NHL Futures: Best Bets for North Division Winner (2021)

As the abbreviated 2020-2021 regular season winds down, we’re beginning to clarify the Stanley Cup playoff picture. Our understanding of who’s in and who’s out will allow us to bet on a team that not only will make the postseason but potentially win their division, as well.

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

Compare odds from all major sportsbooks for the NHL North Division Champion >>

Winnipeg Jets: North Division Winner (+700)

Winnipeg currently sits second in the vaunted North Division with a 27-16-3 record and 57-points. They trail the first-place Toronto Maple Leafs by six points but have one game in hand and still face the Buds two more times in the last ten games of their season.

These two teams played against one another Thursday night, resulting in a 5-3 win in the Leafs’ favor. Winnipeg goaltender, Connor Hellebuyck, had an uncharacteristic performance, as he was pulled midway through the first period after allowing three goals on six shots.

Though the final score insinuates a dominant game by Toronto, metrically, the game was closer than it appeared.

4/22 Game Metrics 5v5 – Number’s courtesy of Natural Stat Trick

CF%: 54.65 (WPG) 45.35 (TOR)
HDCF%: 56.25 (WPG) 43.75 (TOR)
xGF: 1.56 (WPG) 1.45 (TOR)
xGA: 1.45 (WPG) 1.56 (TOR)

Winnipeg held a solid advantage in possession, high danger scoring chances, and the expected goal share. After a hot Toronto start, the game began to flip in the Jets’ favor, supported by the above statistics.

Why is this important? Well, these teams face one another two more times. Once tonight, and the season finale, both in Winnipeg. If the Jets, who have only lost back-to-back games twice this season, win tonight, and the season finale, along with having a game in hand, it is more than plausible they catch the Leafs down the stretch.

Before Thursday’s game, the Jets were +350 to win the division. With the loss, that number has doubled. I believe at +700, it is worth a bet as we’ve seen the Leafs become an enigma at times throughout the year.

This evening’s game is pivotal for this futures bet. The Jets are listed as a +115, and I believe they win the game. To make my odds go further, I’ve also bet the money line tonight as their division odds will shorten with a victory, essentially parlaying this bet into +815 odds.

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