- NY has won 9 of last 10 games, which is why their divisional futures improved are as short as +150
- Islanders were +680 underdogs to win the Metropolitan Division when the season began
- Washington’s offense ranks second overall in NHL with 3.63 goals-for per game
Things are tightening up in the Metropolitan Division.
The Washington Capitals have dominated the division for most of the season early on, but the New York Islanders have won nine of their last 10 games and have made a strong surge in the latest 2020 NHL Division Odds.
Across all sportsbooks, the Capitals held firm as the top favorite at +120, but nipping at their heels are the New York Islanders whose average odds surged to +170.
The latest Metropolitan divisional odds at online sportsbooks list the Capitals and Isles as +150 co-favorites to win the division crown this season.
2020 Metropolitan Division Odds
|New York Islanders||+150|
|New York Rangers||+3300|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||+10000|
|New Jersey Devils||+10000|
Odds taken Nov. 21
A week ago, New York was +270 on average, but after a streak of winning five straight games, the Islanders improved to +170 across all sportsbooks.
The Islanders have posted a 16-3-1 record on the season and sit second place behind the Capitals with three games in hand. However, as good as the Islanders have been over the last ten games, the Capitals have been just as dominant, winning seven of their last ten.
Can these two teams maintain this pace to win the division?
BROCK'S GORGEOUS OT WINNER! 🚨 🚨 🚨 🚨 pic.twitter.com/TjfBKuUuJ1
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) November 22, 2019
Islanders Went from Metro Longshots to Division Contenders
It wasn’t long ago that the Isles were major underdogs to win the Metro Division. On October 7 when the season began, Barry Trotz’s Islanders were listed at +680. During that same period, Washington was the +270 favorite with the Pittsburgh Penguins next up at +450.
The Islanders are built on defense and a huge reason why the team has seen so much success early on. New York is currently giving up 2.45 goals against per game, which ranks fourth in the NHL. Only the Arizona Coyotes, Boston Bruins and Dallas Stars are giving up fewer goals per game this season.
The @NYIslanders have not lost in regulation since October 11th.
— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) November 22, 2019
On the flip side, the Washington Capitals are one of the best teams offensively, ranking second overall in goals for per game (3.63) this season. The Panthers are the only team averaging more goals for per game at 3.68.
Don’t Count Out Canes Just Yet
Hanging around in the Metropolitan Division title conversation are those “Bunch of Jerks.”
The Carolina Hurricanes also held firm at +580 across all sportsbooks — a line that went unchanged from a week ago. Carolina is also off to a strong start, posting a 13-8-1 record and sitting third behind the Caps and Isles in the division.
Oddsmakers have the Hurricanes at +500 — the last of the Metropolitan teams with triple-digit odds.
Another team that saw huge movement were the Penguins, although their odds significantly got longer. Pittsburgh, who had the second-best odds in the Metro prior to the season, were listed at +630 on November 14.
The Pens have won one game in their last ten and lost captain Sidney Crosby to long-term injury — both huge factors why Pittsburgh’s odds dropped to +1100 across all sportsbooks.
This shot from Turbo though 😳 pic.twitter.com/VgKTAPJ537
— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) November 22, 2019
What is the Best Bet?
It’ll be a lot tougher for the Islanders to maintain this pace, yet the club has shown no signs of slowing down. New York’s structured defense and early advantage in games in hand will come into play.
Of course, head-to-head matchups will mean more than anything between the Isles and Caps. The division rivals have already met once with Washington taking the first game 2-1.
With four more games on tap — the next coming on New Year’s Eve — these head-to-head points could have huge implications on who will win the division.
As of now it’s a flip of the coin as co-favorites, but the edge should go to the Islanders at this point.
Pick: New York Islanders (+150)
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