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NHL Northeast Division betting preview

The Bruins have been a popular bet to reclaim the Stanley Cup from a couple seasons ago at several sportsbooks. This division is expected to be stronger this year though after the Sens had a great season last year and many are anticipating a breakout campaign from the Sabres. That said, most divisions can only dream of having two teams in complete rebuilding mode like the Leafs and Habs are.

Below is a bettor's glance at each team along with some thoughts from Covers Expert Sean Murphy, which you can also find in his weekly NHL Power Rankings. Over/under season win total odds are from SportsInteraction.

NORTHEAST DIVISION


Odds to win Stanley Cup: 11-1
Last season’s record (SU, ATS, O/U):  49-29-1-3, 35-47, 46-33-3
Season over/under win total:  28.5
Covers Power Ranking:  4th
Key betting note: Tied with Philly as the 2nd-highest scoring team in the NHL last season (3.17 goals per game). Also went 32-0 when leading after the 2nd period.

Murph’s take:
“Boston suffered a Stanley Cup hangover last season, but should bounce back strong in the shortened 2013 campaign. The play of Tuukka Rask in goal will be key, as he takes over for Tim Thomas.”


Odds to win Stanley Cup: 28-1
Last season’s record (SU, ATS, O/U):  39-32-4-7, 33-49, 35-41-8
Season over/under win total:  24.5
Covers Power Ranking:  13th
Key betting note: Buffalo went 30-21-4 with defenseman Tyler Myers in the lineup last year and 9-11-7 without him due to injury.

Murph’s take:
“The Sabres just haven't been able to get over the hump in recent years, but there's no question, this is a team loaded with talent, depth, and an all-world goaltender in Ryan Miller. A shortened season could benefit them a great deal, although playing the majority of their schedule against Northeast Division foes will be tough.”


Odds to win Stanley Cup:  45-1
Last season’s record (SU, ATS, O/U):  41-31-6-4, 47-35, 42-38-2
Season over/under win total:  23.5
Covers Power Ranking:  17th
Key betting note:  2nd most profitable team in the East on the puckline last season behind only Pittsburgh.

Murph’s take: 
“The Sens ran into a tough opening round playoff matchup against the Rangers last year, but that didn't take anything away from what was a surprisingly good season. The building blocks are there, but playing in a tough Northeast Division could be their downfall.”


Odds to win Stanley Cup: 40-1
Last season’s record (SU, ATS, O/U): 31-35-4-12, 47-35, 31-41-10
Season over/under win total:  22
Covers Power Ranking:   24th
Key betting note: Montreal had the fewest wins vs. the Eastern Conference last season (24) of all Eastern Conference teams.

Murph’s take:
“Montreal is hungry for a winner these days. Very hungry. I'm not convinced that Michel Therrien is the answer behind the bench, but I've been proven wrong before. It looks like the Habs are a couple of pieces away from icing a playoff team.”


Odds to win Stanley Cup: 40-1
Last season’s record (SU, ATS, O/U):35-37-5-5, 44-38, 45-37
Season over/under win total: 22 wins 
Covers Power Ranking: 22nd
Key betting note: Toronto ranked 10th in goals for last season and second-worst in goals against. Only Boston and Tampa Bay saw more 'over' bets cash in.

Murph’s take: 
“There are issues all over the place, and the firing of GM Brian Burke came at a rather curious time, but that doesn't mean there isn't a sense of optimism in Leaf Land these days. It remains to be seen whether it's warranted or not.”

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