We look at the NHL odds board with a view towards the Metropolitan Division odds to win the title and to season win total projections. Find out which teams look to have playoff upside.
Odds to Win Metropolitan Division
The NY Rangers have been one of the strongest teams in the NHL over the last two seasons, ever since the advent of Alain Vignon from Vancouver. In his first term as head coach, he led the Rangers to the Stanley Cup Final (finished runners-up to Los Angeles). Last year, they reached the Eastern Conference Final (l. to Tampa Bay).
Quite rightly, the Rangers enter this season as the team to beat at +250 NHL odds. However, they don’t have a monopoly on the title race by any stretch of the imagination. The Penguins are neck-and-neck with the Rangers at +250 to win the Metropolitan Division, while the Capitals, Islanders and Columbus Blue Jackets are not too far behind. The Flyers, Devils and Hurricanes are deemed as the long shots of the division, trading at quadruple digits on the NHL odds board.
Season Win Totals Overview
To look at the season win totals projected is to get a sense of just how crowded this division is in quality, depth and talent. All five of the triple-digit contenders to win the Metropolitan Division are trading within a win of one another. Group faves Penguins have the highest season win total of 47.5 with the OVER favored at -130, while the Rangers are trading on 46.5 season win totals with both the OVER and UNDER matched on -115 NHL odds.
Capitals and Islanders follow with 45.5 season win totals, albeit the OVER is fancied in the nation’s capital at -130, unlike the UNDER at -120 in the big apple. Finally, the Blue Jackets round out this group with 44.5 projected season win totals and the OVER strongly favored at -135 NHL odds at Bet365.
Average Season Win Totals Overview
On way to go about making your NHL picks is to look at average season win totals for each and every team over the last three full seasons (See Table 3). Keep in mind the new NHL format (realigned divisions) was introduced in the 2013-2014 season, which means all season results prior reflect the old format when the divisions were made up of different teams. It’s also worth noting the 2012-2013 season was shortened by a lockout to just 48 games, which throws off season win totals. As a result, we exclude it from our average season win totals.
By excluding the 2012-2013 season, the average season win totals that we’ve calculated fall within the projected season win totals almost for all teams, save for the Blue Jackets and Islanders. Both are recipients of higher expectations across NHL betting platforms behind their culmination of their accounts over the last two seasons.
NHL Betting Verdict:
Undoubtedly, the Rangers and Penguins have been the most consistent teams in the Metropolitan division having made the playoffs in the last four seasons. The Rangers were runners’ up in 2013-2014 and winners of the President’s Trophy last season after a standout 53-22-7 mark. More likely than not these two teams will figure in the Metropolitan playoff picture, possibly even crack the OVER 46.5 and 47.5 totals trading, respectively.
Washington Capitals have long been a side to spot, but they are yet to deliver on the expectations that Alex Ovechkin’s presence demand. The Islanders, meanwhile, enjoyed a turnaround season last year, coming from the basement of the Metropolitan division in 2013-2014 to make the playoffs. It remains to be seen whether they can match that run this season. With an average of 38 wins per season over the last three full seasons, a 45.5 season win total does seem quite the upgrade.
NHL Picks: For our money, we’re banking on the tried, tested and true Rangers and Penguins to make the playoffs. It’s a tossup between the Capitals, Islanders and Blue Jackets but we’re banking on the Capitals and Blue Jackets to come through on our NHL picks and make the playoffs.