2023 NHL Atlantic Division Picks and Predictions

  • BetOnline’s NHL Atlantic Division Futures slightly favor the Panthers (+200) over the Maple Leafs (+210)
  • The Tampa Bay Lightning (+270) are also expected to be in the mix again after losing in the 2022 Stanley Cup Final
  • Boston (+900) welcomed back Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci in hopes of making one last run

The Atlantic was arguably already the NHL’s strongest division. But with the Red Wings, Sabres and Senators all looking to take the next step in their respective rebuilds, the competition has only increased during hockey’s offseason.

Will Florida and Tampa Bay regress after losing key depth? Can the Bruins make one last push? Should the Leafs be the favorite? Before we look at the odds and make our picks, here’s where you can find the best Stanley Cup betting sites and the top betting sites for NHL hockey in 2022-23.

2023 NHL Atlantic Division

Florida Panthers+200
Toronto Maple Leafs+210
Tampa Bay Lightning+270
Boston Bruins+900
Buffalo Sabres+2500
Detroit Red Wings+2500
Ottawa Senators+2500
Montreal Canadiens+6600

Panthers or Leafs?

Florida (+200) made a savvy move in dealing 29-year-old winger Jonathan Huberdeau for a younger, better winger in Matthew Tkachuk and locking him up to an eight-year, $76-million deal. But, last year’s President’s Trophy winners are likely worse off in the near term. The Panthers lost defenseman Mackenzie Weegar in the trade with Calgary, as well as blueliner Ben Chiarot and All-Star forward Claude Giroux in free agency.

Toronto (+210) returns the same nucleus that lost to the Lightning back in May – the club’s sixth-straight first-round playoff exit. Despite making a giant goaltending gamble on veteran Matt Murray, Kyle Dubas’ team should be viewed as the favorite in the Atlantic. With reigning Rocket Richard and Hart Trophy winner Auston Matthews and 35-goal scorer Mitch Marner, not many teams can match the Maple Leafs’ firepower.

Too early for Sens and Wings

No team had a busier offseason than the Senators (+2500). They signed local boy Claude Giroux, dealt for two-time 40-goal scorer Alex DeBrincat and re-upped third-year winger Josh Norris after a 35-goal season. That said, Ottawa is still painfully thin on defense after Thomas Chabot.

Steve Yzerman’s Red Wings (+2500) are also still a few years away from contention. Free-agent signings Andrew Copp and David Perron could give Detroit an outside shot at securing a playoff spot, but a division title in a bridge too far.

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Tampa Bay Lightningto win Atlantic Division
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Former champs to make one last push?

Cap constraints forced Tampa Bay (+275) to part ways with clutch forward Ondrej Palat and reliable defenseman Ryan McDonagh. However, general manager Julien BriseBois smartly locked up forwards Anthony Cirelli and Nick Paul, and blueliners Mikhail Sergachev and Erik Cernak, on long-term extensions.

The Lighning also have perennial Vezina and Norris Trophy winners Andrei Vasilevskiy and Victor Hedman to keep the puck out of their net. And all-world forwards Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point to score goals. Needless to say, their Cup window remains ajar.

Boston (+900) is a longshot to capture the Atlantic given they’ll be missing their best two players, Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy, for the first two months of the season. The best the Bruins can hope for is to tread water before Christmas and make a late push for a wildcard berth in the East.

Best Bet

While we all know Tampa Bay will go further in the playoffs, Toronto (+210) is our pick to win the Atlantic division before disappointing Maple Leaf fans yet again.

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Steve Starr

Steve is one of the many Americans who spends Sunday watching football on the couch and gorging on heart-clogging eats. He describes himself as a good father, great dog owner, and mediocre gambler and husband.

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