NHL Restart Opening Weekend Betting Analysis

NHL Restart Opening Weekend Betting Analysis

This Saturday, the NHL returns with postseason action but with one big difference. This season the Stanley Cup playoffs will adopt a 24-team tournament with 12 teams from each conference playing in fan-less arenas in Toronto (for the East) and Edmonton, Alberta (for the West). The top four teams in each conference are in the Round of 16, and the Nos. 5 through 12 seeds will square off to see who will take the next step toward immortality.

NHL Restart Opening Weekend Betting Analysis

Saturday, August 1

New York Rangers vs Carolina Hurricanes

The National Hockey League kicks off their 2020 NHL Playoffs with Rangers versus Hurricanes. NYR was one of the worst squads in 2019. Not in 2020. The Rangers have a chance to win the Stanley Cup. 

Chicago Blackhawks vs Edmonton Oilers

Edmonton is one of the bubble host cities. Can the Oilers get back on track? Before the shutdown they had gone 5-3-2 in their last 10. The Blackhawks went 6-4 in their last 10 before the shutdown. They could surprise in the bubble. Pay attention to this and see if Chicago has a shot.

Florida Panthers vs New York Islanders

The Islanders should benefit more than most from the extended layoff. NYI had struggled before things got crazy. In fact, they were in danger of not making the playoffs at all. Also, it’s not a long drive from New York to Toronto. Much less than Florida to Toronto. 

Montreal Canadiens vs Pittsburgh Penguins

Pens believe they can win the Stanley Cup. The Canadiens are happy to be here. Pittsburgh shouldn’t have much trouble with Montreal. The Canadiens rank 19th in goals per and goals against per.  

Winnipeg Jets vs Calgary Flames

If Calgary picks up where they left off before the NHL hiatus, they should win this match. The Flames were 6-3-1 in their 10 games before the shutdown.

Sunday, August 2

Arizona Coyotes vs Nashville Predators

Arizona’s got a shot in their first game back. The Coyotes rank 3rd in goals against per at 2.6. Nashville gives up 3.1 goals each match. Coyotes-Preds sure looks like a toss-up!

Philadelphia Flyers vs Boston Bruins

The Bruins have become one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup. There’s a reason why. Boston averages 3.2 goals per. The Bruins allow 2.4 goals per. Beantown feels they should have won the Cup last season. Expect them to show up big time in their first game after the layoff.

St. Louis Blues vs Colorado Avalanche

On Sunday, arguably, the two best teams in the Western Conference hit the ice. The defending champion St. Louis Blues are ready. But Colorado is hungry. This match could set the tone for what happens in the Western Conference. 

Columbus Blue Jackets vs Toronto Maple Leafs

A preseason favorite to win Lord Stanley’s hardware, the Toronto Maple Leafs had yet to get their defense together before the shutdown. The Leafs allow 3.2 goals per. But, their offense is dynamite. Toronto scores 3.4 goals each match. Their offense should lead them by Columbus on Sunday. 

Minnesota Wild vs Vancouver Canucks

Vancouver is a good hockey team. Before the shutdown, the Canucks went 8-2 in their last 10. That makes them a team to watch in the NHL Canada Bubble. If they beat the Wild in their first game back, watch out.  

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NHL Restart Playoffs Game 1 Odds & Analysis

NHL Restart Playoffs Game 1 Odds & Analysis

Hockey is back on August 1st heading straight to the NHL playoffs. Keep reading for every Game 1 analysis with betting odds.

NHL Restart Playoffs Game 1 Odds & Analysis

  • Canadiens +170
  • Penguins -100

Before the NHL put their season on pause, the Montreal Canadiens had been on a 3-match losing streak. Montreal did nothing the last time they battled the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Pens beat the Canadiens 4-1. Pittsburgh ranks sixth in shots against per while Montreal ranks second in shots taken. That’s the key matchup in this.

  • Rangers +125
  • Hurricanes -145

The Rangers average 3.3 goals per. That ranks fifth in the league. The Canes rank third in shots per and eleventh in shots per.

Don’t let the Carolina Hurricanes eleventh ranking in goals per fool you. Carolina averages 3.2 goals per match while the Rangers average 3.3. The winner could come down to how NYR handles the Canes’ second-ranked shots allowed per match defense.

  • Panthers +100
  • Islanders -120

Before heading to the Covid-19 bench, the Florida Panthers were on a 2-match winning streak. They had come off a sweet 2-1 win when word came from the higher-ups about the season shut down.

Florida faces what Islander fans hope is a rejuvenated squad. Although no team wanted the shutdown to happen, if there’s any squad that benefited, it’s the New York Islanders.

The Islanders headed to the hockey hiatus 7-match losing streak. It was so bad that Ottawa, yes, the Ottawa Senators beat the Islanders 4-3 on March 5.

  • Blackhawks +145
  • Oilers -165

The Blackhawks had played well heading into the shutdown. Chicago had won 5-of-7. Edmonton beat Chicago 11-5 the last time the two squads faced each other.

