- BetOnline’s updated Eastern Conference odds list the Boston Bruins (+450) as the favorite to repeat as conference champions
- The Capitals (+550) and Islanders (+700) have seen their odds shorten after recent hot streaks
- Oddsmakers aren’t offering much of a discount on the slow-starting, talented teams in Tampa Bay (+550) and Toronto (+800)
Let’s face it, there’s not a lot for hockey fans to be thankful for after racist and xenophobic stories dominated the NHL news cycle over the first quarter of the season.
But with any luck, the Don Cherry and Bill Peters ugliness will soon be behind us and we can again enjoy some of the fun, lighter aspects of the game such as blindside hits, bench brawls and guys losing their front teeth.
Kidding, of course. I love the sport. So much, in fact, that I’ve spent part of my Thanksgiving holiday putting together a list of risers and fallers in the Eastern Conference. All odds from BetOnline.
NHL EASTERN CONFERENCE ODDS
|Team||Current Odds||Trending||Before Season|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+550||↓||+400|
|New York Islanders||+700||↑||+1200|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||+800||↓||+700|
|New York Rangers||+2500||↓||+1200|
|New Jersey Devils||+3300||↓||+1200|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||+5000||↓||+2500|
|Detroit Red Wings||+12500||↓||+5000|
RISING UP THE BOARD
Riding a five-game win streak to the top of the NHL standings, the Bruins have boosted their odds to win the Eastern Conference from +700 before the season to +450. David Pastrnak’s league-leading 23 goals are the most through 24 games of a season since Mario Lemieux’s 26 in 1992-93. Brad Marchand also has 18 snipes and 43 points, good for third in both categories.
Tied with Boston with 39 points, the Capitals have been up-and-down over the past two weeks after a hot stretch where they went 8-0-1. Alexander Ovechkin is doing his usual thing with 16 goals, but the team MVP to this point has to be Norris-favorite John Carlson, who sits fifth in NHL scoring with 36 points.
David Pastrnak has 23 goals through the @NHLBruins‘ first 24 games of 2019-20.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) November 27, 2019
As is the case with their skyrocketing Metropolitan odds, Washington’s odds to win the East have almost cut in half from +1000 to +550.
The Islanders’ odds have also shortened from +1200 to +700 after a recent 17-game point streak, but Barry Trotz’s club just went 0-for-3 on a West Coast road trip with losses to the Sharks, Ducks and Kings.
Currently in the news because former coach, Bill Peters, physically abused two of their players, Carolina is up from +1600 to +1200 after a strong start to Rod Brind’Amour’s second-year behind the bench.
FALLING DOWN THE BOARD
Leading the Maple Leafs to three straight wins since taking over for Mike Babcock, Sheldon Keefe is on a Jack Adams trajectory if you read any of the coverage coming out of Canada’s largest hockey market. Recognizing the club’s offensive firepower, oddsmakers have offered no discount on Toronto despite their rocky start to the season, dropping them ever-so-slightly from +800 to +700.
The same goes for the Lightning, who at +550 are still viewed as having an equal chance of making the Cup Final as the Capitals even though they’re sitting outside a playoff spot. Tampa leads the league with 3.73 goals-per-game, but can’t keep pucks out of the back of their net.
Just remember, Evgeni Malkin, with over 1,000 career points in just 13+ seasons isn’t one of the 100 best players in NHL history. https://t.co/QHP9H0Vp4k
— Steve Uhlmann (@SteveUhlmann) November 28, 2019
Jon Cooper’s team can’t be counted out after tying an NHL record with 62 wins last season, but bettors are being offered no incentive to roll the dice at the moment.
With Sidney Crosby out at least another month after undergoing surgery on a core muscle injury, the Penguins have skidded from +1000 to +1400. Considering Evgeni Malkin also missed 11 games with a lower-body ailment earlier in the year, Pittsburgh is sitting with a very respectable 14-7-4 record.
Only a few seasons removed from winning back-to-back Stanley Cups, the Penguins currently offer the best value on the board.
Best Value Bet: Pittsburgh (+1400)