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NHL Southeast Division betting preview and odds

This division has long been scoffed at as the 'South-least' and the Stanley Cup odds for each team listed below don't suggest it will be shaking that title anytime soon. There is promise in Winnipeg and Carolina though, thanks to some key offseason moves.

Home ice will be a huge factor and bettors should take note. The bottom three teams in the divisional standings last year were the three worst road teams in the Eastern Conference last season in terms of having the fewest road wins (Tampa Bay, Carolina, Winnipeg).

Below is a bettor's glance at each team along with some thoughts from Covers Expert Sean Murphy, which you can also find in his weekly NHL Power Rankings. Over/under season win total odds are from SportsInteraction.

SOUTHEAST DIVISION

Florida Panthers
Odds to win Stanley Cup:
40-1
Last season’s record (SU, ATS, O/U):  38-26-7-11, 42-40, 31-37-14
Season over/under win total:  21.5
Covers Power Ranking:   26th
Key betting note: Florida knows how to blow a lead. They lost nine games last year (eight of them in OT) when leading after two periods (tied for worst in NHL).

Murph’s take: 
“Florida was a bad bounce away from ousting the eventual Eastern Conference champion Devils in the opening round of last year's playoffs. However, I think they're in for a fall here in 2013. Goaltending is a major issue, and there are too many holes to fill on the blue line.”

Washington Capitals
Odds to win Stanley Cup: 22-1
Last season’s record (SU, ATS, O/U): 42-32-4-4, 35-47, 40-37-5
Season over/under win total:
  24.5
Covers Power Ranking:   10th
Key betting note:  They were the only Eastern team to make the playoffs last year with a losing road record (16-21-4).

Murph’s take: 
“With the built-in advantage of playing in the Southeast Division, the Capitals are always a threat to take a run at the title. After a disappointing 2011-12 campaign, there will be no shortage of motivation for Ovie and the Caps to bounce back, and with the talent on hand, they should do just that.”

Tampa Bay Lightning
Odds to win Stanley Cup: 28-1
Last season’s record (SU, ATS, O/U):  38-36-5-3, 36-46, 52-29-1
Season over/under win total:  22
Covers Power Ranking:   15th
Key betting note: Biggest over team in the NHL by a long shot last season due to an NHL worst 3.39 goals against average.

Murph’s take: 
“Don't be fooled. Yes, the Lightning have plenty of talent on paper, but not a great deal of depth. With Martin St. Louis and Vinny Lecavalier on the downside of their respective careers, a lot will be placed on the shoulders of Steven Stamkos.”

Winnipeg Jets
Odds to win Stanley Cup: 50-1
Last season’s record (SU, ATS, O/U):  37-35-6-4, 48-34, 40-39
Season over/under win total:  21.5
Covers Power Ranking:   27th
Key betting note: The Jets ranked 7th in the money on the puckline last season with a profit of $734 for the $100 per game bettor.

Murph’s take: 
“The Jets will have arguably the toughest travel schedule in the league, but they certainly won't use that as an excuse. This is a young team, and one that is still a year or two away from contending.”

Carolina Hurricanes
Odds to win Stanley Cup: 25-1
Last season’s record (SU, ATS, O/U):  33-33-10-6, 51-31, 42-34
Season over/under win total: 21.5 
Covers Power Ranking:   16th
Key betting note: Tied with Tampa Bay for fewest road wins of any Eastern Conference team last season (13).

Murph’s take: 
“The Staal brothers have been reunited, and Carolina looks like a team to watch in 2013. The addition of Alex Semin from Washington gives the 'Canes even more offensive pop, while youngsters Jeff Skinner and Tim Gleason give them hope for the future.”

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