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NHL Central Division Odds: Three-Way Race in Tight Division

It's a three-way race in NHL Central Division odds between the Carolina Hurricanes, Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers.

The Tampa Bay Lightning were projected to run away with the NHL Central Division at the start of the season, but the division has been one of the tightest in the league ahead of the stretch run of the campaign.

According to the latest odds from BetOnline, the Carolina Hurricanes are the -110 favorites to win the Central, with the Lightning (+100) and Florida Panthers (+525) within striking distance.

The Nashville Predators (+12500), Chicago Blackhawks (+15000) and Dallas Stars (+15000) are all well back of the pack on the oddsboard.

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NHL Central Division Odds

Odds to Win the 2021 Central Division
Carolina Hurricanes-110
Tampa Bay Lightning+100
Florida Panthers+525
Nashville Predators+12500
Chicago Blackhawks+15000
Dallas Stars+15000

Odds as of April 12 at BetOnline

Three-Way Race for the Central Division

The Hurricanes, Lightning and Panthers have all enjoyed stellar seasons and the race to be crowned champion of the Central is going to come down to the wire.

As of April 12, Carolina (27-9-4) and Tampa Bay (28-11-2) were tied at the top of the standings with 58 points apiece, while the Panthers (26-12-4) were just slightly behind at 56 points.

Of the trio of clubs, it’s the Hurricanes who have been in the best form of late. Carolina has gone 7-2-1 over its last 10 games. Carolina is one of the most well-balanced teams in the NHL, as it’s incredibly deep on offense, defense and in between the pipes.

The Hurricanes’ goaltending has been the biggest surprise. Carolina’s three goaltenders – James Reimer, Alex Nedeljkovic and Petr Mrazek – have all been stellar. That’s going to be a major luxury to have in the playoffs for head coach Rod Brind’Amour.

Don’t Count Out the Panthers

While the Hurricanes and the defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning have gathered most of the headlines in the Central this year, the Panthers have been enjoying a fantastic season.

Florida’s hot run has hit a speed bump over the last week, however, as the Panthers have dropped three straight games. The Panthers have mustered only a combined three goals in that span.

Despite the recent skid, this team is loaded on offense and is due to break out of its slump sooner rather than later. At +525, the Panthers are offering excellent value for hockey bettors looking to cash in on divisional futures.