Skip to content

NHL futures betting: Will Devils, Penguins make the playoffs?


The NHL regular season is flying by. Some teams are 67% of the way through their schedules, meaning the playoff picture is starting to take shape.

Which teams are worth backing to make the playoffs? Which teams should be faded? Let's take a closer look.

Team To make To miss
Coyotes +2200 -10000
Capitals +1100 -2500
Flames +400 -650
Kraken +360 -550
Predators +300 -650
Islanders +250 -320
Blues +160 -200
Penguins +130 -160
Devils +100 -130
Flyers -220 +170
Lightning -500 +340
Maple Leafs -1200 +600

Make: New Jersey Devils (+100)

The Devils were one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup heading into the season, but they find themselves on the playoff bubble. That largely stems from an extreme amount of injuries to key players.

Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier, Timo Meier, Dougie Hamilton, and Jonas Siegenthaler, among others, have all missed significant time. The former three are back in the lineup and playing consistently, while the latter is expected to return soon. The team is finally getting close to full health, and that should lead to a drastic increase in wins.

But injuries and underwhelming goaltending shouldn't receive too much focus. The Devils are still a very good team so long as Hughes and Hischier are in the mix, boasting an approximately 110-point pace with both in the lineup.

Furthermore, with a healthy forward core, the Devils are starting to dominate the run of play at five-on-five, while youngster Nico Daws has helped stabilize things in goal.

This team boasts more true talent than those they're competing with - the Red Wings, Islanders, Penguins, etc. - and there are rumors general manager Tom Fitzgerald wants to add a meaningful piece or two (most likely a starting goalie) at the deadline.

Priced as a coin flip to make the playoffs, I think there is real value in backing the Devils.

Miss: Pittsburgh Penguins (-160)

The Penguins are in a very tough situation. They are five points back of a wild-card spot, 10 points back of a divisional spot, and one of their best players (Jake Guentzel) is expected to miss a month. They have an uphill battle ahead.

Although the Penguins have some things going for them (an excellent top line, strong goaltending etc.), a lot of problems are hindering them and the reason why they're in this position in the first place.

They lack scoring depth, and that's not going to change. Their power play also continues to disappoint, as the Penguins are scoring more times on the man advantage than only five teams.

The Penguins have the fourth-best team save percentage, but that may not be sustainable. If Tristan Jarry or Alex Nedeljkovic stumble down the stretch and play more like a mid-tier tandem, the margin for error evaporates.

I just don't see many reasons to believe this team can dig its feet in the sand and start stringing together wins.

There are no reinforcements coming back from injury, nor is GM Kyle Dubas likely to make any notable additions. If anything, he may elect to sell Guentzel if the team doesn't make up ground in his absence.

Expect the Penguins to miss the playoffs once again.

Lean: Seattle Kraken to make (+360)

The Kraken are quietly playing some good hockey. They rank sixth in goal share and ninth in expected goal share at five-on-five since January 1.

With the returns of Jaden Schwartz and Andre Burakovsky, the Kraken are very deep up front and can rely on their depth to make up ground against opponents. Joey Daccord has also given them reliable goaltending, something they haven't had much of since joining the league.

As much as anything, this is a bet on what teams around the Kraken will do.

The Blues are likely to trade Pavel Buchnevich, who is playing at a top-line level.

The Flames are clearly selling and could move on from the combination of Jacob Markstrom, Noah Hanifin, and Chris Tanev.

Nashville has won only three of the past 10 games and may look to move Juuse Saros for young players and picks. That would mean more games for Kevin Lankinen and his .889 save percentage.

The Kraken may sell Jordan Eberle, but I don't think that would impact the team. It has a lot of quality wingers and relies more on depth than any one player to get results.

Even if expirings like Eberle and/or Justin Schultz are moved, the team will still be competitive.

Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. You can follow him on X at @ToddCordell.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox