NHL Division Winner Picks and Predictions Heading into Stanley Cup Playoffs

  • Bovada and BetOnline have the latest odds on all four National Hockey League divisions
  • The Bruins (+350) are making up ground in the East Division with four straight victories
  • Las Vegas is an excellent play to win the West (+225) with the Avalanche stuck in COVID-19 protocols

With the most unpredictable tournament in sports, the Stanley Cup Playoffs, set to start in under a month, last week we made our best Cup bets following the NHL trade deadline.

Today, with divisional races tightening up across the NHL, we predict who will claim top spot in the East, Central, North and West. Let’s take a look at the latest odds in every division and be sure to click on our NHL betting tips page to learn everything you need to know about wagering on hockey.

2021 NHL East Division Winner

Washington Capitals+175
Pittsburgh Penguins+250
New York Islanders+275
Boston Bruins+350

Bruins red hot since deadline

Boston (+350) defeated Washington 6-3 on Sunday, winning their fourth-straight game since acquiring Taylor Hall at the trade deadline. With three points in four contests in black and gold, Hall will face his old Sabres’ teammates five more times this season.

Given that Buffalo is the worst team in the NHL and that the Bruins have three games in hand on the East-leading Capitals (+175), Boston is a sneaky bet to win the division heading down the home stretch, although the Islanders (+275) and Penguins (+250) also can’t be counted out.

2021 NHL Central Division Winner

Carolina Hurricanes-140-120
Tampa Bay Lightning+200+180
Florida Panthers+425+425

Central crowded at the top

The Hurricanes (-140) are leading the Central by one point but have a back-to-back against the Lightning (+200) on Monday and Tuesday followed by two games against the Panthers (+425) later in the week. The Cup champs in Tampa Bay are only playing .500 hockey in their past ten contests and sit two points back of Carolina with one fewer game to play.

Having played two more games than the Canes, Florida will likely need to sweep their two remaining head-to-head matchups to claim the division. We believe Carolina will hold on to first place, although it might come down to the last day of the season.

Boston Bruinsto win NHL East Division
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Tampa Bay Lightningto win NHL Central Division
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2021 NHL North Division Winner

Toronto Maple Leafs-600-500
Winnipeg Jets+525+550
Edmonton Oilers+1000+1000

Can the Jets catch the Leafs?

The Maple Leafs (-600) have ruled the North from the opening puck drop this year. Now four points up on the Jets (+525) with just 11 more games to play for each club, chances are Toronto holds on.

However, Winnipeg will have the opportunity to make up ground with three more match-ups with the Leafs, as well as a pair of games each against the bottom-dwelling Senators and COVID-stricken Canucks.

2021 NHL West Division Winner

Colorado Avalanche-275-245
Vegas Golden Knights+225+200

Transfer portal is open

The Avalanche (-275) won four in a row and nine of their past ten before being placed in COVID-19 protocols. With three-straight games postponed (and perhaps more to come), it’s fair to wonder if Colorado will cool off down the stretch.

Meanwhile, the Golden Knights have won six-straight after defeating the Ducks on Sunday. Las Vegas (+225) is tied with the Avs atop the division and will face their West rivals twice more this season. Roll the dice on Vegas to win the West at great odds while you still can.

Las Vegasto win NHL West Division
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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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