Note that if you decide to bet on this game, Edmonton has a slight advantage. The National Hockey League decided that the Oilers’ home is one of the 2 hub cities.

The other hub city is Toronto. So, give Edmonton a bit of an edge. It’s not a major edge, though.

The Oilers won’t play in front of fans. They won’t have to travel, though, which is a good thing, and they’ll get to hang out in their locker room.

Edmonton went 1-3 heading into the coronavirus pause. Keep that in mind.

  • Wild +100
  • Canucks -120

Minnesota had won 6-of-8 before heading to the bench. The Wild beat Vancouver 4-3 in a shootout the last time these two threw down.

The Canucks were 2-5 SU in their last 7 before the shutdown. Vancouver may have a slight edge because both hub cities are in Canada.

  • Jets +125
  • Flames -145

Winnipeg most definitely didn’t want the NHL pause to happen. The Jets were on a nice 4-match winning streak before the pro hockey league sent players home during the pandemic.

These two haven’t battled since October 26. Calgary’s getting the benefit of the doubt because the match happens in Canada. But the Jets beat the Flames 2-1 in the last head-to-head.

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NHL Restart Playoffs Game 1 Odds & Analysis

Updated 2020 Stanley Cup Odds, Favorites, Longshots & Sharp Picks

The 2020 NHL season is coming back but straight to the playoffs. Keep reading for the latest Stanley Cup odds and who the top picks are.

Updated 2020 Stanley Cup Odds

  • Tampa Bay Lightning +570
  • Boston Bruins +650
  • Vegas Golden Knights +700
  • Colorado Avalanche +850
  • St. Louis Blues +1000
  • Philadelphia Flyers +1200
  • Pittsburgh Penguins +1200
  • Washington Capitals +1300
  • Dallas Stars +1600
  • Toronto Maple Leafs +2000
  • Nashville Predators +3000
  • Chicago Blackhawks +3000
  • Edmonton Oilers +3000
  • Arizona Coyotes +3300
  • New York Rangers +3500
  • Minnesota Wild +4000
  • Carolina Hurricanes +4500
  • Calgary Flames +5000
  • Vancouver Canucks +5000
  • Winnipeg Jets +5000
  • Florida Panthers +5500
  • New York Islanders +6000
  • Columbus Blue Jackets +6600
  • Montreal Canadiens +7500

Stanley Cup Betting Favorite: Tampa Bay Lightning +570

NHL recently came out with a 24-team regular season restart plan. Under the format, 4-teams from each conference automatically make it to the playoffs.

Those 8-teams play in a round-robin in each contest to determine playoff seeds. Tampa Bay is one of the four round-robin teams in the East.

That’s why the Lightning is favored at +570. But from a hockey stand-point, should Tampa Bay offer such low odds?

In 2018-2019, Tampa Bay won 62 during regular-season games. They bowed out of the playoffs in the first round. This year’s argument is that Tampa is well-rested.

But every participating team will be well-rested. Not only that, but every team also got a chance to get their injured players healthy.

The odds on the Lightning make them an underlay. Back Tampa Bay if you want. Know that no team has an edge over any other in this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, which makes accepting low odds a bad idea.

The Sharp Stanley Cup Pick: St. Louis Blues +1000

There are a couple of reasons to like the St. Louis Blues to repeat. The first has to do with odds.

St. Louis is the lone Top 5 odds contender that offers at least +1000. Boston’s odds to win the Cup are +700. Colorado’s odds are +850. Like the Bruins, the Vegas Golden Knights offer +700.

There’s another reason to like the Blues. Right-wing Vladimir Tarasenko will be healthy.

Tarasenko was a huge part of St. Louis’ march to the Stanley Cup last season. We can’t discount the effect a healthy Tarasenko will have the Blues’ during this year’s playoffs.

The Blues won the Cup last year, get Vladimir back, and had played well enough to win one of the deepest divisions in hockey, the Western Conference Central, before the shutdown. What’s not to like?

The Longshot Stanley Cup Pick: Toronto Maple Leafs +20000

Before the season started, Toronto was one of the favorites at +850 to win the Cup. What changed?

The pandemic. If this were a normal season, the Leafs would be the third seed from the Atlantic Division in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. That accounts for Toronto’s overlay odds.

The new playoff format means the Maple Leafs must play into the Round of 16. When hockey returns, Toronto’s first opponent will be the Columbus Blue Jackets.

No worries. Artemi Panarin bounced from Columbus to the New York Rangers. He’s not the only player the 2019-2020 Columbus Blue Jackets lost.

The Leafs should handle the Jackets. If they were one of the Top 4 from the East, their odds would be no worse than +1000, like St. Louis’.

That makes Toronto a huge overlay at double the Blues’ odds to win the 2020 Stanley Cup. The fact they average 3.39 goals per, behind only Tampa Bay and Washington, makes them even more attractive.

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