The NHL season is fast approaching, and with games just around the corner, hockey fans don’t have long to wait before watching their favourite teams take to the ice once more. The first game will take place on October 7 as the Sharks take on the Predators. Interestingly, this season’s opening game will take place in Europe, with a back-to-back being played between these two teams in the Czech Republic.

The first North American game of the season will be on October 11, as the Lightning take on the Rangers and the Golden Knights host the Kings. Last year’s Stanley Cup was lifted by the Colorado Avalanche, and they’ll be hoping for a repeat. However, there are plenty of other top teams in the running, and the off-season has seen a lot of big trades.

If you want to bet on the upcoming NHL season, you’ll first want to know a bit about the biggest teams and their chances. In this NHL betting preview, we’ll give you some tips on the teams expected to compete for the Stanley Cup, as well as players who could be in the running for the Hart Trophy.

2022-23 Stanley Cup Odds

The Avalanche are the current champions, and after some incredibly strong performances last season, they’re the favourites to lift the trophy once more. While most people consider them one of the strongest teams in the league, they have lost some depth players, and at odds of 5.1, they might not be the wisest choice to bet on. The biggest loss for the Avalanche is Kuemper, their first-choice goaltender who’s now joined the Capitals. Still, they have a very strong team and are difficult to rule out.

One team to watch as a potential outside challenger for this season’s Championship is the Carolina Hurricanes at 11.7. The Hurricanes suffered a disappointing loss in the second round of the playoffs last season and will be looking to improve on that performance. Still, they were the strongest team by far in their division, and they’ve added some quality players, including veterans Brent Burns and Max Pacioretty. These two could be the missing pieces for the Hurricanes, and if they help them improve their offence, they’re a serious contender.

An even bigger outsider for the Stanley Cup is the Pittsburgh Penguins. Last season, the Penguins looked like a very strong team and were unlucky to lose their two best goaltenders to injuries right before the playoffs. They’ve kept hold of their strong core for this season and have plenty of talented young players who could help them make a run. At odds of 21.8, they’re worth a look.

2022-23 Hart Trophy Odds

The Hart Memorial Trophy is an award given to the NHL’s most valuable player of that season. It’s an exciting alternative option to bet on, and the odds can change a lot throughout the season depending on how certain players and teams perform. Generally, players on stronger teams that go deeper into the playoffs are more likely to win, so you should factor this information into your choice.

Connor McDavid is currently favourite to lift the Hart Trophy at odds of 3.8. The Oilers centre is coming off the back of an extremely strong season with 44 goals and 79 assists. He came second in the running last season, but he’s been getting better each year. The Oilers are also predicted to do well and have a great chance of a deep run.

The second favourite is Auston Matthews at 5.65. Matthews won the trophy last season, and the Maple Leaf’s centre has another excellent opportunity to do so again. He’s currently the best goal scorer in the league, scoring 60 goals last season alongside 46 assists. If he continues this form, he’s an excellent choice and has decent odds.