NHL Metro Division Odds and Predictions 2022-23: Which Bets Offer the Most Value?

Judging by the Metro Division odds, the bottom of the division could be easier to predict than the top.

NHL Metro Division Odds: Recommended Bets

NHL Metro Division Odds Preview

In some ways, the 2021-22 season in the NHL Metropolitan Division played out as expected. Teams like the New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers, and Columbus Blue Jackets battled at the bottom of the division, while the New York Rangers, Carolina Hurricanes, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Washington Capitals all topped 100 points. 

Metropolitan Division (21/22 Season)

Team

Wins

Losses

Overtime Losses

Points

Hurricanes

54

20

8

116

Rangers

52

24

6

110

Penguins

46

25

11

103

Capitals

44

26

12

100

Islanders

37

35

10

84

Blue Jackets

37

28

7

81

Devils

27

46

9

63

Flyers

25

46

11

61

However, despite each having a potential Stanley Cup core, the Penguins and Capitals were both done after just one playoff round. The Rangers didn’t always have top-six scoring, yet rode goalie Igor Shesterkin to the Eastern Conference Finals. The Islanders started poorly on the road and never recovered, while Columbus, thanks to a lackluster defense, was a disappointment again.

NHL Metro Division predictions have divided bettors heading into the 2022-23 season. The Hurricanes brought in Brent Burns and Max Pacioretty but have already lost Pacioretty to an Achilles injury. In the offseason, the Rangers signed Vincent Trocheck to play with Artemi Panarin in what may prove to be an underrated signing that tips the scales.

Many questions surround the teams heading into the 2022-2023 campaign. Let’s take a closer look at how the sportsbooks view each team and where you can find value.

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NHL Metropolitan Division Predictions: 

Metropolitan Division: New York Rangers Predictions

It's crazy that an NHL team can manage 106 points and still have room for improvement. That, however, sums up the 2021-22 Rangers. This was expected to be a solid team that likely wound up on the playoff bubble. Then, goaltender Igor Shesterkin took the reins, produced an MVP-level performance (40+ goals saved above average), and took the Rangers on some ride.

It looked like that ride would come to a quick end In the playoffs, as the Rangers fell behind the Penguins 3-1. However, they rallied to win their opening round series in seven games, going on to defeat the Hurricanes in seven games as well. 

The scenario is different in 2022-2023. The expectations are higher, with coach Gerard Gallant having shown an ability to get the most out of a team. As long as Shesterkin stays healthy, the Rangers are contenders to get out of the Eastern Conference and potentially win the Stanley Cup. Trocheck in the fold should allow the Rangers’ top-six to improve from their 16th-placed ranking (254 goals scored).

Given all this, it’s tempting to look at FanDuel’s Metropolitan Division Odds and back the Rangers at +350. Finally, with Shesterkin accumulating 13.6 goalie points (GPS), “over 99.5 points” for the Rangers is a very reasonable -120. 

Metropolitan Division New York Rangers Predictions:

Metropolitan Division: Carolina Hurricanes Predictions

Analyzing the Hurricanes is pretty simple. Carolina added Brent Burns via trade to an excellent defense that allowed an NHL-best 202 goals in 2021-2022. He provides leadership and adds a booming shot that should improve their 13th-best power play (21.98%) position. On the bright side, the Hurricanes topped the league with an 88.04% penalty kill and ranked a solid ninth with 278 goals, ranking in the top five with 2,798 shots on goal.

The acquisition of Max Pacioretty further increases expectations. Those expectations will be tempered a bit due to an Achilles injury that figures to keep the forward out until the second half of the season. That said, of all the teams in this division, Carolina’s got the core that’s best built for the regular season. 

The questions here remain the same: do the Hurricanes have the right makeup for the playoffs? How good can this group be with a healthy Frederik Andersen in goal come playoff time?

The defending division champs are poised to turn in another solid regular season. The Metro Division odds agree as Carolina is a +225 favorite. There is serious value in backing the Hurricanes to repeat at that price.

Metropolitan Division Carolina Hurricanes Predictions:

Metropolitan Division: Pittsburgh Penguins Predictions and Washington Capitals Predictions

Last year, the Penguins and Capitals had a lot of optimism. Yes, there were questions about goaltending, but there were also a lot of upsides. As a year has passed, more questions - and even some dire predictions - have arisen.

