2021 NHL Betting Picks: Washington Capitals and New York Rangers on the Rise

2021 NHL Betting Picks: Washington Capitals and New York Rangers on the Rise

Check out our best NHL bets ahead of Wednesday night’s action.


At present, betting odds on the NHL Stanley Cup continue to favor a handful of teams. For the most part, the NHL's best betting sites are going to focus on the Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, Colorado Avalanche, Toronto Maples Leafs, Minnesota Wild and Carolina Hurricanes. And to be fair, this is a pretty long list, as far as championship contenders are concerned. 

But that's the beauty of the NHL. There is a ton of parity, which means there's always room for more title candidates. And with our latest NHL betting picks, we're proposing the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals be added to Stanley Cup considerations.

Both teams will be in action on Wednesday, December 15. Here's a look at the latest NHL betting odds featuring them, among others, courtesy of BetOnline:

Washington Capitals-157+142Chicago Blackhawks
New York Rangers-225+170Arizona Coyotes
Anaheim Ducks-163+125Seattle Kraken

Make sure to double-check these NHL odds if you're placing a wager later in the day on December 15. All NHL betting lines are subject to shift right up until the opening faceoff. You should also take a moment to mull over our reviews of the top online sportsbooks, because chances are you'll find a great home for all your NHL betting.

Are the Rangers or Capitals Stanley Cup Contenders?

It remains bonkers that the Capitals are not more frequently mentioned among the NHL's top Stanley Cup contenders. People seem too concerned that their best player, Alex Ovechkin, is playing out his age-36 season. 

We don't care. Washington has one of the best records in the NHL and are one of four teams to amass at least 40 points so far. They belong in the title discussion.

New York's case is a little more touch-and-go. They've been up and down this year, particularly on offense, but they rank among the NHL's top road teams and are steadily climbing the total-points ladder. 

Will the Rangers take care of business on Wednesday? How about the Capitals? And what about the other game on the NHL schedule, between the Anaheim Ducks and Seattle Kraken? Let's hop to our best NHL bets.

Capitals Might be NHL's Best Team

Who's the NHL's best team? Is it the Panthers? The Avalanche? The Maples Leafs?

All are great answers. But let's start talking about the Capitals. They are fourth in goals scored per game and third on the percentage of power plays in which they score. Their protection between the net can sometimes be spotty, but they're in the top five of penalty-killing percentage, which means they defend like heck when it matters most.

To top it all off, Ovechkin is having an MVP-caliber campaign and is dotted by a compilation of other talented playmakers who are able to protect Washington's point differential without him on the ice. Never mind this game against the Blackhawks. The Capitals should win, because Chicago is bad, but also because they are a legit Stanley Cup contender.

OSB Prediction: Washington Capitals (-157)

Washington Capitals To beat the Chicago Blackhawks

Rangers Should Blast Coyotes

The Rangers' season-long vitals don't exactly infer Stanley Cup contention. New York is 16th in goals scored per game and fifth in goals allowed per game—good not great.

Still, they have proven to possess a ton of big-play potential. The Rangers have six shutouts on the season and are shooting 11 percent on goal, two of the absolute best marks in the league. They've also shown that they can score while playing shorthanded, which is a good thing, because they commit, on average, more than 10 minutes of penalties every night.

In all honesty, we need to see more consistent outings from the Rangers before peddling them as Stanley Cup hopefuls. But that's not much of a concern against the Coyotes. Arizona is dead last in goals scored per game and second to last in goals allowed per game. New York should be able to add yet another victory to their 2021-22 resume.

OSB Prediction: New York Rangers (-225)

New York Rangers To beat the Arizona Coyotes

Stop Sleeping on the Anaheim Ducks, Too

The Anaheim Ducks have been a bettor's dream for much of this season. No team in the NHL has a better record against the spread or as the favorite on the moneyline

Concerns about their offense are fair. They're still shooting sub-10 percent on goal. But the Ducks' defense is stingy as anything. Only two teams kill a larger share of their penalties, and Anaheim's goalies are saving nearly 92 percent of shot attempts that come their way. The Ducks have also shown signs of life on offense during power plays. They're scoring on nearly 26 percent of those stints.

Anaheim's offense should have no problem getting off to a nice start against Seattle, either. The Kraken are dead last in save percentage, and only two teams are presently allowing more goals per game.

OSB Prediction: Anaheim Ducks (-163)

Anaheim Ducks To beat the Seattle Kraken

Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all your NHL betting: