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Predictions For NHL Pacific Division Betting – Kings Will Challenge For Pacific Division Crown In 2013

Posted by Don Melrose on 1/7/2013 6:23:03 PM

The Phoenix Coyotes surprised even their own sports betting fans with a Pacific division title, but in the end it was the Los Angeles Kings that wore the ultimate crown as Stanley Cup champions. Fast-forward to 2013, and the Kings will look to be the kings of the Pacific in 2013, where they Coyotes and San Jose Sharks look to once again be their toughest competition. Los Angeles is listed at +1,000 odds as Western conference co-favorites along with the Vancouver Canucks to win the Stanley Cup in 2013, but the first step will be to take care of business in what should be a tough division.

The Kings finished third in the Pacific a year ago behind both Phoenix and San Jose, but managed to click at the right time as Jon Quick was incredible in the playoffs, and the team managed to take care of business at both ends of the ice. The tandem of Mike Richards and Jeff Carter provided some much needed scoring and experience, and having another full year together should only help their production. One of the biggest obstacles that Los Angeles may have to deal with could be overcoming a sense of complacency after winning it all, especially with the Coyotes and Sharks right behind them looking to pounce on the chance at top online sportsbook spot.

Phoenix could have the tougher time keeping pace in the Pacific division, even after Shane Doan signed on to stay with the team. The Coyotes overachieved last season thanks to excellent coaching and solid goaltending from Mike Smith, but it remains to be seen if they can play that well in consecutive online betting years. The Sharks certainly have a ton of veteran talent that could benefit from a lockout-shortened year, especially if either Thomas Greiss or Antti Niemi can play to their potential in goal. San Jose has been a perennial contender that has failed to put it all together when it counts the most, and they should be a lock to at least get in to the postseason.

The interesting dynamic in the Pacific division is how strong the bottom two teams could potentially be, with the Dallas Stars and Anaheim Ducks both having strong potential. The Stars missed out on the postseason after losing five-straight to close out the year, but added Ray Whitney, Jaromir Jagr, and Derek Roy to a core that already included young Jamie Benn and Alex Goligoski. The Ducks meanwhile will push forward with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry at their core, and looked excellent down the stretch once head coach Bruce Boudreau took over. Dallas is listed at +3,500 to win the Stanley Cup in 2013, while Anaheim is listed at +4,000, but both teams should at least compete for a playoff spot. The Kings will be the favorites to win the Pacific division in 2013, but with so much talent and such a short schedule, it’s true that anything can happen.

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