- BetOnline has the Bruins (-400) as heavy Atlantic favorites despite their losing record over the past month
- The Lightning (+300) have won eight-straight games to pull within seven points of Boston
- The Leafs (+1200) have been one of the league’s hottest teams under new coach Sheldon Keefe
Given the shocking and abrupt way their dominant 62-win season ended, no one could blame the Lightning for struggling early in the year, but it was fair to wonder if the team would ever snap out of its extended malaise.
Riding an eight-game win streak entering Thursday’s action, Tampa Bay is surging up the standings in the Atlantic, just seven points behind the Bruins with two games in hand.
With the division race getting tighter, let’s check the latest odds at BetOnline and place our bets.
NHL ATLANTIC DIVISION ODDS
|Team||Current Odds||Trending||Oct. 30, 2019|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+300||↓||+225|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||+1200||↓||+650|
|Detroit Red Wings||+1000000||↓||+25000|
CAN TAMPA CATCH THE BRUINS?
After building up a massive 15-point lead in the Atlantic, Boston struggled mightily over the past month, winning just five of their past 16 games (5-5-6).
Given the veteran club played into mid-June last season, they can be excused for failing to maintain their blistering early-year pace. Still listed as the clear favorite (-400) in the division, the question is whether January’s regular-season bye-week and All-Star break will be enough time to recharge the Bruins’ batteries for the stretch run.
— FOX Sports Florida & Sun (@FOXSportsFL) January 8, 2020
Fresh off a 9-2 destruction of the Canucks on Tuesday, Tampa Bay has recaptured last season’s winning mojo and shows no signs of slowing down.
One of the keys to the turnaround has been the play of goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, who has a .932 save percentage over his past six starts (all wins) and leads the league with 11 victories since December 1.
The Lightning’s odds to win the division have strangely slipped from +225 to +300 since our last check in, so it could be an ideal time to buy.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE LEAFS
While Toronto is only seven points back of Boston in the standings as well, they have played one extra game than the Bruins and three more than the Lightning.
Still, at +1200, you almost have to roll the dice on a young squad that is surging (15-5-2) under new coach Sheldon Keefe.
Auston Matthews (30-23—53 in 45 GP) reached the 30-goal mark for the fourth time in as many NHL seasons.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) January 9, 2020
After scoring with 14 seconds left in regulation in Wednesday’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Jets, Auston Matthews now has three goals in the final minute of games, providing extra points that could prove valuable come end of year.
With 31 tallies, the mustachioed American now trails David Pastrnak by only one goal, so the battle for the Rocket Richard Trophy will be another fun race to monitor in the Atlantic over the second half.
After all, both Matthews (+1200) and Pasta (+2800) were two of our best bets for the Hart Trophy before the year.
Best bet: Maple Leafs (+1200)