Just under 30 regular season games remain in the NHL this season and the final standings are starting to become clearer.
The Stanley Cup betting is led by the Tampa Bay Lightning (+750), Washington Capitals (+800), Boston Bruins (+800) and St. Louis Blues (+900) and they lead the way in the standings too. Tampa Bay and Boston are close at the top of the Atlantic Division while the Caps head the table in the Metropolitan Division. Last year’s champions St. Louis Blues are top of the Central Division.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of this week’s games.
Toronto Maple Leafs @ New York Rangers
When: Wednesday 5th February @ 7:35PM
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York
Odds: Toronto Maple Leafs -140 New York Rangers +115
The Maple Leafs need to pick up a win in New York to keep their post-season hopes alive.
Our Pick: Toronto Maple Leafs -140
The Maple Leafs served us well in our betting preview last week. Auston Matthews scored as they secured a 5-2 win against the Nashville Predators. Form has been patchy since – losing two and winning one.
Toronto are in fourth position in the Atlantic Division. At the moment, their 28-18-7 record is not good enough to make the playoffs with three teams outperforming them in the Metropolitan Division. It seems their only option will be to overtake the Florida Panthers into third position.
The Leafs have a good run of fixtures on the horizon but they must pick up a win on Wednesday night against the New York Rangers to start off right. The Rangers are second from bottom in the Metropolitan Division but that doesn’t tell the whole story. They have 25 wins, including six in their last ten, and are only four wins behind the Blue Jackets.
This one will be tight but we feel the Maple Leafs are too strong. You can back them to win at -140 with VIP Sports. Auston Matthews will be the best player on the ice. Bet on him to score anytime at -110.
Pittsburgh Penguins @ Tampa Bay Lightning
When: Thursday 6th February @ 7PM
Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa Bay
Two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference face off in Florida on Thursday night.
Our Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning
This game could be a dress rehearsal for a potential Eastern Conference playoff match between 2nd in the Atlantic Division and 2nd in the Metropolitan Division.
The Lightning are one of the form teams in the East, winning four games in a row. As a result, their Stanley Cup odds have shortened significantly and they are now the favourites, listed at +750 with VIP. They have scored at least four goals in three of those wins with Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point all in good form after the All-Star break.
They probably couldn’t have asked for a tougher game to extend their winning streak. Pittsburgh are aiming for top spot in the Metropolitan Division, winning eight of their last ten. Their most recent win came in thrilling fashion on Sunday evening against Met leaders – Washington Capitals.
The Penguins will fancy their chances of picking up a win but we think Tampa Bay are too strong on home ice. There is a chance this one will go to overtime but the value bet seems to be Tampa Bay to win.
Nashville Predators @ Calgary Flames
When: Thursday 7th February @ 9PM
Where: Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta
Nashville make the long trip north to face the Calgary Flames on Thursday night.
Our Pick: Calgary Flames
Things are getting very tight in the Western Conference and this game could be crucial in deciding the final outcome of the season.
The Predators are in fourth position in the Central Division, seven points behind the Colorado Avalanche. The Flames are in fifth in the Pacific Division despite having a superior record to Thursday night’s opponents.
Calgary have won 27 of their 54 games this season but their negative goal differential has seen them slip down the rankings behind the Golden Knights and Arizona Coyotes. Flames coach Geoff Ward will want to see a major upswing in form in the last few months of the season, particularly on the defensive end.
The Predators have one of the stronger attacks in the league and they will be licking their lips at the prospect of facing this leaky Flames’ defense. Filip Forsberg is a good bet to get his name on the scoresheet on Thursday night.
Home advantage should be enough to get Calgary over the line though. Back them to win with VIPCasino.ca.