHL, WHL, QMJHL or the AHL. Coyotes will fall way short of the 82.5 points and take the UNDER.

Sharks Total Regular Season Points Over 102.5 Under 102.5 *Note: The San Jose Sharks remind me of the Tampa Bay Lightning, they seem to put on a good face in front of the media about their coach, but the results on the ice state a whole different story. Ron Wilson had some good seasons with the Sharks, but wasn't able to push the right buttons in the playoffs to get Thornton and Cheechoo to the next level. Todd McLellan was an assistant coach with the Red Wings and I'm not a big fan of assistant coaches thrown to the wolves and are expected to lead without experience. In order to be a head coach, you must have been a leader in your prior job, not the yes man behind another leader. UNDER 102.5. (5 BEST BET) Blues Total Regular Season Points Over 78.5 Under 78.5 *Note: The St.Louis Blues are in a rebuilding phase and from all accounts are heading into the right direction. The Blues have some interesting forwards who can help this team compete for the 7th and 8th seed, but will need stellar goaltending from Manny Legacy. Everything will depend on Kariya, Boyes and Brewer staying healthy. If these players can stay in the line up, the Blues could achieve between 79 and 81 points. OVER 78.5. Maple Leafs Total Regular Season Points Over 76.5 Under 76.5 *Note: The Toronto Maple Leafs are playing in the biggest hockey market in the world and now they have a proven head coach who can win games, but can he win in the playoffs? Toronto has a good goaltender in Toskala and they were able to rebuild the dressing room and there seems to be more chemistry in the room. The Leafs don't have the high profile names on this team, but they have speed and speed kills. OVER 76.5 is one of my top plays. (5* BEST BET)

Canucks Total Regular Season Points Over 85.5 Under 85.5 *Note: The Canucks are going to be rebuilding this season and the Sportsbooks agree, as they've put their season o/u at 85.5. The Canucks finished with 88 points last season and finished in last place in the Northwest division. The Canucks are lacking leadership on this team, as Linden and Naslund are gone and Luongo is their only shinning light. Play the UNDER 85.5. (5 BEST BET)

Capitals Total Regular Season Points Over 93.5 Under 93.5 *Note: Here's a funny line; the Caps finished with 94 points in 2007/2008 and have the most electric player in the NHL in Alexander Ovechkin. The Caps picked up a proven goalie in Jose Theodore over the summer and Nicklas Backstrom is coming off a great rookie season. Defense is my only question mark on this team, but with the offensive firepower on this team, they could afford shoot out nights. OVER 93.5 looks like an easy number for the Capitals.

Be sure to check out my free NHL picks at www.phoenixsports.com

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