Regarding Metro Division predictions, the Capitals and Penguins are very volatile because of their age (can anyone believe Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Alexander Ovechkin are all in their mid-thirties?) and, yes, goaltending. Both teams racked up 100+ points last season, but both figure to take a step back this year. 

With inevitable age regression, Pittsburgh has significant concerns. Relying on Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang, and Evgeni Malkin as long as they have could produce some uncomfortable results. Malkin and Letang have injury worries, as does Crosby (concussions). Coming off a grueling 78-game campaign, Crosby only played 69 games, Malkin just 41, and Letang just 36. The core is compromised. 

Washington has the same problem, only worse. They did bring in Darcy Kuemper as a free agent from the Stanley Cup-winning Colorado Avalanche, but the 32-year goaltender comes to a team that ranked 12th in goals allowed for the season, but was 20th over the second half. The Capitals were not the same without Nicklas Backstrom (hip), even with Alexander Ovechkin netting 50 goals in 77 games. How long can Ovechkin, who turns 37 just before the season, keep producing at this elite level? 

When looking at Metro Division odds, the idea is to take the under on Pittsburgh to get to 102 points, or even 100. The same can be said for Washington, though the Capitals’ number is lower (96.5 at Caesars). Stay away if that total stays this low.

Metropolitan Division Pittsburgh Penguins Prediction:

The Rest of the Pack

There's a lot to be said for the lower half of the Division. When it comes to the Metro Division predictions, this is where things can get a bit murky. 

While a lot has changed this season, some things have remained constant. For example, lousy goaltending and situational defense will likely keep the Flyers and Devils in a battle near the division’s basement. Last season, the Flyers allowed 298 goals (27th in the NHL), while the Devils allowed 307 goals (29th). 

Both teams have made significant coaching changes. Philadelphia cleaned house but kept their general manager. New Jersey cleared out their assistant coaching staff while keeping headman John Tortorella. Regardless, the offense could be a problem again (the Devils ranked 31st in scoring with 211 goals last year). There is potential here, but good health is needed. Jack Hughes showed 95-100 point potential in ‘21-’22 but played just 49 games (56 points).

Understandably, when it comes to Metropolitan Division odds and predictions, it is wise to stay away from these teams. However, what about the New York Islanders and Columbus Blue Jackets? 

Last season, the Islanders started the season with a 13-game road trip and bounced back somewhat. GM Lou Lamoriello is betting that the same roster can get to the playoffs. The problem is a bottom-third offense without adding top-scoring free agents is still a bottom-third offense. New York will have a difficult time making the postseason.

Columbus added Johnny Gaudreau (115 points last year) to help Patrik Laine (56 points in 56 games). There are some red flags to consider here. For one, Gaudreau is coming off a career year and now has a contract worth almost $10 million a year. Laine, meanwhile, is a guy who can score 20 goals in a month, then go ice-cold. Expect the Blue Jackets to endure a lot of hot and cold stretches. Combined with mediocre goaltending from Brad Larsen and a defense that ranked 28th with 300 goals allowed, there’s not much cause for optimism.

The Blue Jackets had 81 points last season. They will likely improve a few points but will probably miss the playoffs. The Islanders’ story is more straightforward. Goaltending will hold up with Ilya Sorokin playing 50+ games this year. However, the same offense that ranked 24th with just 231 goals last season will struggle if Mathew Barzal does not approach a point a game for the first time since his 2017-18 rookie season; the Islanders aren’t making the playoffs. That feels likely in our Metro Division predictions.

NHL Metropolitan Division Predictions:

Conclusion 

In a tightly contested NHL Metropolitan division, there is great value to be seen across the board, although NHL predictions for the top of the table may hold some surprises. Interested in more NHL content? Be sure to read our guide: How To Win at Sports Betting or check out our complete handbook for our full NHL predictions. Visit our odds comparison tool to compare the latest odds.

 

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

Who will win the NHL Metro Division this year?

The New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes are the class of the division, as the Metro Division odds confirm. They say defense and goaltending win divisions in the regular season. Our Metro Division prediction for 2022-23 is that the New York Rangers will make that next step forward and edge out Carolina to win the division after just missing out last season. 

 

Written by Chris Wassel.

Chris is an experienced sports betting writer who loves sports irrationally. He has covered everything from NHL to NASCAR to March Madness, including a couple of Stanley Cups, several NHL Drafts, and award shows.