Hockey season is right around the corner, and the Nashville Predators are looking to earn a second-consecutive appearance at the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
But sportsbooks are reluctant to predict another playoff berth for the Preds, leaving bettors with plenty of value to be found on futures odds going into the season.
Preds injuries and roster releases
Last year’s shortened NHL season was riddled with injuries.
Nashville ultimately finished fourth in the Central Division with a 31-23 overall record. Its season came to a close in the first round of the playoffs against the division champion Carolina Hurricanes.
This late-season success didn’t come without its downfalls, however.
Key players Filip Forsberg, Ryan Johansen and Roman Josi all took to the bench with various injuries. In the 48 total games before Josi’s injury, he scored eight goals, 25 assists, and logged 33 points.
The loss of integral players gave nine rookies the chance to hit the ice and hone their craft. Rookie forward Eeli Tolvanan, for instance, finished with 22 points in 40 games.
As if the injuries weren’t enough, the team then underwent additional losses in the way of roster shifts. Most notably, long-time Preds goaltender Pekka Rinne retired during the offseason.
The team’s entire list of roster losses includes:
- D Luca Sbisa
- D Ryan Ellis
- F Erik Gundbranson
- F Erik Haula
- G Pekka Rinne
- C Calle Jarnkrok
- LW Viktor Arvidsson
Preds player additions
After parting ways with these players, the Preds had no option but to enter a restructuring phase in the coming season.
Reliable Juuse Saros makes his debut this year as the No. 1 goalie, and new team member David Rittich will now serve as backup goalie.
Nashville also traded Ryan Ellis for two younger players and exchanged Viktor Arvidsson for draft picks. Free agent additions this year include Cody Glass from Vegas and Philippe Myers from Philadelphia.
Nashville enters the season with more than $10 million in salary cap space remaining, suggesting the impending rebuild is far from over.
Preds look to defy odds with a playoff return
The Preds continue preseason play this weekend with a game against the Tampa Bay Lighting, but bettors might not see those odds listed at every sportsbook.
Most Tennessee online sportsbooks list odds for the first few regular season games beginning on Oct. 12, but omit markets on preseason events.
The first official game on Nashville’s schedule takes place Oct. 14 in the Seattle Kraken‘s brand new Climate Pledge Arena.
The season then continues on Oct. 16 with a Bridgestone Arena home game against the Carolina Hurricanes, a team Nashville faces twice during preseason competition.
Nashville Predators futures odds
While all sportsbooks may not have posted lines on those games just yet, bettors can go ahead and get their futures wagers in on the upcoming season.
Odds to win the Central Division
Out of the eight total teams comprising the Central Division, only one of those is positioned behind the Preds in current division odds.
Nashville currently sits at to win the Central Division.
To win the Western Conference
Most Tennessee sportsbooks position the Predators behind 11 teams in preseason Western Conference odds. Nashville currently sits at odds of winning the west.
Stanley Cup Playoff and championship odds
The chance of Nashville making it to the playoffs for a second year in a row are slightly better, sitting at +235 at DraftKings TN.
Of the 32 teams in the NHL, their current odds of coming out on top and winning the Stanley Cup sit behind 24 of them.
Sportsbooks currently give the Preds odds of winning the Stanley Cup.