Rangers-Leafs Vie for Online Hockey Betting Playoff Berth
Posted by: Anthony Yaylor
Things are heating up in the NHL as the playoff picture gets tighter and tighter for all clubs across the nation. Things are close atop all four divisions in the NHL, but the most threatening online hockey betting odds lie in the Atlantic, where the Montreal Canadiens enjoy a slight 2-point lead over the Ottawa Senators – the smallest lead of any division-leader. The Senators won’t take to the ice until Friday’s round of NHL sportsbook action, but the Atlantic’s third-seed, the Toronto Maple Leafs, will have a chance to encroach the Canadiens Thursday night.
Later on this evening, the Toronto Maple Leafs will play host to the visiting New York Rangers at the Air Canada Centre. This matchup will mark the third time these two teams have faced each other this season, with the Maple Leafs taking the first contest 4-2 and the Rangers avenging that loss in the second contest 5-2. Furthermore, Thursday’s contest will mark the last time these two face each other in the regular season, so fans can be confident both teams will be trying to outdo each other vehemently. Let’s see who the bookies think is more deserving of a bet on NHL lines.
ONLINE HOCKEY BETTING ODDS – REGULAR SEASON – Thursday, February 23rd
New York Rangers +1 ½ (-270) 6 (-105) -105
Toronto Maple Leafs -1 ½ (+230) 6 (-115) -115
Interestingly enough, sportsbooks have painted the Maple Leafs as the favorites by the slightest of margins. Furthermore, with a prediction of 6 on the totals line, the bookies also think that Thursday night’s game will turn into a bit of a shootout; just like the first two contests. Toronto also comes into this game as a 1 ½ point favorite on the spread line.
After competing in 59 contests this season, the Maple Leafs ride into this online hockey betting contest with a 28-20-11 record that nets the team 67 points on the season. The 67-point tally is enough to rank Toronto 3rd in the Atlantic Division, just 4-points shy of passing the Senators for second and 5-points shy of tying the Canadiens atop the division. Likewise, the Maple Leafs cannot afford to concede a loss Thursday night as the Florida Panthers are one-point short of tying with Toronto for third place in the Atlantic. The Panthers will face the Calgary Flames at home Friday night.
The Rangers have participated in 59 contests as well this season but come into this matchup with a 38-19-2 record that yields New York 78 points on the season. The 78-point tally might have been enough to rank the Rangers first if they competed in the Atlantic, but since New York is stationed in the Metropolitan – which has been much more competitive this season – the Rangers are unable to crack the top-three. Right New York is just one-point short of trying the Columbus Blue Jackets for third in the Metropolitan.
With the Washington Capitals enjoying 87-points on the season, the Caps currently have a 5-point lead over second place Pittsburgh Penguins and an 8-point lead over the Blue Jackets. Nevertheless, if the Rangers are unable to secure a top-three seed, they still have an excellent chance of securing a sportsbook Wild Card berth since the 5th-place Islanders have 66 points. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the Maple Leafs.