- The New York Islanders currently lead the Metropolitan division with 68 points
- The Capitals trail closely with 66 while the Penguins and Blue Jackets each have 63
- Who’s the best bet to win the division?
The New York Islanders have hands down been one of the best surprises of the 2018-19 NHL regular season.
They lost the face of their franchise John Tavares in free agency last summer and have since strong-armed the very unsuspecting Metropolitan division and taken the lead in the standings.
As of the writing of this article, they are two points ahead of second place Washington with a game in hand and five points up on Pittsburgh and Columbus.
However, this is the NHL and the Pittsburgh Penguins are the New England Patriots of hockey – even when they’re not in first, we must always still believe in their greatness. So let’s take a look at the odds…
Odds to Win the Metropolitan Division in 2019
|Team||Odds to Win the Metropolitan Division at Bovada|
|New York Islanders||+220|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||+300|
|New York Rangers||+12500|
|New Jersey Devils||+30000|
*Odds taken 2/9
Betting on the Islanders
The Islanders have continued their hot streak well into the new year and are currently 7-1-2 in their last ten.
They are certainly trending upward and are facing five below .500 teams through their next 18 games. Barry Trotz’s club also has one of the highest goal differentials in the league at +25.
— NHL Player unSafety (@NHLPlayerUnsafe) January 31, 2019
To add to that, 15 of their remaining 29 games are against teams with a negative goal differential. This bodes quite well for betting on the Long Islanders to stay in first and take the division.
The Penguin Flip Flop
Time for some good news bad news. The Pittsburgh Penguins now have far better payout odds than just a few months ago entering the preseason.
The bad news here, is that the Islanders odds have improved drastically from +1800. Yes, you could’ve potentially taken home quite the purse with a well-timed preseason bet. Let’s take a better look at Crosby and Co though.
Pittsburgh has eight games remaining against sub .500 clubs and they also just added Nick Bjugstad and former first-rounder Jared McCann from the Florida Panthers. They’re likely two bottom line centers, but depth is a huge deal heading toward the postseason, especially with Evgeni Malkin recently falling on the injured reserve.
So, are they worth the bet right now? Considering the Pens will be welcoming back a few difference-makers over the next week or so, it could absolutely be worth a roll of the dice.
— Tribune-ReviewSports (@TribSports) February 8, 2019
Metro Division Best Bet
While the Pens and Capitals should be kept in mind, the New York Islanders are not slowing down. They are 17-6 since mid-December and also have the cap space to add some notable pieces at the trade deadline.
Outside of Tampa Bay, they are undoubtedly the hottest bet in the East.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.