With pro football behind us, the attention of New Yorkers will turn to basketball and hockey before baseball season gets underway in about six weeks. For those of you who have been consumed with the NFL and are just catching up on what you’ve missed in the NHL, you’ll be pleased if you’re a New York Rangers fan.
A week after the All-Star break, the Blueshirts lead the Metropolitan Division and are four points behind the Boston Bruins in the race for the Presidents’ Trophy.
Things aren’t as rosy for the New York Islanders or New Jersey Devils. The two are fighting for fourth place in the Metro — six points behind Philadelphia for third place and four points behind Toronto and Detroit in the Atlantic for the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Let’s take a look at the NY Rangers odds along with the Isles and Devils for three futures bets to eye as we enter the home stretch of the regular season.
Lucky 4s for the NY Rangers Odds?
If you’re the superstitious type, this might be a good year to bet on the NY Rangers odds to win it all. Their last Stanley Cup title game in 1994. And the Rangers also appeared in the Stanley Cup Final in 2014. If they hold their playoff positioning, they could be primed for another deep run in 2024.
There’s no clear-cut NHL favorite at this point, which gives you an edge if you can pick the correct team to win the Cup.
Depending on where you shop, the favorites include Colorado, Edmonton, Florida, Boston, Dallas, Carolina, Vegas, and the Rangers. Most can be found for +1000 or even better.
For the Rangers, BetRivers features a Stanley Cup futures bet at +1150.
Pundits that are cool on the Rangers cite the team’s goaltending as an issue. Typically solid, Igor Shesterkin currently ranks outside the top 25 in both goals allowed per game and save percentage.
However, the Rangers have solid insurance in backup Jonathan Quick, who was ironically the goaltender for Los Angeles when the Kings beat the Rangers in the 2014 Final.
On offense, the Rangers are in the top 10 for goals scored and are in the top five for both power play success rate and the penalty kill — two stats that are also key come playoff time.
The Rangers lost four of five going into the All-Star break. But they’ve rebounded by winning four in a row since, including wins over Colorado and Tampa Bay. New York held the Lightning’s top offense in the league to just one goal. There’s plenty to like about the Rangers, so +1150 makes for great value at this stage in the season.
Last Year’s Overachievers, Devils Now a Toss-up to Make Playoffs
After sitting at 21-14-2 after a win over Chicago on Jan. 5, things have gone downhill for New Jersey. The Devils are 4-7-2 since and are now currently out of the playoff picture. NY sportsbooks say it’s a toss up for the Devils to reach the playoffs for the second year in a row. The best odds are available at Caesars at +130.
The question is can the Devils recover from this month-long slide to get back into position to reach the postseason. If they are to do so, they’ll need increased production from offseason acquisition Timo Meier, who has had a precipitous drop in play over the past year.
Many felt offense wasn’t the problem for last year’s team that knocked off the Rangers in the playoffs. That is proving to be accurate, as both goaltenders are struggling. Vitek Vanecek and Akira Schmid both are allowing over 3.15 goals per game and have save percentages below .900.
The Devils are going to have to outscore teams to win. That is dangerous sledding in the NHL come crunch time. At this point, we would not recommend betting on New Jersey to reach the playoffs.
Islanders a Longer Shot to Reach Stanley Cup Playoffs
Even though they are two points ahead of New Jersey in the standings, the Islanders have longer odds to make the playoffs. FanDuel has NYI’s odds of reaching the playoffs at +230.
The Isles also had a rough patch of the last month, winning just two of 11 games. They rebounded with wins at Toronto and over Tampa Bay this week. Under new head coach Patrick Roy, the team is showing some signs of life. The Hall of Fame goaltender was named coach at the All-Star break. With more favorable odds than the Devils, we would back the Isles to make the playoffs at +230.