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Wild Vie to Hang On to Online NHL Betting Lead in the West

With the online NHL betting playoffs rolling around in about a month, the teams at the top of each division are starting to buckle down in order to maintain their current ranking. All over the league things are heating up, but out of all the divisions in the NHL, things are most contested in the Central Division.

Sportsbook players who have been following the Central Division have seen the Minnesota Wild mount an impressive run that propelled the club to the top of the division. But as we approach the end of the season, the Chicago Blackhawks are starting to give the Wild a run for their money.

As things currently stand, the Wild have a 3-point lead over the Blackhawks. 3-points isn’t much, and with the Blackhawks heading to the ice Friday evening to face off against the New York Islanders, one slip-up and Minnesota could be entering panic mode. Granted the Islanders are in no way an easy sportsbook win, but the Wild still need to do all they can to better secure their lead.

Thursday night, the Wild will be making the journey to Cleveland to face off with the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Nationwide Arena. This contest will mark the second and final time these two clubs will face each other this regular season, with the Blue Jackets pulling off a 4-2 upset in the first game. This time around, will most hockey betting sites side with the Blue Jackets? Or will they take the division leaders?


Minnesota Wild               +1 ½ (-285)     5 ½ (-105)       +105

Columbus Blue Jackets  -1 ½ (+243)   5 ½ (-115)          -125

Interestingly enough, sportsbooks are expecting a similar result this time around and have decided to side with Columbus, despite the fact that the Wild currently have 4 more points on the season.

After competing in 61 contests this season, The Blue Jackets slide into this contest flashing a 39-16-6 record that nets the club 84 points. With that tally, Columbus ties for second in the Metropolitan along with the Pittsburgh Penguins, 7-points shy of tying the Capitals atop the division. Furthermore, the New York Rangers are 2-points away from tying both Columbus and Pittsburgh.

Columbus could really use a win later on this evening to help secure their No. 2 seed in the division. Granted, even if the Blue Jackets fall out of the top three in the Metropolitan, they’ll still more than likely claim one of the two Wild Card seeds from the East.

The Wild aren’t used to being pegged as online NHL betting underdogs, and they’ll be looking to show the bookies what kind of mistake they’ve made later on this evening. Minnesota enters this matchup with a 41-14-6 record that yields the franchise 88 points for the season. As aforementioned, the Blackhawks are rapidly approaching the Wild and Minnesota is hanging onto its lead by a mere 3 points. A win Thursday night would go a long way for Minnesota.