The NHL is back in full swing after a short break for the holidays, quickly approaching the halfway point of the season, which means it’s the perfect time to bring hockey bettors up to speed with another edition of weekly betting insights, powered by NorthStar Bets.
Updated NHL betting trends as of Jan. 2
With 2023 in the rearview, the thing that, for the first time in three decades, stands out is scoring has been at a rate of 6.3 goals per game in consecutive calendar years. This has been reflected in the betting market, as approximately 63% of games have featured a game total of 6.5 or higher.
Will the Boston Bruins win the Atlantic Division crown?
Despite the off-season shuffle, Boston has defied expectations, hanging on to the top spot in the Atlantic Division. The Bruins are just about holding their ground, with Florida breathing down their necks. To add to the pressure, Boston’s got the toughest schedule left to tackle.
The Bruins’ underlying metrics have taken a hit as the season has rolled on, too. Boston ranked 23rd in expected goals percentage and shot share at 5-on-5 in December.
Florida won’t be coasting through an easy schedule either. Still, they’re a better team than the Bruins right now consistently ranking among the top teams according to Evolving Hockey’s expected goals model.
CSB’s NHL Projection Model puts the Bruins winning the division at 48%, given their four-point lead over the Panthers, but the model gives Florida a 42% chance, and its odds have gone from +325 to +250 in just the past week.
Florida Panthers Atlantic Division Winner
Can the Seattle Kraken make the playoffs?
The Seattle Kraken are riding high on a five-game win streak, sealing the deal with a 3-0 win in Monday’s Winter Classic. They’ve been racking up points in the standings, with at least a loser point in 10 of their last 11 games, but the road to the playoffs is filled with obstacles. Despite being just one point away from a wild card spot, the Edmonton Oilers just leapfrogged them in the standings and they’ve got three games in hand.
Every team, as of January 2, has at least one game in hand on Seattle, and a mere five teams boast fewer wins. That’s why our model puts the Kraken’s playoff chances at a modest 14%. It’s not just about overtaking teams like Nashville, Arizona, and Edmonton; they also need to hold off the likes of Minnesota and Calgary.
So, the outlook? The Kraken’s playoff dreams are facing an uphill battle. It’s not impossible, but as of now, it’s leaning towards a “probably not.”
Will Patrick Kane stay in Detroit?
It’s been a rough ride for the Detroit Red Wings since Nov. 7, when they were fourth in the Eastern Conference. Fast forward, and they’ve tumbled to the 12th spot after dropping 10 of their last 13 games.
Interestingly, this slump aligns with Patrick Kane’s debut with the Red Wings, but he’s not the culprit here. Kane’s been on fire, racking up six goals and seven assists in just 14 games. Despite Kane’s stellar performance, our model paints a gloomy picture for Detroit’s playoff chances, sitting at a mere 15% as we enter the new year. The struggle is real, and the Red Wings have their work cut out if they aim to turn the tide and revive their playoff aspirations.
If Detroit decides to part ways with the seasoned winger before the trade deadline, there won’t be a shortage of takers, as Kane could put a team that’s already in contention over the top.
Don’t forget to check out Canada Sports Betting’s hockey betting podcast, The Puck Portfolio, live at 11:30 a.m. ET on weekdays on the Canada Sports Betting YouTube channel to get NHL projections, picks, and betting advice for free.